To most young rap fans, naming local emcees would likely draw a blank if not a few thumbs up, whereas international ones would probably make up a long list owing to the dominant influence of western culture.
However, one of the local names that should at least ring a bell to young ones on the rap scene is the pioneering influence in Motswako of Tebogo Mapine, otherwise known as Nomadic. Arguably one of the genre’s originators, Nomadic is cooking up a most anticipated project with a fellow rapper and accomplished artist, Game ‘Zeus’ Bantsi.
Apart from being a rapper, Nomadic is a producer and a visual artist while Zeus doubles as a businessman and a songwriter. Titled T.R.A, short for Tswana Renaissance Art, the collaborative concept album comprises 13 tracks. Arts & Culture has learnt that the release date for the album is yet to be decided upon.
“We don’t have an official release date as of yet. I am busy refining the sound design and I never like to rush that process,” Nomadic disclosed to Arts & Culture. Renaissance means to revive, and one can only expect a taste of what local hip-hop used to be with its recreation in the pipeline.
The first single of the album dubbed ‘A Re Chencheng’ dropped on September 16, 2019 across different online platforms. A Re Chencheng in the queen’s language means ‘let us change’ and the single urges locals to change and act in unison to reform as individuals and as a unit.
The song starts with a speech by a local politician and the latter is heard as he speaks about unity and change. As the track commences, Zeus takes the centre stage as he delivers his verse. In this track, Zeus, being his usual self, addresses economical and social challenges faced by citizens of this country.
Nomadic, a wordsmith of note, was on some level of his own with marvellous poetry and bars he usually exhibits.
He, however, snips his verse from Marothodi mixtape’s Why Should I (skit) and adds a few lines to complete the first verse of the official single of T.R.A. Nomadic, formerly known as Mr T, hinted on the collaborative project back in 2016, and then in 2017.
It is clear that the Motswako originator has taken his time applying his distinctive skills that are defunct in today’s Motswako era, now craved for in the much-anticipated album.
Nomadic’s past projects, seven albums and mixtapes, have for the last few years been in demand, an indication that he is endowed with a plethora of creative skills.
On the other hand, Zeus’ rap skills yielded a continental ascendance at the 2009 Channel O Awards when he bagged the ‘Best Hip Hop Video’ award for the ‘Gijima’ song. Zeus has three albums and a mixtape to his name.
The duality dates back to 2013 when the two Motswako heavyweights worked together on Zeus’s third album called African Time. Nomadic designed the cover of the album.
The Datswatsapp hitmaker was quoted saying “I find him (Nomadic) very understanding because he is a very proud African and an artist himself, so when I mentioned the album title he had a concept in mind”.
Nomadic previously hooked up with Zeus in 2016 for The Pula Citizen album and yielded a track dubbed GO.
Both Zeus and Nomadic command a lot of respect for their infinite spitting of bars, conscience rap, word play and poetry.
Differing with the current crop of rappers, Zeus and Nomadic proved to be a versatile lot having recorded on a usual rap beat and reggae instruments. Zeus’s Channel O nominated hit, Imagination and Nomadic’s Alpha Start are a paradigm of such rare skills. Those who gave an ear to their past projects can attest to their phenomenal artistic skills.
For the Motswako Godfathers, the two have mutual respect toward each other as showed in social media platforms.
Zeus crowning Nomadic as the Godfather of local hip-hop or Motswako, and Nomadic also appreciating Zeus for his contribution to the local and regional hip hop music landscape is the stuff of legends.