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REVIEW: Nasty C’s ‘Zulu Man with Some Power’ sees rapper’s star continue to rise

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By Okla Joneson

The Lowdown: 2020 has been a busy year for South African rapper, producer, and songwriter Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, better known as Nasty C.

After signing a joint venture deal with Def Jam Records in March, Ngcobo released the visual EP Lost Files as well as a collaborative mixtape with DJ Whoo Kid entitled Zulu.

Nasty C has been extremely popular on the African music scene for some time and now finds his star rising during these recent months in the United States.

With his third studio album, Nasty C hopes to elevate his status abroad as a lyricist and record producer and expand his global fan base.

On Zulu Man with Some Power, he elaborates on his growth as a man and all the experiences that have come with his newly acquired celebrity.

The Good: Zulu Man with Some Power is a testament to Nasty C’s versatility as an artist.

Showcasing his ability as a record producer, a rapper, and even a singer (on tracks such as Black and White and Deep Pockets), he’s able to explore several different avenues of expression on this project.

Last week, Ngcobo spoke to GQ Africa about his excitement about the release of his new album.

“Being able to be so free as a creative and really experiment; and just going into the studio with a blank mind, black page and coming out with a project that I’m proud of is really important to me.”

And he has plenty to be proud of here.

The production quality on this album is second to none.

Steve Biko, How Many Times and lead single There They Go are all catchy, bass-heavy cuts catering to the sound and feel of today’s popular streaming services.

The record features several worthwhile features, including Ari Lennox, Rowlene, Lil’ Gotit, and Lil’ Keed and highlights Nasty C’s ability as a rapper throughout.

The production on Eazy and Bookoo Bucks allows Nasty C to experiment with different rhyme schemes and clever metaphors — with bars such as “I can’t be caught with no low stakes/ When my name in their mouth like it’s Colgate.”

Conceptually, Nasty C finds himself going into interesting territory on Zulu Man with Some Power.

On Ababulali, he pays tribute to his father and acknowledges how much of a task it was raising him.

With lyrics such as “When I was younger, my screws and wires were tangled/ When I was difficult and hard to understand, you/ Never gave up, you played your role and so I thank you,” Nasty C paints the picture of how deep the emotion runs for the parent who shares his same name.

On the album’s final track, They Don’t, which features T.I., both artists touch upon the perception of people of colour, as well as an ode to all the lives lost in recent years that paved the way for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Bad: Although this album demonstrates Nasty C’s many talents as a creator, it can get redundant at times.

On songs like How Many Times, Steve Biko, All In and Palm Trees, Nasty C tends to revert back to the same concept of becoming successful with minimal support.

The redundant usage of this topic can grow tiresome, and it also makes the lengthy project’s 20-song tracklist seem longer than it already is.

On the album’s title track, Zulu Man, Nasty C pays homage to his heritage by rapping an entire verse in isiZulu.

Audibly, the song is pretty solid, but his lyrics do not have the same impact with listeners outside of South Africa.

The effort is admirable, but what is lacking in this instance is the execution — especially if trying to reach audiences across the globe.

The Verdict: Nasty C’s Zulu Man with Some Power is a good listen for anyone searching for music that is perfect to ride or dance to.

Although not always substance-heavy, this album still contains some beautiful songs about love and equality, along with some introspective tracks that are noteworthy.

Since 2016, the music industry has seen Nasty C’s evolution from a talented South African musician to a global personality.

As his star continues to rise, one should hope that Nasty C does not become stagnant in his creativity due to his success.

Essential Tracks: Overpriced Steak, Feeling and They Don’t. – Consequence of Sound

Music & Film

Nalzeey aims to heal people through her new single

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Staff Reporter

Free State rapper Nalzeey has released her latest hip-hop single called Khayalam.

In the song, Nalzeey, whose real name is Naledi Keke Antoinette Mofokeng, is pouring out her heart and soul talking about losing her loved ones.

“I lost my grandfather in 2016, my uncle in 2017, my other uncle in 2018 and my grandma the same year in December,” says Nalzeey in a statement released by her publicist.

“I didn’t get a chance to heal because everything happened so fast in a short period.

“It was a tough situation for me because I had to be strong for my mother and, honestly, I was scared she might be next because I didn’t understand what was happening.”

According to Nalzeey, she went through depression but quickly managed to rise and fix herself.

“This song is dedicated to everyone who lost their loved ones. I hope it helps people who have been through tough times to heal,” said Nalzeey.

Over the past five years, the Botshabelo musician has released various singles including Mamasita and Amandla which have earned her a loyal fan base.

The latest song is available on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and other digital platforms.

Nalzeey is also a graduate facilitator at the University of the Free State Business School, an entrepreneur and a digital marketer.

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Music & Film

Actor, filmmaker Shona Ferguson succumbs to COVID-19

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South African actor and film producer Shona Ferguson has died.

He was 47.

Conrad Mwanza, a representative from the Ferguson Foundation, confirmed Ferguson died on Friday at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg due to COVID-19-related complications and not a heart operation as earlier reported.

“Yes, Mr Ferguson passed away at noon today. And all the family is asking for at the moment is just to mourn in private. But it’s very difficult, you can imagine, for Connie and the family,” Mwanza said.

Ferguson was married to actress and producer Connie Ferguson.

Born Aaron Arthur Ferguson on 30 April 1974, he started his acting career as Ace in the TV series Generations.

In April 2006, he started acting in Muvhango as Dr Leabu.

In March 2007, he left the Venda soap opera and starred as Itumeleng in The Wild from 2011 to 2013.

He started the production company Ferguson Films with his wife Connie in 2010, with both of them starring in the company’s first TV production, Rockville.

His other TV appearances include The Queen, Isidingo: The Need and Scandal.

In 2020, Ferguson made his Netflix debut, partnering with the streaming service on the six-part series Kings of Joburg. – Staff Reporter/Wires

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Music & Film

Free State mourns Tsepo Tshola

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Staff Reporter

The Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation has described the late jazz maestro Tsepo Tshola as a genius who touched the lives of many with his music.

Popularly known as the Village Pope, Tshola, 67, is one of the big names that graced the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE) since inception and drew large crowds.

“Ntate Tsepo Tshola will be remembered as a musical genius whose music communicated the lived realities of the society in which we exist,” said MEC Limakatso Mahasa.

“. . . he indeed became a voice for the voiceless and marginalised among our populace hence he vociferously called out social ills through his music and rallied those in the high echelons of power to action,” she said in a statement.

Mahasa said her department attributes the success of MACUFE to artists of Thsola’s calibre as he played a pivotal role in the history of the annual festival spanning over two decades.

“MACUFE is now a global concert and funfair because he was among those who believed in the strength and capabilities of local artists to attract international audiences,” she said.

“He was a musical giant whose music shaped the cultural identity of Africans on the continent and across the diaspora.

“He . . . leaves behind a rich discography that we all treasure as part of his legacy.

“Personally, I had the rare honour of spending time with Ntate Tsepo Tshola from 2003-2005.

“He was indeed a father, leader and musical genius. May his soul rest in peace.”

The Lesotho-born musician was admitted at a Lesotho hospital after contracting COVID-19 and succumbed to the disease on Thursday morning.

He was a former member of popular group Sankomota.

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