A lot has happened since our exclusive interview with Bigstar Johnson three years ago.
He had just been announced as the winner of the first season of The Hustle, and he couldn’t have been more elated back then. It’s his lyrical virtuosity and effortless agility that earned him the title. He was in the same class with Shane Eagle, who also finished in the Top 5 of that season.
Three years later, Bigstar has released his most impressive body of work.
Me And Mines finds BigStar in his own musical odyssey; one in which he is allowed to explore the depths of his artistic instinct with almost no concern for the most commercial of formulas in today’s trap garnished Top 40. Instead, the lyricist journeys into a smoother, jazzier and more luxurious sound. But while Me and Mines is a beautiful delight away from all of that, nothing about the album suggests its maker is protesting the grain.
The album debuted atop the iTunes SA Hip Hop album chart, so there’s really no space for hostility.
We plunge into a good time as soon as Understand Part II kicks in. Perfect to set the mood, the joint beams with live instrumentation, rich productions, poetic emphasis in verse flows, and of course Kaylo’s sun-drenched vocals giving the song a lavish boost.
Bigstar himself is a talented vocalist, mind you. Here he showcases that with more confidence; laying down smooth harmonies on the chorus for lush transition in between his beautiful verses.
“All of the time I should spent on my knees…”, he sings, seeking freedom and looking for love, for the melody.
The 12 track record continues on the mission to sooth and free. The album features collaborations with Rouge on Two Cups, Jay Claude on Calling, Kwesta on Sgubu, Zoocci Coke Dope, Apple Flave and The Dreamers on the album’s title track.
What Bigstar has done on this album is to remain authentic to his own sound while being clever about incorporating 90s Rnb and Hip Hop References. Special Assignment breathes a new life to Aaliyah’s Rock The Boat on a groovy beat that is packed with kwaito nostalgia. On Two Cups, he blends his Donnell Jones’s You Know What’s Up with his own vibe.
There’s an effervescent and breezy vibe to Sgubu with Kwesta, one of the album’s strongest offerings. Here he takes on higher pitches to re-enact some TKZee throwback Mambotjie references while focusing on creating a new sound that blends kwaito, Hip Hop and Jazz in perfect harmony.
Me and Mines offers us a refreshing escape into the future, while keeping us grounded in the past. In it, Bigstar Johnson explores the grandest possibilities of his artistic journey. He takes control and sings freely, focusing on raw vocals and showcasing an impressive, soulful range. The collaborations on the album make sense and feel like no-brainers. He raps like a rapper, then like a poet, then like a kwaito artist. Then perhaps, like nothing we’ve heard at all.
The cohesiveness of the album in its overall search for love and soul in the old, the current and the future adds to its storytelling strengths. I for one love that we are back in the 90s, talking about Jam Alley and standing next to braai stands with the grootmans.
Me and Mines is a beautiful time capsule
The Album Tracklist
1 Understand Part II (featuring Kaylo)
2 Special Assignment
3 Two Cups (featuring Rouge)
5 The Garden Interlude
6 Calling (featuring Jay Claude)
7 Time of My Life (Extended Version)
8 Sgubu (featuring Kwesta)
9 Paradise (featuring Zoocci Coke Dope)
10 Sunday Morning (featuring Apple Flave)
12 Me & Mines (The Dreamers)
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K.O Reveals Third Album Details – Everything We Know
K.O has announced his third solo project.
On Monday, K.O delighted fans when he not only announced his long awaited third solo studio album, but also revealed the album artwork, along with the title.
Slated for release on September 27th, K.O’s third solo project is called PTY UnLTD.
Perfectly synchronised to launch along with the looming summer, the album will premiere during the commercial peak of his latest hit, Say U Will, the simmering collaborative joint that saw him team up with the beautiful Nandi Madida.
The songbird has been celebrating her first ever number one, which also marks KO’s successful revival.
PTY UnLTD will also come just months after the Cashtime catalogue was availed across digital streaming platforms earlier this year. “It’s a piece of history we wanted to preserve”, he told QuenchSA in an exclusive interview, in which he also began laying out the elements which will define his next sonic ecosystem.
The sound will not adhere to the trappings of Skhanda, the Hip Hop and Kwaito fusion he masterfully pioneered and popularised with his previous works. It’s a fresh start for K.O, who sees the successes of his recent releases – which includes Supa Dupa – as keys unlocking his next chapter.
“What I have coming up is gonna be appreciated on a large scale, just based on where I am. I think I found my feet again. I can’t wait for people to hear”, he told QuenchSA.
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Black Coffee and Usher Team Up On ‘Lalala’
Usher’s smooth vocals luxuriate catchy hooks over Black Coffee’s distinct productions in fresh collaborative number.
On Tuesday, Black Coffee and Usher Lalala, a catchy dance number maximising on the creative potential of Coffee’s superior production skills and Usher’s powerful vocals.
The rhythmic joint, which comes nearly a year after the two first wet the musical appetites of their fans with snaps showcasing their budding friendship when Usher touched down in South Africa for his performance at the Global Citizen Festival, finds Usher luxuriating Coffee’s lush and summer calling instrumentals.
Lalala, which marks the globally celebrated DJ’s triumphant return to the charts since the debut of last year’s Drive, also solidifies Black Coffee’s pursuit to enter the American market.
Recently, Black Coffee has executed high powered collaborations with a slew of top international acts, a list which includes Drake, Jorja Smith and Alicia Keys.
Tshego Performs ‘No Lies’ At Pink Panther Album Listening Session
Tshego delivered some smooth vocals on the lush performance of No Ties, the first single from his looming Pink Panther album, which will premiere on Friday, August 30th. The singer took us through a few songs as he invited us into the soundscape of the long await project.