(photo credit: © Hlompho Letsiel via Mahala)
Sounds Like: Busta Rhymes went on a pilgrimage in the Maloti mountains
and came back a Sesotho poet.
The low-down: The self-described pioneer of ts’epe (steel or iron)- a sub-genre of hip hop unique to Lesotho – has meticulously refined his craft to develop a distinct flow that sets him apart from many of his peers. He entered the music industry in 1998 and is perhaps one of Lesotho’s most enterprising MC’s having collaborated with Tumi Molekane from Tumi and The Volume and signed an endorsement deal with a local telecommunications operator. He also leads a cultural collective of equally talented and astute artists called Lithua-majoe (stone-breakers).
The verdict: Kommanda Obbs is
easily one of the most talented and hard-working musicians working in Lesotho today. He nimbly fuses witty Sesotho lyricism with vivid story-telling and hard-hitting beats. Like here:
The narratives in his songs are complemented by spectacular video imagery that is produced with the help of up and coming Lesotho film-makers.
The take-away: His first official release called Ts’epe is a 14-track gem that available in stores around Lesotho. On that album he has this moving love ballad, Taemane, which was beautifully shot in Mozambique.
To keep up with news from Kommanda Obbs and the Lithua-majoe collective, get up on their blog: http://tsepe.wordpress.com/