Mzansi Rap Cousins The TeMple 'Ngubani'

South African Mzansi rap cousins The TeMple return with their most soulful turn yet on 'Ngubani' with Q on vocals and producer zuluprince.

Mzansi rapper cousins The TeMple have been sneakily creeping on our radar this year with a string of slow-ticking burners. The masterminds of a budding creative powerhouse they call the Guru Group, Kenny Mlambo and Jacky Mopedi started out in fashion and photography before expanding into hip-hop in 2013. After introducing their rap outfit in December with the gritty herb nod "NTSANGO," they returned with a slow-hanging powderkeg follow-up on "#STATES," which Okayafrica premiered the video for in June. Though we're still waiting on their debut mixtape Enter The Temple to drop, The TeMple are back this week with their most soulful turn yet with "Ngubani" (which translates to "who" in Xhosa). The cousins' right-hand producer ZuluPrince maintains his signature menacing percussion that we first caught on "#STATES." Though this time around the introduction of pipes from a guest vocalist by the name of Q turns "Ngubani" into a pounding oxymoron of gritty heart-wrenching music sung in English, Xhosa, Sotho and Tswana flow. We asked The TeMple to shed some light on their new song:

"This song speaks about Ambition, Vision and more dominant, the pain and hardships we go through as people and up and coming artists in this 'Dog eat Dog' world of today. With that said, we ask these questions. Who (Ngubani) said we were solely made for pain, Who (Ngubani) said things aren't going to get better? Who (Ngubani) said this is the end? Whoever said this is in for a big surprise cause like we said on States, "MODIMO HASE BARI"(GOD IS NOT A FOOL)"

Listen and download "Ngubani" below and look out for Enter The Temple to drop later this year. Find out more on The TeMple via twitter and facebook plus stream their previous singles "NTSANGO" and "#STATES."


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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