He’s one of South Africa’s most noted authentic creatives, rappers and street style icons.
And after a long wait between some pretty interesting jams like 100 Macasette, fans between Braamfontein, townships and the rest of the continent finally have a full body of work to enjoy from OkMalumkoolkat.
Mlazi Milano is a 17 track album containing OkMalumkoolkat’s fresh – while – retro repertoire of works. But while we can confirm that he will not be pleased with the assumption that he is proving a point with Mlazi Milano, we will proceed to say that he automatically proves he is a lyricist.
The album opens with the spirited rhythmic Bayavuma intro. In less than 3 minutes, the song sets a mood that will only be contrasted, elevated and completed into a full story in the rest of the album. On the song, the style savvy rapper is humming traditional African chants against the backdrop of organic African drums.
This cultural feel hits a contrast on the next track, the album title track Mlazi Milano.
The mid tempo banger opens with sounds of an airplane taking off, before he smashes in with verses loaded with messages of his journey from Mlazi, Durban, to taking on the world. It’s also the first lyrical song in the album, so we get to delve into the original township jargon he has initiated himself. This way of play on language will be a strong feature throughout the record.
The 33 year old wordsmith moves on to claim what he’s been most celebrated in the past or so three years in the skit Spina Gusheshe. Listeners are treated to sounds of a township revving of a car, people cheering and other cars hooting. This practice is popular in township, as is a Gusheshe – a pre ’93 BMW 325 car that has come to represent ghetto nostalgia.
The journey then takes us to where the album would inevitably go – kwaito.
Feel free to send us your thoughts on track #4 – Ntwana Yam, as we want to bet this will be one of the biggest bangers in 2017. At this point of the album, Simiso Zwana starts flexing his lyrical abilities while proving his versatility. Ntwana Yam is a mid – tempo throwback feeling with a modern day twist and has already been presented as possibly the first official single.
The song is also the closest thing to what might define as Okmalumkoolkat’s trademark sound since 100 MaCasette.
The album’s multi faceted sound takes a different turn on Mathanazane Wami. It’s no surprise that he has enlisted the digital maskandi skills of Mashayabhuqe, they come a long way since their affiliations with original street crew Boyz N Bucks. Needless to say, the song is cool fusion of kwaito, Hip Hop and thanks to ‘Mr. South Africa’ – Maskandi.
The progression from that to the next song – Amalobola is where fans will start to get the coherent story in the album. It really is just a fresh celebration of kwaito, Hip Hop with traditional elements, African harmonies and plenty of street credibility. Amalobola has enough swag, bars and 808s housing pleasant scathamiya vocals.
There’s something for classic rap lovers on Tongue Foo featuring uSanele, Bra Sol and Boyzdem, Galileo, Ekse Aweh and Uk’thula. Of course we are still on vernacular rap with OkMalumKoolKat’s original street lingo, but the beat, flow and bars are pure Hip Hop.
MLAZI MILANO ALBUM TRACKLIST
- Bayavuma (intro)
- Mlazi Milano
- Spina Gusheshe
- Ntwana Yam
- Mthanazane Wami
- Tongue Foo
- Ekse Aweh
- Sele Sele
- La Liga
- Mega Milano
- Ngiyashisa Bhe
- Spoek Mathambo
- Bhuti Ontsundu
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