Langa a township synonymous with so much. Buzzing with culture and back in the day political activity. The home of the Pan Africanist movement in the Western Cape, the home of Cape Town and arguably South Africa’s biggest Pop diva sis Brenda Fassie. And more recently the home of Cape Town Hip Hop. ZuzaNation took some time to sit down with Langa’s more recent star Hype Liyakuza.
Hype real name Monde Nicholas Komsana was named by his mother. His name when directly translated means Patience, “It also means ‘world’ in French, ‘Le Monde’ in Italian”. I guess his mother is a wise woman as this brother is going to the top and with ‘patience’ he will conquer the world.
“Hype yena (sic) comes from the word Hyperion which means God of the Sun” this man truly and rightfully believes he is destined for greatness; you don’t have to listen to his raps to get that. “So I was Hyperion the Don, but Showbiz influenced the change to Hype Liyakuza (I always listen to that man)”. Showbiz is the manager and part owner of West Wing Academy the home of Hype and other artists. “The change was to appeal more to the kasi steeze (sic)”
We spoke of the state of the music industry in Cape Town. “Artist are afraid of competition and not the battling or beefing kinda competition, but the kind where people are willing to come together and collaborate”. Hype has collaborated with a few artists from the West Wing family, this shows that there is no competition amongst them but more of a sense of brotherhood that is missing in today’s hip-hop. “They afraid of being shown up/ up staged on a on a track or event”. Hype emphasised the need for this fear to end,
“The sooner we understand that, no matter how great you considered yourself to be, There will always be someone greater than you, ukum wen’yaYaku? (You get me brother?)” Hip Hop is all about competition, Hype emphasizes that a lot of rappers need to understand and feel comfortable with competition.
“So ezi(sic) Mickey are scared to embrace that someone out there is betta. It was Thomas Hobbes if not John Locke who said, a man put their own power and wit above that of the next person… Because artists’ fear competition, they will play dirty to be on top. Hiko loko wena yaku uthol’ ukuthi ez Mickey zigqobhela ama Yaku/inja zempilo iminyango.( that’s why you see that these Mickeys are playing dirty and closing the doors for others)”.
This is what led us to why we were chilling at the Broken Chain Productions (BCP) studios in the backyards of Kwa Langa. ZuZaNation had the pleasure spending the day with Hype Liyakuza while he was recording his new single, “Never give up”. One could see that the fear of competition was not a part of Hypes’ repertoire. Not only did he collaborate with Vusi Kamba (vocalist signed to West Wing Academy and Ta DOC (BCP producer) Hype also invited a full media crew for a chill session.
Monde Komsana, better known as Hype Yonk’nto ithru, Phola lapho Liyakuza describes himself as a rapper/poet/artist and member of West Wing Academy. Get to know a small part of him and you’ll understand him as forward thinking, extremely confident and educated star. Yet, despite this, he has the ability to relate with the ‘izinjazempilo (street hustler’s) to your cheese boys on Long Street, yanthola lapho (you get me)”.
Hype clearly has a style and look to him, a look you could associate with the golden age of hiphop mixed with Kwa Langa’s injazempilo. When asked what he based his style, he responded, without hesitation, NAS!
“Nas Charlie yintangaka Yesu( Is something close to Jesus). Nas is the greatest lyricist & storyteller alive. Of all time in fact! He paints a picture in your mind while his words touch your heart. To be the best emulate the best.”
With only one figure to base his style on, Hype has created the rest of his persona through his upbringing kwa Langa and his relationship with the rest of the West Wing Academy. Hype and all of the West Wing crew consider themselves as trend setters in the mother city, not only for their dedication and rhyme style, but also due to their general way of life. An outsider would be lost in the conversation between them, even if you spoke all the official languages of this land, but somehow they still manage to get most to jam to their song at events.
Their general way of life is partly based on the sophisticated, patriotic, ruthless, but always gentlemanly Mafia. Thats why the word “DON” always pops up in their introduction. Thinking about it, the word “Mafia” is a great way of describing West Wing.
‘The Sicilian adjective mafiusu (in Italian: mafioso), roughly translated, means “swagger,” but can also be translated as “boldness, bravado”.’
There is certain ‘bravado’ to Hype. Before even sitting down with him to chat, he already knew the direction he wanted the conversation to go. He had answers to every question ask and had no stress being quoted saying shit that might stir up some haters.
And if he were to go too far with his ‘bravado’, he has good friends around him to guide and help him. Hype pays a lot of respect to West Wing and in particular Amilca Mezarati. He coins their relationship to that of Jay & Dane/ Al Pacino & De Niro, were they are alway lifting each other to do better, whether in the booth or on stage.
In fact, Hype has only been on stage four times this year and most times, it’s been Mezarati who has put him on to perform their banger, #Ungasabi. Which, if you don’t know by now, has reach more than 1000 download and got Hype 1st place at this year’s 10th edition of ikasi Experience talent search. Surprisingly, it is the lack of stage time, hype admits, is his weakness.
Notes to ‘Never Give Up”
The ‘family’ like attitude of West Wing goes so far that when hype describes ‘Showbizness’ Bruce, he places him as the type of guy that, if the minute Showbizness would win a million bucks, he will call all his boys and let them know about it. They certainly a family and is part of the reason they live the ‘Don’ life style.The other reason they admire the Don’s, he describes;
“Amataliani (Italians). Look around you, whateva (sic) you see, Italians had a part to play. Most powerful & influential people, especially Dons. The 5 Families, Especially way’ze (sic) entertainment, ukum wena Yaku (you get me). Fashion, prostitution, racketeering, money laundering, gambling, hotels & all. Who showed alla (sic) that, aren’t they still around? All em (sic) went from rags to riches to everlasting names. I just love how they conducted themselves, communicated! Nda cosha ukncane pha kubo, ndazbamba zaqina. Ukum skhala seskhala?” (I took what little influence I could from them and created myself)
Hype grew up kwa Langa, making his name there. It was eZone where he moved from [his] knees to [his] feet…”That’s where the slang game was born”. He now feels he has done all he can, collaborated with all he can and inspired all those willing to listen and now its time for him to reach the greater Cape Town and South Africa. With tracks like #Ungasabi featt Mezarati, the poetic ballad ‘My Father’ featuring Nasipi & Fiks and his new track dropping 31st July, featuring Vusi Kamba, we have already gotten a teaser of Hypes’ lyrical strength and he’s no were near giving up, hence ‘Never Give Up’ the name of the single
“Hype grew up kwa Langa, making his name there..”
It’s been a long road since Hypes’ mother would shout at him, saying “kudala wayiyenza lento” (you’ve been doing this for too long) for writing rhymes instead of going to the shop yotheng’ isonka (to buy bread). But surely his made her proud after realising the track feat Mezarati, #Our Love Song dedicated to all the mothers and also giving half the prize money from the iKasi Experience competition to her.
We saw you at Ikasi Experience taking some pictures in a Score branded BMW, what’s the deal with that? (Laughs)
“Cava iScore wena chali (watch the Score son (sic)”), big things to come my G, it’s all up to iMighty (the Lord). Ok so obviously there is something brewing between Hype and the energy drink giant Score but obviously he did not want to get into detail about it
A day with Hype is too long (but in a good way). Listening to him and trying to make notes for an interview is more of a deciphering session more than an interview. This brother is a handful and more and is destined to take the Mother City by storm. He is an educated rapper with a qualification. A young Xhosa man who respects and honours the code of the streets that raise him and always pays homage to his township Langa more popularly known as “Skomline” Watch this space, the storm is brewing Cape Town. Get ready for the Hype…