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The Former Editor of South Africa's Longest Running Hip-Hop Magazine Shares His Story

Fred Mercury has released a new autobiographical documentary about his time at Hype magazine, one of the most important publications in the history of South African hip-hop.

Fred Kayembe, known as Fred Mercury in the streets, is a staunch supporter of hip-hop from South Africa. He's mostly known for his role as former editor of South Africa's longest running hip-hop magazine, Hype.

Last week, he released an autobiographical documentary, titled Keys Open Doors, in which he chronicles his life in hip-hop. He traces his life—from being born in Kinshasa, growing up in South Africa, learning English, playing basketball in school, and eventually becoming editor of one of the most important publications in the history of South African hip-hop.


He speaks fondly about the lessons he learned from listening to the likes of Eminem, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, among others.

There's footage of him revisiting his high school, working behind the scenes and attending and hosting events. The documentary is the introduction to a series called #thinkingoutloud, in which Fred collaborates with the likes of Muzi, Shane Eagle, Astryd Brown, Shooter Khumz, Sachin Aurakeasamy, Mashayabhuque KaMamba and Spaceboy P, among others.

#thinkingouloud is a virtual exhibition comprising of a collection of works across various mediums including, the documentay, a short film, an audio presentation, a photography capsule and audio presentation, which are all curated Fred.

"Like everyone else," says Fred on the series, "I process an overwhelming amount of information from every imaginable source I interact with on a daily basis. What tends to happen is, overtime, my brain will start to short circuit from all the incomplete thoughts, much like having too many tabs open on your computer starts to affect its efficiency. This is me attempting to close some of those tabs."

You can watch the documentary below, and check out the rest of the content from #thinkingoutloud on this Tumblr page.


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(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

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Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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