Two weeks ago NankOo, the winner of Russian Bear’s 2018 #IAMNEXT competition, achieved what many aspiring hip hop artists only dream of — having his very own music video screened on MTV Base.
The video was for his collab single, "Sosha," which was created in conjunction with award-winning South African rapper, Kid X.
Khayelitsha born NankOo, whose real name is Onke Nomangola, was voted by South Africa as the 2018 #IAMNEXT winner out of over 400 contestants from across Mzansi. He says: "I have been trying to make it in the industry for 10 years and it got to the point where I was really tired of not being recognised. I felt like it wasn’t worth fighting for any more, but after winning the Russian Bear #IAMNEXT competition, everything changed and I got the motivation to keep going. I now finally have a chance to break through."
Between May and July last year, aspiring hip hop artists, from across the country, had the chance to lay down their best bars during recording sessions in each city. The country then had the chance to vote for their favourite. On the 13 August, the top three artists were announced and two weeks later, South Africans crowned NankOo as the #IAMNEXT king.
Featuring fire flows backed by a track guaranteed to give listeners goosebumps, "Sosha" tells NankOo’s story.
"It’s about who I am and how I got to the stage that I’m at right now. The song also features Kid X’s side of the story. We started rapping back when it wasn’t cool, but it’s now popular so the song is also a warning, as you will hear the hook says passop (watch out) to others not to rap just because everyone else is doing it."
On having his own music video shown on national television, he says: "It's dope hearing that your mother and the people you grew up with are proud of seeing you on TV. I felt like the video really portrayed what I was saying and what the song is all about.”
"We are proud to be the catalysts for grassroots talent, like Nankoo, to be able launch their musical careers and take South African hip-hop to the next level," says Russian Bear Brand Portfolio Manager, Lauren Justus.
"Khayelitsha this one’s for you!" says NankOo.