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Apollo Diablo Biography

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22 January 2006 No Comment

The mining town of Jwaneng is a close-knit middle class community, remembers Apollo Diablo, and it is where he began to listen to worldwide prominent Hip Hop groups in the 1990’s – Digable Planet, Arrested Development, Tupac and Dr. Dre to name a few. Hip Hop in Jwaneng developed slowly because of the Kwaito revolution which had begun in 1993/4. Between 1994 and 1998 there were no recognizable or prominent Hip Hop acts on the national scene except 3rd Mind from Gaborone…




During these early years five schoolmates from Acacia Primary School, an English medium private school, formed a group called 5th Generation. (Apollo Diablo, Tha Orakle, Feeno Shallah, Nytro, EQ) Their biggest challenge at the time was getting a stage act. But their determination was finally rewarded in 1997 when they got a chance to perform at their School Prom. Apollo Diablo remembers that event as being a defining moment for him, and it fueled him to continue his dream of becoming a recording artist or MC. By 1998 Azziz, Illustrate and King Ming merged with 5th Generation to become Uncanny Sessman – a legendary group of MCs in Jwaneng. They officially proclaimed Jwaneng as JMECCA, in the same way Muslims give respect to Mecca, Jwaneng had been the environment that shaped their temperament. 

Due to the high demands of school the Uncanny Sessman temporarily dispersed to different parts of the country and some went to South Africa. They all still continued to be active in the Hip Hop scene. In 1998 Apollo Diablo found himself in Francistown (GHETTO) where he became Head Boy at John McKenzie Secondary School. He also co-founded a mix tape series called Cipher Divine with Don The Icon, a producer from Zambia. The project was successful because it attracted a lot of MCs from disadvantaged communities such as Simba, King Zee , Buckshot and Xpatay. At the time no record companies were signing Hip Hop artists so the going was tough. It was through Cipher Divine that Uncanny Sessman recorded their first track The Infamous Nutsack

By 2001 Apollo Diablo finished both school and an underground EP called IDIOM, which he distributed and sold independently. 5th Generation had also worked with Draztik (Unreleased Records) on a project called Where Eagles Dare, but unfortunately all the work and the material was lost when Draztik’s studio was burgled. By the end of 2002 Apollo Diablo and Uncanny Sessman performed at the Sprite Rap Activity Jam Finals at Bull N’ Bush.

2003 was a big year for 5th Generation. Tha Orakle released his debut album SEX, the first solo album released by a member of 5th Generation. It was a well-received album and in many ways put the members of 5th Generation squarely on the map. 

Apollo Diablo spent much of the time in Johannesburg where he signed a record deal with Sinewave Productions. The track DIABLO was released and got airplay on YFM and he performed at shows in Soweto, University of Pretoria, Wits University and shared the stage with top local artists like Thebe, Kabelo, Skwatta Kamp, and Mizchief. He also recorded a track Angina Ndaba Nawe with Pitch Black Afro from the album Styling Gel, distributed by Sony. The album went on to sell over 100,000 units, the highest number achieved by a Hip Hop artist to date. The success of the album, including the rotation of the track, introduced Apollo Diablo to the South African market. In October 2003 he released the single Word is Bond on Yarona 106.6FM in Gaborone to great reviews.

By 2004 Apollo Diablo enrolled in the Midrand Graduate Institution to study Law. He also released his first radio single from the upcoming Meaning of Life album, The City Owes Me – the single has become an anthem and has crystallized his position as one of the most talented artists in the country. In June he welcomed the U.S. Hip Hop Ambassador, Toni Blackman, to Botswana, becoming a consultant for her Hip Hop outreach program aimed at young kids to educate them about Hip Hop culture. That same year he released the a song called “Ikalanga Chedu” which was a first for local hip-hop as is was composed in Kalanga, a native language popularly believed to be of a minority tribe. 

Early 2005 Apollo Diablo left Sinewave Productions to sign with Baby Phat Records (Hip Hop Pantsula’s record company) Due to creative differences that could not be resolved, Apollo Diablo was released from Baby Phat and along with fellow group mates established 5th Generation Multimedia Holdings because of the frustrations of not having their own stable. In May he agreed on an investment deal with Counterattack Productions to complete work on his highly anticipated Meaning of Life album which is available in stores now.

Management Info:  +267-72366836 (Botswana), +27-724840891 (South Africa) or call the man himself +27-72846190

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