After releasing 30 mixtapes, YoungstaCPT has finally dropped his debut album "3T" on Friday
Known for songs such as "Wes-Kaap," "Salutas" and "Yasis," the Capetonian rapper has been able to etch a unique Cape Town sound within the greater South African hip hop scene.
We spoke to him about his album, the inspiration behind it and why Coloured identity plays such a huge role in his music.
The "We Go Bos" rapper revealed that he worked on the album while releasing his mixtapes and singles. Explaining why he choose to do it this way he said: "The mixtapes gave me an indication of what people want to hear ... I was doing market research.
"It was also my way of figuring out my audience better ... and at the same time you want them to taste something new.
"3T" is a departure for the rapper from his previous musical themes, and while he keeps it authentically Coloured, the rapper decided to take a socially conscious approach for his first album, drawing on his experience as a Coloured person growing up and living on the Cape Flats.
"I feel like the masses don’t know who I really am as a person or my upbringing or my family. And I think the things that made our favourite rapper successful is when they dug into their story," he explained." I think the vulnerability of artists where hip hop is concerned isn' being shown ... Rappers are all successful and are all hardcore and are all rich now. So tell the people your story. I just wanted to introduce myself formally this time."
The album cover for "3T" features Younsgta CPT’s grandfather, and the “Yasis” rapper used him as not only the main inspiration for the album but also spoke to him about his experience as a Coloured person who lived through many iterations of South Africa.
"In order to understand the future you must go to the past," he said. "My mother was too close to my generation, and I needed someone who lived a long enough life to see a cycle repeat or change.
"My grandfather was there before, during and after Apartheid, and I wanted someone to explain to me if what's happening in our time - drugs, gangsterism and corruption - is something that's new or has [always existed].
"I found out that I'm not going crazy and it's something that has been formulated for people of colour not to succeed."
Through the years, Youngsta has used his Coloured identity as the foundation of his music.
"I felt like our narrative wasn’t very visible which worried me, because all my life I had been wondering who we are as Coloured people. It wasn't being shown on TV. I wasn’t hearing it on the radio and I wasn't reading it in magazines. So now that we have the internet at our disposal to discover artists, why not put that life that got neglected in the last 15 years. A lot of sh*t happened in our youth but let’s be the pioneers to tell our stories."
Adding that "3T" is a way for him to pay homage to his forefathers and the generations that fought so he can enjoy the freedom he has today.