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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kommanda Obbs Favors ‘the African Dream’ Over Western Standards On His New Single ‘Mabelebele’

Listen to Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single.

The music on renowned Lesotho rapper Kommanda Obbs' latest single "Mabelebele" is largely inspired kwaito. For his vocals, the rapper opts for a more melodic style on the track.


If you are educated enough to understand SeSotho, you'll appreciate how Obbs eloquently expresses his sentiments of favoring Afrocentricity over western standards.

The word "mabelebele" refers to an indigenous wild berry found in many of parts of southern Africa. Says the rapper, "In the SeSotho dialect, [the word] has been conceptualized, particularly in folk songs, to refer to the perceived standards of the good life and or materialistic values associated with it along cultural lines."

On the song, Obbs speaks of Western mabelebele ("Mabelebele a sekhoa"), emphasizing how much people are easily fooled by "the glitz and glamour, bling bling and fly by night trends that are here today and gone tomorrow."

"The Western dream," says the artist, "places more emphasis on the goal than the appropriate ways of attaining it and people today across cultures have been intimidated by and persuaded to the life."

On "Mabelebele," Obbs makes it clear that he's about the African dream. He is "here to stand his ground and never to dumb it down nor be influenced by shallow trends."

As per Obbs' wont, the drums on "Mabelebele" knock hard, and his SeSotho crooning sits well over the minimal production.

Listen to "Mabelebele" below and follow Kommanda Obbs on Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud.

For more read On The Map: Maseru's Hip-Hop Scene

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Photo: Sean Thomas.

The 8 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Femi & Made Kuti, DJ Lag x DJ Tira, Kizz Daniel, Sho Madjozi, James BKS and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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