Ifani: music review

Ifani is nt your average rapper, which brings something completly new to the Soth African hip hip industry. His album, I Believe in Me will quite literally crack you up and add some truth to the stereotype that Xhosa guys are the funniest. An album with a few English words scattered here and there it obviously alienates groups that don’t understand the Xhosa language but in a genre that uses American hip-hop as a foundation. His choice to make his album exclusively vernacular makes it original, adding a local flavor to a genre starving of it. He moves from being a lightning-speed human rhyming Xhosa dictionary to a chill calmed flow that rides on the beat. He switches up his rhyme pattern, changing his vocal style again and again. The register in his voice when he rhymes lets you know that he is being humourous even if you don’t what he’s saying and the lush sweeping beats add to his voice instead of taking away from it. Really, the production on iFani’s album is nothing less than amazing. The beats are fresh, warm and expansive and just make you want to blast the whole album from your speakers. It’s strange that iFani has had to fight for acceptance in the hip-hop fraternity and still today faces side-eyes and scorn. It seems as if, if you don’t wear snapbacks and kicks and rap braggadocio-style you are labeled as “not hip-hop” but it’s his non-conformity that makes him so awesome and so very hip-hop.

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