Music, they say is universal, and ever since I received a submission from a Southern African emcee, Nomad the Poet, and his tape, Los Enchies EP. The project highlighted the day-to-day struggle of musicians in Namibia; a country where the music industry is not reckoned with or accorded no respect. Artistes and their creativity are not met with the deserving applauds.
Lorenzo Beukes discovered his gift for lyricism as a young Namibian in the final days of his primary school in 1998, he recalls “During my last year at Primary School, I realized I had a better understanding of poetry than my peers.” He continued to hone his skills with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Funny Carp, and other party type hip-hop music. He was on this path until his encounter with I Can by Nas in 2003, which he describes “That song became my Grade 12 anthem and laid the foundation for the type of rapper I became.”
He has exploited his creativity in other fields which has provided him to meet and make mentors across the Atlantic ocean in the heart of America’s cinema town, Hollywood. The great things it did for his music career is putting producers like Vanilla Dave on his path.
The duo delivered Nomad‘s Los Enchies EP, which did not fail to deliver on the emotions he exerted in this work. His emotions did not betray his concept and reasons behind recording the project, anger, some frustration, and undying hope in the never-ending quest his message gets heard as he continues to educate his peers, colleagues, and the Namibian community in general. The Afrikaan verses were delivered in a wave of seamless flows and pinpoint emotional carriage in his voice, accompanied by a combination of sounds from different eras; boom-bap hip-hop, hard rock, some jazz, and a bit of retro.
This is Nomad the Poet‘s JJC
I was born and raised in Rehoboth, Namibia. Legend has it that I was in so much of a hurry that my mom had to give birth to me on the front step of the hospital and thus I never saw the inside of a maternity ward.
As a youngster, my dad had many jobs one was as a driver of short and medium-distance taxis (known as Eagles) and he would always have the latest music (on cassette). Sundays I would spend cleaning the Combi and listening to my favourite musical group Funny Carp.
First Encounter with Hip Hop
My first encounter with Hip Hop would have to be the old Funny Carp cassettes my dad use to have, and then when I was 9 years old we held a Talent Show for the kids from our neighbourhood and one of my performances consisted of me rapping the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. This is my earliest memory of me rapping, but back then it wasn’t really considered an art form by the grownups.
Writing Hip Hop
It all started because of my love for poetry. During my last year at Primary School, I realized I had a better understanding of poetry than my peers and thus I started writing poems as a means of earning extra cash. One of my classmates and I started making Valentines Cards that we sold during the week of Feb 14th and it soon became lucrative, however, when she moved to Windhoek I stopped and only picked it up years later once I moved to Walvis Bay.
My first Hip Hop verse was written for a Gospel song that my friends and I performed at our Church’s youth Talent Show in 2002. At first, it was done by blatantly copying rhymes and flows from our favourite rappers, but after winning the Talent Show and performing at more events I realized the importance of developing my own voice and style.
Hip Hop Head to Emcee
During my matric year (2003) I heard the song I Can by Nas on the radio one night. Prior to that song most of the Hip Hop we listened to was Party Hip Hop and thus hearing someone else actually teach and inform on a song really resonated with me. That song became my Grade 12 anthem and laid the foundation for the type of rapper I became. Later that year, as I finished matric I started working on the Film set for Flight of the Pheonix and got to meet Sticky Fingaz and Tyrese Gibson. It so happened that I recorded an English demo for Tyrese (a song I now know was wack, but didn’t at the time). The experience of this pushed me toward exploring the possibility of writing in Afrikaans.
On this very same movie set, I also met Rainer von Hatten who became my full-time producer, and together we started recording and releasing music. Due to now having internet access at that time, we had to figure out how to record mix, and master our own music which set us on the path to becoming Content Creators years later. We also had to figure out how to film and edit our own music videos as well.
The first time I actually released something that surprised me was when I released the song Tjiena bly ‘n Tjiena as part of my EgoliWood – Fools Paradise mixtape, and Boli Mootseng one of Namibia’s most well-known entertainment journalists actually drove to Walvis Bay to film a music video for me. This relationship also led to my first appearance on national television and subsequently helped me make that final push into the realm of Afrikaans Hip Hop.
Most underrated Song/Verse
If I am honest, then I would have to say most of my songs. I consistently have to deal with people telling me I am too deep or my rhymes are flying over their heads etc. And then I see and hear other local Afrikaans rappers (don’t wanna mention names) with the most basic of rhymes and people act like what they said was poetic.
However, at the same time, this has also allowed me to differentiate between the people who follow trends and the ones who actually listen to the lyrics and message behind my music.
I would have to go for my Gebroke Harte en Verlore Poskaarte mixtape. In the entire mixtape, I have some of my most honest and sincere lyrics, but my ignorance during the mixing stage led to me trying to create the entire project by myself and this led to what I can only call below par production from my part, with maybe one or two exceptions from the entire 16 track mixtape.
Well, I have so much unreleased music that I think the biggest plan for this year is to actually get more music out there.
I would love to collaborate with more like-minded individuals from across the diaspora so networking and linking with other heads is a big part of the plan.
I would love to facilitate a SADC tour for myself and other local Afrikaans Emcees.
I am working on a Namibian Afrikaans Hip Hop Show to start airing soon, in which I provide a sneak peek into the daily lives of Afrikaans Emcees from Namibia.
And I would love to organize and host the first-ever Afrikaans Hip Hop festival in Namibia.
We are also on the verge of introducing some new merch to the public, so that’s also something to keep an eye out for.