New Music: ASAPH – Big Mhofu
The people’s rapper AKA Mambo AKA Tafadzwa Tarukwana AKA ASAPH has finally released the much anticipated EP titled “Big Mhofu”. It’s been a long time coming and we love it here.
Earlier in the year he announced that he was now part of Def Jam Recordings Africa and released a single immediately after. This might just be the EP of the year for me. I understand how and why it took so long before we got to hear it, it’s definitely a 10/10, it’s perfect. From the production to the vocals to the flow. Malo on the beat and Larynx produced this EP and they delivered. The EP features his long time time collaborator Ganyaz Jnr, some amazing vocals from Bhekiwe and two of the most exciting talents in South African Hip Hop, Loki and Holy Alpha.
The EP starts of with Mtukudzi flow, one would say he chose the name of this because of how legendary Mtukudzi was, so maybe this is a legendary flow? This introduction to the album really captures you attention. He centres this song around different themes, from dealing with loss when Cal Vin passed to being proud of your identity to making promises. Asaph lays down all the issues that seem to have been weighing on him and now, he’s on a different path, he is reintroducing himself to us.
Whilst most of us may think I have a lot lose, Asaph has a different perspective. In the second track, Nothing to lose he features Ganyaz Jnr. As the title suggests he has nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Nothing moves him anymore, including his opps (enemies). He has moved from wanting to prove to those that criticise him, he has done it all to prove how good he is.
Track number 3 is Keeping it G. When we talk of someone keeping it g, they’ll be keeping it real, meaning they’re be staying true to themselves and to their values. This is Asaph’s way of telling us that it’s who he is. He’s always keeping it real.
The next one, Learn to Live we see one of the things that stands out from this EP and that is Bhekiwe’s vocals. Her voice is heavenly. Asaph talks about heartbreak. How he used to love this person but they put him through hell and he has grown cold in his heart. But now he wants to learn to live again and heal from the heartbreak, it’s a bit hard and he’s lonely. The first verse he is talking to a past lover and in the second one, he’s being vulnerable to a new person, letting them know that he’s been hurt before but he wants to learn to love them.
The Business is definitely my favourite track of the EP. I think I like it mostly because it’s my first time hearing Holy Alpha rap and she didn’t disappoint. This song is about sticking to the business. He talks about chasing the big bucks. He wishes that everyone could be like the late socialite Ginimbi, he believes he had nice life problems because of how the only problems he had was worrying which car to drive on a particular day.
First day featuring Bhekiwe, she continues to shine, her vocals are out of this world. The song is about starting afresh and how he has a new perspective on life, and he’s looking forward to. We know because of how he starts of the song “It’s feeling like the first day of the rest of my life”. He talks about being in a bad mental space, how every day is struggle to stay sane. But the story must go on and he is keeping his head up.
The last track of the EP is Thebelele featuring Loki. This was the first track to be released and it was just after he had announced that he was now under Def Jam Africa. We wrote about here.
This is a solid project. We always have high expectations and we are glad that he met them and more. He keeps proving to us how consistent he is. We will definitely be on the lookout for more projects from him. Stream/download/BUY Big Mhofu here.