Posted in South Africa, Student Projects

Tumi Molekane: More than “just” a rapper

Tumi Molekane, was born on August 16th, 1981 in Tanzania, however, at the age of 11 Molekane, moved to South Africa. Molekane first appeared in the music scene with the hip hop ensemble ” Tumi and the volume”, a band that disbanded after 10 years together(in 2012). Soon after Molekane broke away from the group, he started his own solo career which allowed him to create his own recording label, Motif Records.

After going solo, Molekane, in 2006 performed alongside numerous accomplished artist, such as Roots and Blackalicious. Then in 2007, Molekane released his first solo album which included songs such as family plan, let it burn, still not free, and whole words. Molekane, in many, if not most of his songs, portrays a message of consciousness; which helps to set Molekane apart from many other hip hop artist. Unlike many hip hop artist today, who solely focus on their music, Molekane is also established as a socially conscious poet.

I knew the video would offend people – Tumi Molekane

Molekane does a great job of “pushing the envelope” when it comes to his music whether that be musically or poetically. For instance, in recent media, Molekane has received extreme ridicule for his music video to his newest single “In Defense of my Art” where he has ladies crawling on the floor while being chained. Although it made many of his fanes question what kind of artist he truly is, Molekane continues to stand true to himself. Molekane argues that the video represents “battles his people and family have gone through and are still going through today”, while acknowledging the fact that this portrayal would cause some viewers to feel offended.

Although Molekane may be a controversial artist and poet, no one can argue wether or not  Molekane is talented. Molekane does a great job of providing socially conscious lyrics to audience without loosing sight of South African rhythm.

  1. http://soundcheck.wnyc.org/story/tumi-molekane-in-studio/
  2. http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-24-rapper-tumi-molekane-i-knew-the-video-would-offend-people
  3. http://www.citypages.com/music/the-top-15-african-hip-hop-tracks-6649213

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