Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Hymphatic Thabs.

Hymphatic Thabs Proves His Pedigree on SOTRA Cyphers Appearance

Hymphatic Thabs' verse on SOTRA Cyphers proves the veteran South African emcee is still as sharp as he was 20 years ago when he released his debut album.

South African hip-hop legend Hymphatic Thabs stopped by SPeeKa's studio to deliver a freestyle on SOTRA Cyphers. SOTRA Cyphers is a series of cyphers curated by the Soweto-based producer SPeeKa at his R.E.A Studios in Soweto. SOTRA Cyphers is in its fourth year running and the 40th instalment, comprising three emcees, was released last week. Hymphatic Thabs' exclusive serves as the first exclusive instalment of the year.

Falling on the 21st of January, Hymphatic Thabs' appearance coincided with the 20th anniversary of his first album, Error Era, which was released in 2001. This fact made the appearance all the more meaningful. Before his verse starts, he makes mention of his latest album, called Centre of the Universe, released in 2019.

The Lesotho-born, South Africa-based emcee proves his pedigree, breaking out into a six-minute-long soliloquy replete with highbrow concepts. He starts off with an introspective couplet, rapping:

"As I swing just like a pendulum, am I singular or plural? Swimming drunk and drinking, damned and sinking like I'm futile, since you are so rural, Thabs, think about your future, don't just sing a song for sing alongs, simplify what's crucial."

It is this kind of thematic advisory to self that populates the rest of his verse, as he oscillates between speaking to and about himself in first- and second-person point of view. Posing a question to himself, he asks, "Why fantasise on huge wealth if you can't define your true self? Centralise your thoughts and sanctify your cause or purpose."

The latter part of his verse sees him adopting a more dichotomous style of delivery, written in binary form, as he raps mostly opposing ideas against each other, rapping, "It is big, it is small, it is bricks, it is walls, it is Vic-toria Falls, it is zilch and yet it is all, it ticklish and yet it is sore, it is sick and yet it is the cure, it is the rich that give to the poor."

A veteran in the game at this point, this SOTRA Cyphers exclusive proves that Hymphatic Thabshas never lost a step. He is still as sharp as he was when releasing Error Era 20 years ago.

Watch Hymphatic Thabs' performance on SOTRA Cyphers below:

HYMPHATIC THABS (a #SotraCyphers exclusive)


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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