Driemanskap Finally Release Their Long-Promised Sophomore Album ‘Hlala Nam’

The Cape Town hip-hop crew release their sophomore album, 10 years since their classic debut.

Driemanskap have finally released Hlala Nam, their sophomore album which they have been teasing for years. The 20-track project arrived last week, and features YoungstaCPT, King Kosh, Haem-O and several others.


The four-man Cape Town crew (Redondo, Ma-B, Dla and El Nino) maintain their raw street-centric sound and lyricism on Hlala Nam. Songs like "Uhambo," "Things We Do For Love" and "Champion," among others, with their trap-leaning production, reveal a crew that's not reluctant to experiment with other sounds.

The first original single to Hlala Nam, "Izulu Lelam" was released in 2012 while the crew was still signed to the label Pioneer Unit. The album was shelved when the crew parted ways with the independent label shortly after the release of "We Are Not the Same," their 2014 single, which featured the rapper iFani. Driemanskap signed a deal with Native Rhythms in 2015 to release the Journey of a Soldier EP in the same year.

www.youtube.com

Driemanskap is one of the biggest hip-hop outfits in Cape Town. They rose to prominence in the 2000s and would go on to release their classic debut album Igqabhukil' Inyongo in 2009.

On Hlala Nam, Driemanskap didn't try to recreate their cult classic, opting instead to experiment with different sounds and styles. For instance, the song "Ndakondla" will take fans by surprise as the crew trade the bars for melodies in what could become your favorite wedding-style song this year. But their rappity rap sensibilities are never lost. Peep the cypher they kick on "Cypher with Sjava (Skit)," which precedes the bar fest that is the previously released YoungstaCPT-assisted single "Give a Wh?T."

Only time will tell if Hlala Nam will make a reasonable impact and restore confidence on Cape Town's staggering hip-hop scene.

Stream Hlala Nam below and/or buy it here.



Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.