Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh to release 'Democracy and Delusion' this month.
South African hip-hop artist, academic and activist Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh will be releasing his debut album, which will be accompanied by a book.
The book will come out later this month on August 28, while the album is due on September 6.
The project titled, Democracy and Delusion, will be politically-charged, as fans have grown to expect from the rapper.
In 2014, he broke his long hiatus from music with a no-holds-barred single which took shots at President Jacob Zuma. The song was a remake of Tunisian rapper El-General’s equally politically-charged “Rayes lebled.”
The book will consist of 10 chapters in which Mpofu-Walsh will debunk myths and, well, delusions about South Africa’s 23-year-old democracy. The album will feature artists like renowned poet Lebo Mashile, rapper Solo, and Fees Must Fall activist Busisiwe Seabe.
The rapper tells the Mail & Guardian: “The album wasn’t any easier than a master’s at Oxford. Do you know how much intellectual thought, melodic ability and technical skill is required?”
He went on to talk about how he feels about South African hip-hop’s apolitical nature. “I don’t understand how the artists and celebrities have this huge platform that could be used for so much,” he mentions, “and it’s being used for protection of the status quo. We need to show there are different ways to use the medium. This is an album of impact that doesn’t say the same thing that these artists are saying: look at me I’m so cool, I have all this money, etc. It’s about where we are in this country.”
Mpofu-Walsh was first introduced to South African hip-hop as part of the teenage trio Entity alongside rappers AKA (yes, Supa Mega) and Greyhound. They released their album Royal School of Hip-Hop and the video single “Touch and Go.” The trio had a great run until they disbanded around 2008.
Mpofu-Walsh now joins artists such as Tumi Molekane and Emile YX? who have, in the past, released books to accompany their musical projects.
You can listen to a song from Democracy and Delusion, which plays automatically on Mpofu-Walsh’s website. The track shows the rapper is in touch with current hip-hop trends as he mixes rapping and Auto-Tuned vocals over sinewy synths and pads. He talks about current affairs such as the State Capture and land reform, among other issues.
You can read his full interview with the Mail & Guardian here.
Revisit our analysis of South African hip-hop's relationship with politics from 2016, here.