My league is in SA
True to the belief amongst many that everything is big and better in South Africa, many artists have chosen to cross the border into this land of imagined milk and honey. Some have made it, some are still trying and some can no longer fathom coming back home empty handed. To artists, the Mzansi magic seems to be working its way and they are not complaining. The likes of Buffalo Soldier, Shingirai Mau Mau, Leeroy Gopal, Arnold Chirisa have made their mark in South Africa. Others, like Que montana, Sebede, Shame of Shame and Nathan fame, Jonah Moyo among others have managed to live descent lives having after their sojourn to South Africa. I had the privilege of talking to one such artist in the hip-hop circles who despite being virtually unknown back home, seems to be making strides musically after choosing to cross the border. His birth name is Trust Svosve but he goes by the alias Slick THUG. Ironic though that he is no thug as his stage name implies. He is one artist who believes that his competition is in South Africa not back home in Zimbabwe. Following is the Whatsapp conversation I had with him from his base in Johannesburg. WC represents the writer and TS represents the artist.
What is your opinion of Zim Hip-hop as an artiste in that genre as well?
My opinion is that the word Zim Hip-hop gives boundaries to hip-hop in Zimbabwe and that is the reason we aren’t going global. To me hip-hop is just hip-hop. Artists in Zimbabwe also are not being real to their fans. They are not open with the fact that they are into music mainly for the money……..besides they lack originality. How can they rap about gold chains when they wear fake shoes?
Alright, so you are saying your style is based on reality. Gold chains, is it not a genre statement that defines hip-hop as hip-hop?
Reality, Originality and Mentality, by doing that you will moonwalk to the bank. People want something new but original.
So talking of originality I have seen a lot of African artists swearing and using sexually suggestive language in their lyrics, which is a foreign style of hip-hop. How original is that with regards your last statement?
Actually I can’t say that’s good or bad but you know if that puts food on your table cool, you moving with the time.. And that only works for people who have been original from the start and fans will see that as evolution of the industry. Though I hardly swear myself but it’s cool if your fans are cool with it
When you were here (Zimbabwe) what was the musical industry like to you?
I always told myself my competition wasn’t here (Zimbabwe)
Are you saying something about hip-hop in South Africa as compared to hip-hop in Zimbabwe.
Guys in SA they push. Mainly they take it as a business, they invest in it - less talk and more action.
Any other weaknesses you have noticed in Zimbabwe compared to South Africa? That includes getting airplay on radio?
Yeah we have a lot of good artists in Zimbabwe but there is no unity. We have too much beef yet none can handle it, in terms of quality SA music is better. In South Africa, musicians are judged according to their talent as opposed to whom they are connected to which ensures that they produce quality music.
And your musical journey in SA? Please give us a few insights…
I can see blooming flowers ahead. I am doing shows with a lot of big names. Ricky Rick is way too humble and I had a show with him in Johannesburg.
Now onto, a little more about Trust Svosve and what Slick THUG stands for? To some it sounds gangster but I understand according to you it’s an acronym?
Trust Svosve and Slick Thug are two different people. Trust is all good, humble and cool but Slick is arrogant because the industry expects him to be like that. SLICK means just that… SLICK and THUG stands for The Hype of Unlimited Gospel.
Any albums to your name and other artists you have worked with locally, in South Africa or overseas?
Right now I have been working on singles only. I did a track with Rob The Rocksta from the United States of America with the tittle ‘Kick Em To Da Curb’ a love song really. Currently I am working with BwoiLo El´deeper and Kata both Zimbabweans now based in South Africa. I also did a trumba track which to me means a fusion of hip-hop and rumba. It’s called Club Kings featuring Gudo and Poison. The guy who does the Rhumba part on that song used to be a guitarist for a Congolese group in Harare.
There you have it from a hi-hop artist who believes the sky is the limit for him and South Africa has all he needs to a star.