Ngola: The Umlazi rapper who dreams of being a king
Ngola’s hustle is so royal, he just won’t let you knock him down
His reintroduction to the world is called Rocket Power Love and it’s telling of where the young rapper finds himself. Ngola is not a new rapper by any stretch of the term. He’s seen the side of being signed to a label and what that can mean for a new artist but now he’s doing it his way.
At a very intimate listening session at the J&B Hive in Johannesburg, Ngola streamed through all fourteen pieces of his upcoming project. Born to his mother as Kuthula Londoloza Magubane, the rapper from Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal will spend the first part of the evening detailing his stagename. Ngola, he explains, is a Swahili term for ‘king,’ a narrative which runs throughout his music.
If the previews of Rocket Power Love he played are anything to go by, it’s clear that before us lies a millennial preoccupied with securing his place in the world. He emphasises how his mission is a lyrical one: he wants you to listen and hopefully be renewed by the stories he has to tell.
The first of those stories is a single called, “Born In the 90’z.” For all intents and purposes, it’s a declaration of independence. This is a dude who parted ways with his label, bought his way out of his contract, and founded his own company. His last single as a signed artist reads like a cautionary tale. It’s called, “On the Rize,” which isn’t too far from where he is now.
The questions post listening session all seem to sway towards his plans for success and how he will handle it. What’s clear is that we’re dealing with a man who’s always got a plan B but is gunning for plan A. I ask him about his thoughts on royalty, and he doesn’t shy away from telling me that his Zulu heritage is of a royal nature which may offer an explanation for his indomitable spirit.
While the listening session did cover all fourteen of Rocket Power Love‘s tracks, it didn’t do the job of allowing a robust first listen to the album. The good news is that album drops Thursday but you can listen to it’s first single, “Born In the 90’z” above.