T.U.R.K ‘S $tar freestyle got the HYPE

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Freestyling has been a part of hip-hop culture for many years. In South Africa, we’ve seen artists like Stogie T with his freestyle Fridays, SpeekaRSA with Sotra Cyphers, and HipHopLiveSA hosting freestyles and cyphers. Many rappers participate in weekly freestyles to showcase their skills off the record. It’s inspiring to see rappers improvising unwritten verses over instrumental beats. Ginger Trill deserves credit for keeping the culture alive and providing a platform for talented rappers. An elite rapper from Lesotho who has impressed the hip-hop community is T.U.R.K. He is a notable lyricist, complete musician, and songwriter with an extensive catalog. His recent lyric videos for “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER” on YouTube and the album release in October 2023 showcase his artistry and intelligence. T.U.R.K. has been knocking on doors for over a decade, and I believe he will establish himself as one of Africa’s best rappers. I recently had the opportunity to interview him, and I’m excited to share his story.

First, welcome to Hype Magazine, how has the journey been like?

Thank you for having me. My journey has been that of an independent act who has not been afforded the luxury of taking the elevator but has resolved to take the stairs, all the while understanding that the destination remains the same either way.  My career as a rapper/singer/songwriter span over a decade and since then I’ve released 2 mixtapes, 3 EPs, a compilation, a slew of singles and feature verses, and most recently, my debut album dubbed “Better Late Than Never”. These releases and having performed on numerous stages, both in Lesotho and South Africa, have positively contributed to the artist that I am today thus having made the journey both educational and worthwhile.

You have been doing this hip-hop thing of ours for a while now, what are some of the huddles you faced as an MC?

When you pursue a dream like this for as long as I have, you’re bound to come across a number of hurdles, particularly as a Hip-Hop artist that comes from a small land-locked country like Lesotho where music is generally considered as a hobby and opportunities to grow as creatives are insignificant, for the most part. The music industry is generally saturated from a global perspective, therefore that also poses a hurdle in terms of one’s ability to cut through the noise and achieve success – which has proven to be quite the task. Lastly, I’ve come to understand that my use of the English language as a primary means to convey messages through my music, as opposed to relying on the Sesotho language which has seemingly caught on thanks to prominent acts from this region, makes it hard for my own people to relate and doesn’t give the general public insight into who I am as a Mosotho man; however, I firmly believe that music itself is a language and for the most part, the feeling(s) an artist expresses to his/her/their listeners is above all else. With that said, I truly believe that hurdles are far from being finite and a consistent effort to better oneself, along with their craft, can yield the necessary results to help you get over the said obstacles. Trial and error are the name of the game.

How did the name “ThatUnf***WithTherapperkidd” come about?

ThatUnf***withableRapperKidd came about during a transitional phase in my formative years as a budding rapper when I’d made a firm decision to pursue a career as a recording artist and was looking for a pseudonym that would not only make a statement but define who I am at the core. It is a phase that I have always wanted and continue to live up to as an emcee that finds reverence in their pen and general ability to rap. Although quite lengthy, it also makes for a palatable acronym, T.U.R.K, and can be stylized in several ways that are easier to digest like “The Kidd”.

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