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SPEX – Nothing For Mahala – In Stores 26/09/2003

20 September 2003 No Comment

Spex was born Vongani Rikhotso in the dusty township of Diepkloof, Soweto. He picked up his love for hip-hop while in late- primary school where, to his peers’ bewilderment, he would say the raps he had memorised. This was 1988, in a township school nogal.

He wrote his first rhyme in standard six (grade 8) where he met another hip-hop lover and formed his first group, badd nuz akademy. They would rhyme everywhere they got a chance (in class, at competitions, etc.) until they eventually broke up due to creative differences.

Spex, then known as tung trx, got his first break in 1997 when Metamo’forces, a group he had formed with an emcee named Lord Zesta, were asked to record a track for The Muthaload Hip Hop compilation (Tusk). The result was a track titled the “The Virgin” which created an underground buzz but failed to get commercial attention for the group. Un/fortunately Tung Trx and Lord Zesta went their separate ways at the end of 1998 and Spex’s journey as a solo artist began. (The duo come together with r-one to do a track called ”Ndo Vha Vhudza” on NOTHING FOR MAHALA).

This Diepkloof native started to make a name for himself when, in 1999, he independently released an 8-track EP titled “RHYMZIWROTE” through Eargasm Entertainment and the now-defunct Tic-Tic Bang. The EP was said by many to be ahead of its time. It contained tracks like the “Metamorphic” title track and the hits “M.o.t.h. (matters of the heart)” featuring Fusi, “Punchline Festival” and the classic “Hizo” remix.

Spex has represented jhb all over mzantsi. He has shared the stage with many respected local artists as well as international acts like Naughty by Nature, Talib Kweli, Foxy Brown, Jeru and Ninja Tunes. He is joined on stage by his ever-present hype-man, R-onenda, who adds his zany energy to the performance.

This is it, what you’ve been waiting for…AGAIN!!! 

The album has a common theme, nothing for mahala, which is tied together by four scenes starring comedian, David Kau and Themba.

Nothing for mahala is one of those original albums that come once in a while. Even though it is hip-hop it doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before. You cannot mistake it for an album from anywhere else but JOHANNESBURG because it retains the African sound without sounding corny and the fact that most of the album is in English does not diminish Spex’s African identity. He makes the African/township/jozi identity appeal to people on the other side of the language barrier.

Spex is a mellow guy, so the album comes off as mellow without sounding tired (FRESH AND MELLOW). This is an album you chill to but there are enough tracks to make you get up and dance or even think a bit. Most youths and adults will be able to relate to the album either musically or lyrically. “Eish, this laitie!” 


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