Sipho The Gift Premieres 'Feeling Myself'

South African rapper and producer Sipho The Gift premieres "Feeling Myself," the third single off his debut 'Coming Of Age' mixtape.

We're still waiting on the debut project from up-and-coming South African rapper and producer Sipho The Gift. In the meantime, the young Kimberley-born, Stellenbosch-based Immaculate Taste / Alec Lomami affiliate has a bouncy new track to share. "Feeling Myself" is the self-produced third single off Sipho's forthcoming Coming Of Age mixtape. Speaking on how his music has changed since we first debuted his excellent freestyle over Drake's "Poundcake," Sipho tells us "The sound of the project has evolved just as I have evolved since I put out the poundcake freestyle. I got better at producing, arranging, putting together a song and sharpened my raps as well. The music is still very personal and introspective, I just got better with the delivery. You can expect a project composed using influences from a wide range of music, with lots of attention to lyrical content and song composition."

Look out for Coming Of Age to drop later this year. For now, listen to the premiere of "Feeling Myself" below. For more from Sipho The Gift, watch his gritty visuals for "Phanda More" and listen to "Don't Let Me Fall." Sipho also tells us he produced four tracks off Well$'s forthcoming $ophisticated Trap tape. Watch out for those soon.


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.

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