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ProVerb at Back To The City in 2016. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb Now Owns The Masters To His Classic Debut Album ‘The Book of ProVerb’

14 years since the release of his debut album, Verb now owns its masters.

Veteran South African rapper ProVerb now owns the masters to his debut album, The Book of ProVerb. Verb took to social media to make the announcement, and further added that the album is currently being re-mastered and will be available for re-release soon.


The Book of ProVerb is the Kimberly MC's first album, and is considered a classic by many fans, heads and critics, including this one. It came with seminal songs that defined the mid-2000s era and are still the MC's greatest—songs such as the prophetic "I Have A Dream," "Microphone Sweet Home," "Women," "Kimberly Rise," "Heartbeat," and a lot more. Most of the production was handled by Battlekat. It featured appearances from Tumi, Zubz and Pebbles, among a few others.

The Book of ProVerb was released in 2005 under the label Gallo Records, which also released SA hip-hop albums such as the late Pro's classic Heads and Tales, Mr Selwyn's Formula and Zone 5, among others.

A large number of South African hip-hop albums from the mid-2000s era are still not available on streaming sites and online stores because the masters are owned by labels that either don't care much about the music and culture or are now non-existent. As a result, a huge portion of SA hip-hop history and heritage is not available online for everyone to have access to.

Proverb Microphone sweet home www.youtube.com


For instance, some the late Pro's albums—Snakes and Ladders, Dankie San—which he released under the indie label TS Records, were only made available online after his untimely demise.

The Book of ProVerb is the second album Verb has bought back masters for (also from Gallo). Earlier this year, the hip-hop legend made his sophomore album Manuscript available online, and the assumption is that that happened after he bought the masters.

Last year, the later legendary rapper HHP shared earlier last year that he has bought back the masters to all his albums, which he soon made available online.

Hopefully, more artists will follow in Verb and Jabba's footsteps. Albums such as Music From My Good Eye, Live from the Bassline by Tumi, The Offering by Optical Illusion, and a whole lot more are nowhere to be found in the virtual realm.

Listen to ProVerb's Manuscript below, below while you wait for The Book of ProVerb to drop online.


Sports
Photo by Ned Dishman, courtesy of Pops Bonsu.

In Conversation: Meet Pops Mensah-Bonsu—the Ghanaian Former Pro Player Trailblazing the Front Desk of the NBA

We speak to the general manager of the Capital City Go-Go about his journey to professional basketball stardom, his hopes for the Basketball Africa League and more.

Nana Pops Mensah-Bonsu didn't take basketball seriously at first. For the now General Manager of the Capital City Go-Go and a former player in the NBA and European leagues, the game wasn't as exciting as other sports. "For me, I was impressionable," he says, "I was young; all my friends played soccer and ran track. That's what I really wanted to do."

Born and raised in London, England, the former pro with Ghanaian roots (whose name stems from his middle name, Papa—the equivalent to 'junior') grew up playing soccer and running track. His older brother started playing basketball, a relatively invisible sport compared to soccer, when he was about 16 in the early 90s and eventually moved to the U.S. on a scholarship. Mensah-Bonsu says that when parents witnessed his brother's experience, they took it as an opportunity for the rest of their children to do the same—allowing them to have a better opportunity to succeed.

Mensah-Bonsu's dad introduced him to basketball and took him to the other side of London where he started developing his skills. After juggling the three sports with basketball on the back burner, Mensah-Bonsu eventually realized his potential once he made the move stateside himself as a teen. Making a name for himself as a student-athlete at George Washington University, his work ethic led him to a professional career in both the NBA, playing for the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors as well as internationally—playing for clubs in Spain, France, Turkey, Russia and Italy, to name a few.

Retiring in his early 30s, Mensah-Bonsu is still a part of the game—but on the decision-making side. Currently serving as the Capital City Go-Go's general manager of the G League (the official minor league of the NBA) in Washington, D.C., he's trying to blaze a trail for more diversity and inclusion in the NBA front office. "I really want to do my best and succeed at this next level because I know how profound and impactful it can be if it's done well," he says. "I put pressure on myself to work extra hard to make sure I can get to this position where I can have that impact on these guys and show them a mirror image of themselves and show them how possible it is."

We caught up with Pops Mensah-Bonsu to learn more about his journey navigating basketball stardom to calling the shots behind the scenes, his hopes for the newly established Basketball Africa League and more in the interview below.

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Music
25K. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

How a 3-Year-Old Song Earned SA Artist 25K a Deal with Universal & a Co-Sign From AKA

We interview 25K, the South African rapper poised to be the country's next star.

AKA was so moved by up-and-coming Pretoria rapper and producer 25K's single "Culture Vulture," he gave him a slot on his monumental Orchestra on the Square concert in March.

"The whole process when Kiernan (AKA's real name) reached out," recalls 25K, who will later admit AKA is one of his favorite artists, "that was like a dream come true for me. We were doing a gig, when I got home, I got a text, and it said, 'Yo, this is Kiernan, hit me back.' So, I saved the number, I was like, 'Yo,' then he FaceTimed me. He was like, '25K, I just had to reach you, dawg. Your song is great,' So, I was out of words. Just listening to him talk to me. He was like, 'Bro, we need to cook up something.' But eventually, time will tell. So the people will get to hear."

Thabiso Khathi, the respected hip-hop head & record label executive popularly known as Hip-Hop Scholar, as well as the newly appointed Head of Urban at Universal Music Group South Africa, lets the cat out of the bag. "I don't know if the world knows that AKA officially jumped on the remix for 'Culture Vulture,' which we will be bringing out in the next few weeks," says Scholar. Today, him and the label have gathered journalists at the Universal Music Group headquarters in Rosebank to witness the young artist's signing.

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News Brief
Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Nigerian-British Actor Susan Wokoma's First Rom-Com Feature Film Is In the Works

She's set to write and star in BBC Films-backed 'Three Weeks'—a rom-com drama about abortion.

Just two months ago, we got wind of Susan Wokoma landing a series regular role in CBS' new comedy pilot, Super Simple Love Story.

The Nigerian-British actor and 2017 BAFTA Breakthrough Brit honoree continues to make power moves in entertainment, as it was recently announced that she's in the process of writing her feature debut, Three Weeks, Variety reports.

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