“Yeah I stole the show, rumour has it that I’m a crook”, is the opening line to Cassper Nyovest’s latest single ‘Tsibip’ and steal the show he did with his recent unprecedented move of remixing one of his most popular songs ‘Doc Shebeleza’ alongside American underground rap figure Talib Kweli. The collaboration sees two worlds, both geographically and musically, combine in what can be seen as an effort to break down divisions and bridge the gap between both (South Africa and America) countries and the subgenres of mainstream hip hop and commercial hip hop.
According to entertainment site Kaya FM, news of the partnership broke after Nyovest confirmed on social networks that the Brooklyn based mc would feature on the remix to his song, posting pictures of his response to Talib’s verse, this was further solidified when Talib uploaded images of him and Nyovest cruising through Soweto, titling the images under the caption ‘Driving thru Soweto with the homie casspernyovest’. However, this was not to be the end of it as it was later reported that a video of Talib performing his verse to the song at a show that he had in the country, surfaced. Nyovest, who was gratified and excited by this, uploaded the clip onto his Instagram and commented on it, expressing his enjoyment and happiness towards the situation.
Talib Kweli has built himself a sizable reputation in the underground rap scene as one of the most notable rappers not only in America but globally. Both of his parents were college professors, this sparked his interest in writing which eventually saw him branch out into hip hop. His early inspirations ranged from the likes of Rakim, KRS- One and Ice Cube with their conscious, activist approach to music. His most identifiable work was with former high school mate Dante Terrell Smith, better known as Mos Def or Yasiin bey with their album titled Blackstar released in 1999. He also released a string of notable projects throughout the years, including ‘Quality’ (2002), The beautiful struggle (2004) and Eardrum (2007) to name but a few.
Cassper Nyovest, S.A’s ‘man of the moment’, was born in Montshiwa a village based in Mahikeng in the year 1990. Nyovest’s love for music was inspired by his late brother Kotso Mabehang who was also a rapper but sadly passed away in 2003. He steadily worked his way through the industry from the year 2004, until he met his big break with HHP on the song ‘Wam tseba Mo’ a song which gained the aspirant young rapper the much needed recognition, the rest as they say is history.
The collaboration has surprised many, serving as a significant talking point within the hip hop circle. It introduces what may very well be the future of music, challenging the underground old school listeners to try out the new school mainstream sound and vice versa for the mainstream fans. In terms of geographical relationships musically between South Africa and America, it has definitely aided the growth of it in a significant way. Website the juice, reported that a few days after the announcement of this particular collaboration, Nyovest sealed yet another one with another well-known American artist DJ Drama.
Talib and Nyovest have brought about a refreshing change in music generally and not just hip hop and they are inviting all to listen as Talib says in his 2007 single ‘Listen’, “Pay attention you gotta listen to hear”.
by Mandlenkosi Ntlemeza