Nasty C speaks about 'Zulu Man with some Power'
The last time I spoke to Nasty C, he was travelling around South Africa to talk to high schoolers about toxic masculinity and confidence.
We spoke very briefly about his newest album he was working on.
That was almost a year ago, fast forward to now and “Zulu Man with Some Power” is his proudest album yet.
The award-winning rapper, whose real name is Nsikayesizwe Junior Ngcobo, has made incredible strides in his career since the early days of “Hell Naw” back in 2016.
Following the success of his debut album “Bad Hair”, the 23-year-old went on to win several awards, scored a BET Awards nomination and has worked with some of the biggest stars in the music industry, both locally and abroad.
This was capped with the news of him being the first signee of Def Jam Records Africa.
Now after several postponements, his most anticipated album has just been released. The 20 track album features international and local artists including American rapper T.I and his SMA collaborator, Rowlene.
His third album also sees him releasing “Zulu Man”, his first-ever IsiZulu song as an established artist.
Speaking on the name of his new album, Nasty C said it was inspired by a conversation he had with American hip hop producer No I.D.
“Myself and No I.D have a song together and about two years ago we were speaking about culture and how some artists are aggressive about their culture in their work while others finesse it.
“We spoke about Snoop Dogg as an example and at the time I had been thinking about how I could integrate my culture into my music but still keep my music authentically hip hop”, he said.
Looking back the star said that he feels like he accomplished the goal of integrating his culture in his music, adding that it was not difficult for him to approach it.
“Look, I was detached from my culture for a long time because of family dynamics.
“We did not attend certain ceremonies and stuff but it’s not like I was a stranger to it”, he said.
The “There They Go“ hitmaker said that unlike with his previous albums, there was no theme in this one but rather a thread - from Zulu ad libs to certain sounds fans will hear.
With social media in a flurry over his first Zulu song, he admitted that he was excited about it because people have been asking him to release a Zulu song as an established artist.
“You know I purposely decided for Zulu Man to be the second single so that people can hear it, enjoy it, and then look forward to the rest of the album. I did not want people having the anticipation of just a Zulu song”.
While getting an artist like T.I to collaborate with might be a mammoth task for others, for Nasty C it happened “very organically”.
“The collabs happened very organically. In the States, they love collabs, its like the culture there. The collabs happened through people knowing me and getting in touch with people who know me to set it up so there was actually no plan”, he said.
When asked what was different about this body of work when compared to his previous offerings, the star said that this album was more mature.
“I say that about all my albums because that’s what it is. I am growing, experiencing new things in life so my music speaks to that, it grows with me.
“What I rap about in this album is not something I would have addressed in my first album. With this album, I also learnt a lot as a writer and producer”.
Speaking on the African music industry and peoples perceptions of music from the continent, he said: “People just think that the only thing coming out of Africa is Afrobeats. Like I could be overseas and when people find out I am an artist from South Africa they ask me if I am an Afrobeats artists.
“So I don’t have any issues with any genre but there is so much coming out of Africa that is not Afrobeats.
“Gqom made some moves but now that seems to have faded a little.
“Artists like Elaine and Sho Madjozi, who are now signed to international labels like myself, will let people know we have R&B and rap and everything else”.
He hopes that fans take away the message of being true to themselves from this album.