IsiXhosa Never Been Cooler by BhutLegend: Album Review

Bonga Tafane aka BhutLegend recently dropped his long awaited debut album IsiXhosa Never been cooler on the 3rd of May 2022 with the album being well received by his fans and the public, creating a buzz for the artist and making a statement for the artist in putting his home town on the map. IsiXhosa Never been cooler is BhutLegend’s coming of age story as he raps about his Journey from Mthatha to the city of Johannesburg, his trials and tribulation and him meeting influential artists along the way. BhutLegend in creating this album wanted to create a project true to him and his roots. BhutLegend featured some of Eastern Cape’s juggernauts from the likes of Dibi, Nick Pagemat and so on. Legend also secured features from the likes of Flash iKumkani, Soul T Idyan, Bravo Le Roux and the album was executively produced by Isaac Wilson.

Legend opens his album with a freestyle influenced intro where he is calling out all his haters, people who doubted him and also touches on the struggles he had with the city life in Johannesburg. The phrase “ngale tape ndithi makwedini ngasi compare.rishi sobanini” (with this project I’m making a statement, don’t compare yourself/selves to me). He also hints at the prospect of what he might accomplish with cocky lyrics and this opening is an open challenge to the game.
He then soon after follows with a song titled Kule Ndawo, the song starts with a skit were the crowd chants “BhutLegend” on this song; he talks about the hardships he had to face in his village before being the person he is today and Sgqibo Gwadiso said “for me the song speaks volumes as I am from the same area as BhutLegend and I relate to this, as people from Viedgesville are not expected to make it out.”
BhutLegend continues his story about his hardships in a song titled Ntlupheko. Legend pays condolences to his fallen friends and family members. On the second part of the song, Bhutlegend dedicates a message to his niece, with instrumental switching from hard trap to mellow vibes. The same goes for the song titled Ntlungu but on this song he puts more emphasis on the pain aspect of his musical journey.
Songs like Uqueen, Big Ncuthu, Iparty, KwaNtleyks, Akasandichazi featuring Kenny the Pimp, Niyafana featuring Gaffi and Kae.da are songs about boasting and vibes though Kea.da’s flow on Niyafana is too good with his flow different from the whole album cementing his sound in a Xhosa influenced album.
Hosh Nonke is about blowing up and making it, then the flow Soul T Idyan comes in with is an infectious flow and praises how Legend caught the attention of Xhosa artists and nation. This song is one of the most beloved songs on the album.
Ubumnyama is a typical coming of age story where rappers or Legend in this case asking for light and guidance on their Journey. This message is also conveyed on the so Ukukhanya featuring Flash iKumkani.
For my city is one of the few emotional songs on the album with NICK PAGEMAT and DIBI being the standout performers on the song. Nick’s melodies and somber tone like vocals on the hook grabs and holds you to pay attention to the hard hitting verses that were performed. Dibi closes the song with what has to be the best verse of the whole from my view. “If you don’t see me in the scene that don’t mean I’m not acting”, is one of Dibi’s lines and that pun alone stood out, showing not everyone needs to see what you are doing on your way to success.

Ngo Sasohlukana is Legend basically talking about a girl that loved him, through everything choosing him over all materialistic temptations out there.
In the song Umculo BhutLegend speaks about how he has been suicidal but if weren’t for music he would not be here, also if it weren’t for the music the lifestyle or path chosen for his life would have been bad. So it’s a nod to the music for keeping him sane.
Grootman is the lead single to the album Isixhosa Never been cooler which was released late last year. This song has a kwaito type of sound to it and on this song Legend is shouting out all the influential people with the big brother status and also stating that all his life he also what that status and now he has it. The song features Bravo Le Roux who is also on that I want to be a grootman wave.
From the heart is were Legend talks about the people he loves from his mother to one of his friends K-Rock whom he refers to as his brother and tells them everything is alright. Nick pagemat is also featured on this song and he brings a soulful element to the hook to close off the song.
On the outro Legend makes his final statement on the on the subject matter of his album, the doubt and disbelief people had in him. Bravo Le Roux raps about he’s fears and his hardships, he raps about his come up and shares his emotions over a mellow beat and closes off the song and the album.

In conclusion the subject matter of the album is all about Legend blowing up and making it which is not a bad subject matter but it could have been executed in a better manner. Almost every song had similar lyrics with a lot of repetition though the beat selection and features were phenomenal and exceptional, IsiXhosa Never Been Cooler leaves a sense of wanting more. BhutLegend’s previous project like Mzangwa hit the nail to the coffin as each song made you want to listen even more. I rate this album 6/10.