Music
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

South African rap veteran Stogie T wants to keep the art of lyricism alive.

Stogie T is '#MakingSARapAgain' with #FreestyleFriday Series

South Africa's finest lyricists are participating in Stogie T's #FreestyleFriday series.

For the past few weeks, South African hip-hop veteran Stogie T has been giving rap fans something exciting to look forward to every Friday. The rapper picks a beat and laces it with a freestyle verse. The challenge is then passed on to lyricists he handpicks himself.


Asked what inspired the series, the rapper simply says, "I wanted to do my part to keep the art of lyricism alive."

Some of the country's most gifted lyricists—Kwesta, Ginger Trill, PDot O, Kid Tini, Touchline and many more—have each followed Stogie T's lead and rendered a freestyle verse over instrumentals for classic hip-hop songs such as "Grindin'" by The Clipse, "Hell on Earth" by Mobb Deep, "Pound Cake" by Drake, among a few others. Rappers from outside of SA, including Ian Kamau (Canada), John Robinson (NYC) and M.I Abaga (Nigeria) have also been invited to participate in the challenge.


#FreestyleFriday is one of many amazing series of content artists have been creating for fans while they are forced to stay indoors during the lockdown. If you are fan of bars, #FreestyleFriday has enough bars for you to play over and over and pick up those Easter eggs.

South Africa has some of the finest lyricists in the whole world, and #FreestyleFriday showcases some of them, both big and small.

Stogie T is passionate about the art of rap. Apart from being an otherworldly lyricist himself, he hosts the YouTube show Verse of the Month on the website Slikour on Life's YouTube page. In the show, he picks the best verses by South African hip-hop artists and breaks down what impressed him. So, #FreestyleFriday is on-brand.

View some of the best freestyles from the series below, and follow the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for more.











Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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