As member of the hip-hop quartet Ba4za, Hakeem Lesolang presided over one of the most fertile yet under-appreciated eras in South African hip-hop. Capcity Rapcity as it was referred to by the bundles of heads scattered across Mzansi, fed our collective appetites the fuzzy memories of yester-year hip-hop through a steady stream of boom-bap rap music.
Flex Boogie is the artist that emerged when Hakeem decided to explore what lay beyond the jazz-leaning loops and banging drums characterized by production from the likes of Nyambz.
His career took a fashion-conscious direction, a decision which had the unintended consequence of giving him the distinction of the largest fedora hat-collecting rapper in the country. It’s the tenth year since Ba4za’s introduction to the South African hip-hop scene. The four Muslims – two brothers named Malik and Muhajir, and Hakeem and Abdul Qadir – still maintain a strong brotherhood but haven’t recorded music collectively in years.
Flex Boogie is growing his network as an independent artist. He had performances lined up for the full duration of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, and shall soon be on a tour which will have him play dates in London, New York, and the UAE.
This is what he had to say post his performance on the second last day of the Fingo Festival.
*This article is part of Africasacountry’s series on South African Hip-Hop in 2014. You can follow the rest of the series here.