Who plugs the plug?

When The Bl was created it was created with the idea of one day being the platform that ignites an EC industry. In short, we had ambitions of being the plug. In EC, there is a lot of ground to cover, reaching all corners is a mission, so who plugs the plug? This is the story on how The Bl stumble on “EyaseNkeva” a project by Hlumile Mangoloti.

When it comes to how artist catch our attention, every case is different. Our preferred way is via music submission however on this occasion, it was a link dropped in The Bl whatsapp group. Crazy A, an artist that we have work with, sent one of The Bl contributors a link with a note suggesting that we are sleeping on EC. The Plug sleeping on the job?

In a situation like this, if the link is not a Bl link, then naturally we are resistant on clicking on it but hey we trusted the source this time, so we clicked on the link.

The first track off the EP is titled uXolo and from the EP’s name and tracklist alone we could tell that this would be an EC experience like no other. uXolo is a song apologising for past actions that happened in a past relationship, Hlumile takes all responsibity in what happened but makes it clear that he is trying to move on. This is a strange place to start the conversation with the listener but also its way to early to be passing judgement. We can appreciate Hlumile’s decision to start the tape of with a song that may be personal and close to him. More importantly we learn that he is more interested in telling stories with a melodic delivery which shows off his singing ability.

Amaphupho is the second song off the project. The song is about ambition – the tempo is faster which is fitting. Hlumile lets us know that he’s out here hustling and he has very specific goals.

By the time the third track hits you realize that we are really doing this – we are turning up! Bazokholwa is the type of joint that has you asking “Who’s this?”. At this point we felt it necessary to read his bio in hopes of learning more about him. “Born in Eastern Cape, real name Hlumile Mangoloti most know him as Flashikumkani. A hiphop artist known for his unique vocals, concepts also rapping in vernacular (Xhosa) and a bit of English”. Not to compare artists but when Bazokholwa hit the feeling was almost reminiscent of the time we heard PeeJay’s I Rep 5606 for the first time. That was a special moment. Interestingly they are both from the same area KWT.

Let’s talk about Hlomile’s delivery. He describes himself as a vernacular rapper who mixes it with a bit of English. This is the inverse of the norm. When Hlumile raps in Xhosa, he does it in a way that is more street, using slang that you can relate to – however, he is in no way trying to take you deep into the Eastern Cape. You can imagine he raps the ways he speaks and on his songs he has chosen to tell his stories in that fashion which is fresh.

On Vuka and Nd’godola Hlumile, he highlights his strengths. Storytelling, melodies and basically bringing the vide. Nd’godola is my favourite joint on the project, this is like credits rolling lights turn on and everyone leaving the cinema but you still hanging around hoping for more.

Hard luck, Hlumile kept this EP very short and compact. Definitely worth the listen, we are glad we stumbled on this project. S/o to the producers, we don’t know much about them but they did a good job creating the canvas Hlumile paints on.

Have you had the chance to listen to EyaseNkeva? What did yall think? You are a very important part of the conversation after all… You are the Plug for the Plug!