Hot and happening hip hop artist Fonzo, recently dropped his second mix tape, TheRAPy, and the 19 year-old Chemical Science student has already caught the eye of South African hip hop rap phenomenon, AKA. After four years of releasing free music, the Port Elizabeth-born rapper will have the opportunity to showcase his skills when he performs at the Rolling Stone Weekend. Rolling Stone met up with Fonzo to discuss his methods, windgat rappers and his new album, TheRAPy.
When did you start rapping?
I was about 14 years old, and my family moved from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. As a young dude I never took it well, my heart was still in Port Elizabeth, so at first I just started writing about it. It wasn't rapping at all, it wasn't music, it was nothing, and from there it evolved into rhymes.
Your mixtape TheRAPy is available for download at the moment. Can you describe the overarching theme of the album?
A lot of guys overlook TheRAPy and I don't blame them, it's a fun mix tape to listen to. But when you look at it, it is very conceptual, because it's about me arriving and introducing myself to a group therapy session, the group being you the listener. And that is the concept behind therapy.
What is your favourite track on the mix tape?
"Memories", because I am speaking about my life, and there is very little punch lines there. And then there's "The Thanks" which is dedicated to my parents.
You posted a cypher online using the beat of AKA's "Jealously" track. What was AKA's reaction to your cypher?
What's crazy about that is that I'm actually flying up to Johannesburg to meet up with AKA and his management team. As of the freestyle, he said nothing about that yet.
In your cypher, "Drops Twenty", it seems like you are attacking South African hip hop, is there a specific artist you are going for?
No, but there are a lot of rappers that come out claiming that they're the best and play that humble card when they get interviewed. I'll back up what I say in my lyrics, if I say I feel that I'm better than most dudes and I'm going to work as hard as I can to back that up. Some guys are more successful than me and I respect their success, but I'm young and I'm hungry.
How did you feel when you heard you will be performing at the Rolling Stone Weekend?
When I saw the video that said I was going to be on the line up, I felt proud. It has been four years of releasing music for free, so I'm excited. I'll keep the track list on the down low, there will not be any backing track, and the performance will be with a live band.
What are your expectations for the future?
For the gig I want to put up a professional show, this is high calibre, this is not your little birthday or club gig, this is Rolling Stone. And we going to release another mix tape really soon, and hopefully an album next year.
You can see Fonzo live at the Mercury and Shack complex at Rolling Stone Weekend between 14 and 16 September in Cape Town. Here's 4 of the other acts, another 4, 4 more and the DJ's that will also be performing at Rolling Stone Weekend.