“I am a total romantic”

2007-12-19 16:52
Who is X?
I’m just an ordinary guy who believes in the extraordinary power of hip-hop to communicate powerful messages. I’m an MC, a gender activist, community activist and admirer of the late Steve Biko. I might be a radical MC but I’m really soft-hearted – I love all that’s good about people.

On collaborations (past, present, future, wish list)....
The word collaboration to me sounds strange cause in hip-hop that’s what you do on a daily basis. Hip-hop is about working together, it is about sharing, you always involve other headz to add flavour. In 1998 Zubz made some beats for us, currently the EP features two Grahamstown artists bringing in melody and a ragga flavour, in the future I definitely want to collab with Abantu, an MC from P.E., and musicians from other genres like jazz, reggae and afro-jive.

On profanity and derogatory words in hip hop…
That’s not my style especially as an activist who wants to connect with the people. Especially as a gender activist, I could never use words which disrespect women.

On the Mzansi hip hop scene…
At the moment hip-hop has been accepted by record companies in terms of what sells but not in terms of its culture. So in a way, hip-hop is still underground in South Africa. There’s limited space for us commercially even though there is a wide street following.

On how you handle disagreements with people you work with...
I like to talk through a problem. But people say I’m stubborn.

On love…
Love brings me peace, hope and it makes me human it gives me a reason to live. I am a total romantic.

The stupidest thing you've done...
When I was 19 I recorded a diss track about my ex-girlfriend. So many people in my township made copies and I felt bad because the song was rude about her.

The worst gig you've played...
At a hip-hop event here in Grahamstown in 1998 where the soundman was drunk and kept falling on the mixing desk. The sound went off in the middle of my performance. I was unhappy at the time, but we joked about it after.

Your favourite song on your EP?
On the E.P. – which we’ll be coming out early 2008 under an Independent Eastern Cape urban music label – it’s the single ‘Ubom’ because it’s a personal song dedicated to a friend of mine. And because of Lusanda’s lovely vocals.

If you weren't answering these questions, what would you be doing?
I’d be meeting Lusanda so she can sign SARRAL (South African Recording Rights Association Limited) forms.

If you weren't a musician, what would you be?
I’d be doing me more community related work that I’m doing anyway.

If you weren't human, what animal or object would you be?
I’d be an elephant because they stick together in families.

- Nomfundo H Mbaba+Tshabalala

X is not just a lover, he also umrapper. This conscious cat is rocking the underground eBhayi hip-hop scene with his intelligent lyrics and infectious beats. With an EP scheduled for release in 2008, we talk to him before he really blows up.

Listen to his first single "Ubomi"

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