According to SAHistory.org.za,”the homelands were established for the permanent removal of the Black population in White South Africa.” Fast forward 20+ years, and not much has changed. When you look at our history and you put it into its context, the Eastern Cape has come to be viewed as one of South Africa’s poorest provinces incorporating large areas of South Africa’s former homelands. Comprehending the history allows one to understand that the system wasn’t built for EC to succeed. But in any case, Welcome to Transkei.
It’s humbling to see ourselves come to the realization that we actually have what it takes to make an impact nationally as well as globally. Speaking of undeniable talent, EC has always had that in droves and that is the back drop of Transkei Stay Fly. In the eBook that comes with the tape, Mkenemy wrote “I tried to paint a picture of how it is being an artist in the Eastern Cape, a place infested with amazing talent, a place where legends are born, a place that has become the capital of uMakhelo and sadly it seems like it was designed to slow down an artist’s progress”, he also went on to say “the main objective was to draw [the audience] towards my story so that [they] understand [that] in the future, the music changes and also [to get a view] of how the decision of leaving the Eastern Cape came”.
What is unfortunate, is that this is the reality for all artists in EC – artists who actually take their craft seriously and don’t rap by virtue of the scene being hot right now. To break through, artists have to try different mechanisms of representation. Subsequently, they often find themselves conflicted by the fact of having to conform into particular sounds, in order to sell their music – to appease an audience that is more willing to pay.
Unfortunate again, is the fact that even in 2017, an artist still has to leave EC in order to have a better chance of reaching their audience – this is simply backward. Mkenemy chooses to identify with this place, this is the life & times of a Transkei son.
This is Mkenemy’s second project. In it, you can witness the growth from just looking at his packaging alone. He has put in better effort, stressed the small things, even hand wrote the text on the cover, all in the effort to personalize this project.
It’s the small things that matter.
The offering was definitely worth the wait. There are huge songs like This Music Thing (classick joint). The tape also boasts dope AF tracks like ButterKing State of Mind, with real messages that we can all relate to as well as experimental joints to switch up the tempo or to lighten the mood.
Producers credited on this project include D.A. Labs Music (also worked on Just Aya’s BBM2), Yang-M Heartbeats, Emage Gaz’Lerhumusha, Beatmobb, A-Plus, Last Samorai and GamaBeats. Last year, 2 years after Mkenemy dropped his first project, he sent us his tape and asked for our opinion on it. One of the things we said was that he has to drop the internet beats, unless his doing covers.
It was also a rhyme fest where he was going off on every track which is dope if you want to be a rapper, but not really ideal when you are trying to convert the masses into believers. On this project Mkenemy is more relaxed and he is just presenting his truth. We can’t help thinking that on some tracks, Mkenemy is so much better than the canvas his painting on. When you are a rapper, picking beats may not be easy because your focus is on killing the track. Striking that balance is really difficult because it’s impossible to please everyone and it’s so subjective.
Features include Slogan, Just Aya, Scelo Gowane, JC The Emcee, Mshuks127th and his son on the last track. Mkenemy did well here, working with people who were able to add value to this project. Now this is just us and our greed for MORE of everything dope. We need more Mkenemy x Scelo Gowane collaborations. It doesn’t have to be another “This Music Thing”, it can be anything. It just needs to happen. This is us putting it out into the universe.
Overall Transkei Stay Fly was worth the wait. We enjoyed the project and witnessing the growth. This is only the beginning of a great story!
Check out the tape in the line below and let us know what you think.
Transkei Stay Fly