Friday, June 21, 2024

Local rapper, KEB, back with a vengeance

Kebaswele Kebaswele, popularly known in the Southern African Hip Hop music terrain as KEB was born in Gaborone. He grew up in Gaborone and at the tender age of seven, he and his family relocated to Washington D.C.

While growing up in Maryland and D.C, his love for Hip Hop culture began to manifest. On the 23rd August 2000, KEB and his family moved back home to Gaborone. He enrolled at Legae Academy. Back home he discovered and nurtured his musical talent through writing lyrics.

“The Sprite Rap Activity Jam was huge at the time and that’s where we used to battle with the likes of Zeus, Orakle, Stagga, Scar and many other hip hop artists from back in the day, it was awesome hey,” he recalls. Free style sessions on Yarona Fm were popular at the time and every Friday many youths around Gaborone would have their ears hooked to their radio sets. Since then he has released tracks such as ‘Mo lebe Gape’ with Samba T and Zeus as well as ‘Botsa ka Nna’ and most recently ‘Keep Tryin’.

Over the years he perfected his music skills and had a number of key features on mix tapes and albums, one of note is the feature on HHP’s studio album ‘Acceptance Speech.’ The track is titled ‘Soo Eazy.’ In addition, he featured on the Hype Session Six Tape with long time friend Game ‘Zeus’ Bantsi. Since then KEB has been working on his debut mix tape and solo album and featuring on a number of local and international projects. When South African Motswako artists such as Khuli Chana and HHP come to perform in Botswana KEB is normally amongst their entourage on and off stage. “I have been quiet because I’ve been in the studio working, and the corporate side of things has been picking up and it’s been a challenge striking the balance,” he says.

But he believes it’s a good thing to be quiet for a while especially if one is putting in the work. “You don’t want to be making noise just for the sake of it with nothing concrete,” KEB says.

Currently he is putting some final touches to his up-coming album with his team in Johannesburg. He says they managed to secure a studio in Midrand with his business partners in South Africa; adding that he sees this becoming a future channel for locals to get the freshest music from upcoming Batswana artists in the South African value chain. “The album is called the Last Supper, and we got some pretty hot features on it. From the Botswana side it has got well known artists such as Stagga, Scar, Sasa Klass, Samba T, Chopper Mayne, Mpho Sebina, and two vocalists Papi and Kablay.”

And then on the South African side he says it features Russy Russ on production. “I’m still working with my Day One family, and we’ve just been growing together over the years, and I think we are at a point that we have established a unique sound that’s different and organic.” The production of the album was done by Monnexus, Dotcom and Bruno. “With these dudes on your team, the possibilities are endless,” he says.

“The project is very different from anything I have done because it was constructed differently and all by one team. It’s got a strong sense of direction and the level of creativity is tremendous because I involved the production team in the early stages of each track. So it’s a creative product with a unique identity because of the crafting style,” he says.

This festive season he is pushing Paper Chase, a single he just dropped. The single premiered in Lusaka, Zambia and Namibia on the 29th of Nov. “We premiered it in Gaborone last week, and the people love it.” The full album will be available on iTunes, Amazon and Deezer in 250 countries, and 140 Internet sales platforms. “On the 13th December we will be launching the single officially with the kosher team at kosher sessions. The launch will include other artists that have been visible this year, Bang Gae and the Faded Crew, and KEB will be the host,” he concluded.


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