Ben Sharpa was born in 1979 in the slum of Soweto, South Africa. From young childhood Ben Sharpa experienced the brutal reality of the Apartheid regime as well as the struggle against it. As a child his father moved the family to live in Chicago, Illinois where he grow up acutely aware of the suffering going on in his homeland. This lead him to hip hop music which was being used to give a voice to the oppressed. In 1993 Ben Sharpa moved back to South Africa and immediately started forming underground crews like GroundWorks and Audio Visual. Ben Sharpa’s music adresses themes like social consciousness, politics, conspiracy theories, and the struggle to survive. In 2007 Ben Sharpa fell into a diabetic coma, and when he awoke after having little chance of recovery Ben said, “I have seen the other side of the Matrix.” This near death experience gave him renewed energy to continue with his hip hop music.