Many have tried to solve this ‘X’ equation and many have failed – dismally. The South African hip hop sub-genre that is the Skhanda movement has swept the hip hop industry by storm since 2014, leaving only dust and rubble in its wake. The collective responsible for the heat on the airwaves is none other than the CashTime Life Family. We spoke at length with one half of the sextet, Kid X real name Bonginkosi Mahlangu, about the milestone of being nominated for the Best Hip Hop Album award with a mixtape at the recent SAMA 22 awards. We also pressed the rapper about details regarding his new project due later this year, see what he had to say.
QuenchSA: What inspired your stage name Kid X?
Kid X: It is a name I got from high school…because my name was long but it wasn’t always Kid X…I grew up and it ended up being just Kid X.
QuenchSA: At what age did you realize that music was what you wanted to do for a living?
Kid X: I think in 2011 I realized that this could be something I could do as a full time gig because the very same year I wasn’t able to register to go back to school, for me I guess that’s when reality kind of hit.
QuenchSA: How promising was your football career?
Kid X: It hadn’t went too far because I relocated a number of times but at the stage were my soccer career was about to kick off that’s when I moved to the Free State. Unfortunately there was no soccer where I stayed so that kind of hampered the time I had to horn my craft. But I was a crazy soccer player.
QuenchSA: You were nominated at the recent SAMA 22 in the Best Hip Hop album category with a mixtape. Despite not winning, that must have been a huge vote of confidence?
Kid X: Definitely! It was very encouraging. I don’t think there’s been a mixtape nominated in that category before. For that feet alone I was super humbled. It opened up my mind to the fact that anything is possible.
QuenchSA: You intend on releasing an album later this year. Will it include any tracks from the mixtape?
Kid X: No. The album has it’s own vibe and it’s own story. All the tracks will be fresh.
QuenchSA: Will there be distinct differences between the mixtape and the album?
Kid X: Yes! The vibe is totally different. In hip hop a mixtape is meant to cater to the underground, the conscious vibe of the hip hop fraternity and fan base. With an album its different, it is meant to cater for the mainstream sound.
QuenchSA: You and the entire collective that is CashTime Life Family have made your opinions known before about the transparency and legitimacy of certain award shows. For you personally, how do you measure the success of your output if awards aren’t considered?
Kid X: The most important thing when I was releasing was to create a solid foundation for my fan base. I didn’t just want to come out with an album especially since they knew me mainly for the features I got. I only put out like one or two singles and the most prominent songs were the features so I sort of wanted to showcase what Kid X was about in a full body of work. I had promised them an album in 2015 and that wasn’t ready at the time. For me it has to come from the people who listen to the music, the numbers don’t lie in terms of how people responded to Kid X. And if you get nomination at award shows, it sort of validates your product.
QuenchSA: You were against taking sides in the alleged beef that has described the South African hip hop climate. Why is that when it has proven profitable for some artists?
Kid X: I felt the beef had nothing to do with me. That’s pretty much it!
QuenchSA: Did you feature members from the CashTime Life Family on the album?
Kid X: At the moment I haven’t worked with anyone in the camp simply because everyone is really working on their own projects. I feel like we’ve all done something with each other and with all the energy in the game I feel like it doesn’t make sense to collaborate with the same people over and over again.
QuenchSA: What can your fans expect from you in the immediate future?
Kid X: They can expect a video from my latest single called Ipati, they can expect the long awaited drop of my debut album called Thank The Kids, more visuals and more music. Also launching a website pretty soon.
Photo Cred: Images Supplied