Voloorus

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5min2980

After the birth of his twins, the release of his album and just pretty much living his life, Reason HD addressed that abrupt beef he and Flex Rabanyan had at the back-end of 2018.

The cringe-worthy conflict between the two spawned form Reason giving the young rapper advice on how to carry himself in the game. This after Flex whined on Twitter about a failed payola attempt on Metro FM. Reason’s older -brotherly words of wisdom were used as material for a diss track targeted at him, by Flex in For Whatever Reason.

The lukewarm track didn’t warrant fire emojis for its dopeness, but for its shock value. The 2017 Vuzu Hustle winner took personal jabs at Reason, talking about how the former Motif Records artist lives off his partner and babymama Loot Love because she seemingly makes more money than him due to Reason’s unsuccessful music career.

Patiently waiting for over six months without really addressing it, Reason timely responded to Flex two months after the young’n complained on social media about being broke and having to sell his car.

Talk is cheap, but I’ma cross between

The type of blacks who speak rationally

Fuck with me

Then I’ma have you hiding where you at for weeks

Actions speak louder than an empty pocket testing me

Actually why that wack nigga try to flex on me

Look at my chick, look at my crib

Look at the shit on my wrist

Look at the hits, look at the list

Then you go look at your shit

Like, where do you live

Where do you get, my nigga why is you big

Show me the bitch that’s trying to get under your dick

‘Cause nobody know who she is

Rappers are dying and all of you niggas are lying or beefing on your timeline

Just for the sake of signing you lie to yourself like you all in the lime light

But why try, when all of you fly by

Should figure that time flies

You did it for high fives to nice tries

But let’s get to the bye byes

Talk about having the last laugh.

Reason also took the opportunity to let everyone know that he’s put back the HD in his moniker, following the embarrassing confusion from that Black Panther film soundtrack which introduced TDE’s Reason to the globe. On the joint Seasons, Reason from the US is alongside Sjava which led to people assuming it was two South Africans on the song.

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16min3380

As comfortable as Michael Knight is with and in his ride Kitt, so is artist Ludomo Maqabuka with his jalopy.  His Nissan 1400 embodies his personality and character; a laid back modest individual that’s been through his fair share, but like the 1400, maintains his authenticity and suave in everything he does. We’re travelling from Joburg in his classic van, headed to Tembisa. Maqabuka and I, are part of an exodus of labourers from the city, which pile the highway

Maqabuka is a deliberate visual artist, who is intensely inspired by the artistry of music, through thoughtful musicians. Like Bob Marley said, when it hits you, you feel no pain. The music inspires the work he creates. He tells me of a time while working, listening to HHP’s intro of his album O Rata Mang. Titled O mang? the song aptly made him question who he is. “I was like shit, who am I…and I did a self-portrait after that. It just clicked. I also listen to a lot of jazz when I paint, because jazz is very abstract, there are no sing-alongs or someone’s verse to come…it’s just abstract music that swallows you up. ”

His Base: Ludumo Maqabuka’s work space

In his studio at August House where we were before hitting the road, he has a piece of Dr Philip Tabane with guitar in hand, stationed on stage as a vessel of the spiritual music. “That piece is so special. I don’t want it being owned by someone who doesn’t even know him [Tabane].”

Having said that, he doesn’t get too artsy farty about his work to a point where he will hoard it to himself, because he thinks no one is special enough to own it. “Bab’Philp Tabane is a father to a lot of musicians, especially in Pretoria. I made that piece dedicating it to him…whoever will buy it, must be someone who’s gonna cherish that piece. I don’t care if they hang it up their wall. Hoarding it to myself would be some childish shit. You know I make work to be enjoyed by people,” says Maqabuka.

His work has the feel and boldness of graffiti largely because of the stencils he uses , but says he never did any graff in his past. “I was too chicken to spray walls, but my work is influenced by graffiti. I’m a Hip Hop head…growing up in the 90s, that’s all I wanted to do, but I never made it to the walls- I would just do a quick small tag on a school desk or bathroom wall,” he says.

A talented artist who doesn’t know who she or he is, is less effective as one who does. A pro-black artist who doesn’t make noise about it but lives it, Maqabuka understands the impact his work has and can have. “One thing about white people [at universities] is that, they don’t share knowledge with us. Our forefathers were not taught art. Only those who were fortunate, like musicians. During my course [of Fine Arts] I was reluctant to learn about white people and art- everything is European, there’s a bit of Egyptian. So from my first year until third year I was taught white art.” He studied Fine Arts at the Tshwane University of Technology and graduated in 2007.

Only on his third year was Maqabuka introduced to African art. “That shit interested me…I connected with it. I believe art was the first communication tool, because the Khoisan would draw a cow or whatever on rocks and that would be a reminder when they go hunt that this is our meat for the month- how do they know how to sketch?”

He says that’s where his love for graffiti comes from. “That’s the root of graffiti, it’s expression. Like the youth in America were expressing themselves because they were like ‘no one is was listening to us’ that’s why the colours were bright and bold and the letters were very cartoonish.”

He continues. “I’m telling my reality, with the influence of Hip Hop. The elements of graffiti come from Hip Hop…and I’m also a DJ. Sometime when you make an art work, you don’t really see how deep it is, your choices on images. I’ve painted a lot of musicians that I love. I can’t do anything without music”

Stage name Dub-L-Tot, derived from his nickname Toto, he’s been using the moniker for some years as his alter ego as a DJ. “The nice thing about DJing is that a set is about an hour, so it doesn’t take up much of my time. A couple of years ago, I had a lot of time on my hands because I didn’t have a lot of projects so I would prepare my sets and spend a lot of time practicing…I would play at the Love Rebel in Maboneng on Thursday and Sundays, sometimes on Saturdays.”

Double-L-Tot in action. Photo supplied

A lot has changed for the artist from Vosloorus since teaming up with Cape Town based agency, Spier Arts Trust. He came across the agency while studying a graphic designing course in Sandton at Rosebank College in 2011. “I use to walk past their building, which had nice artwork outside and I always asked myself what happens in there, until I decided to go in and ask one day.”

The agency buys and sells art work and they have Nandos as their biggest client. Maqabuka sent his portfolio after his curiosity led him into that building. “They give you six blocks, you make an artwork and they buy it back from you.”

He has a group exhibition later this month in Cape Town at the AVA Gallery. “The theme of the show is rituals and I chose street rituals, for instance protest as a sub theme,” he says. The exhibition is titled Nandos Creative Exchange powered by the Spier Arts Trust.

Street Ritual: Ludumo Maqabuka’s Work

“We as black people as’bekelani. I remember I use to go to Bag Factory and I wasn’t getting love. Let’s just call it art politics.” He’s a naturally reserved person, but opens up when feeling a sense of kinship with whoever he’s talking with. He says there are cabals in the Joburg art scene, which make it hard for one to crack it if they aren’t known there. “There’s a mafia typa thing…maw’ngaziwa, wubani ozok’fatela? Ama lecture wase Wits and UJ are running competitions…they are influential because they are teaching the future product. Ku rough dawg,” he says in laughter.

The adversity of not being able to fully utilize his university qualification saw him attempt a number of ventures, to make ends meet. In 2010, with a group of friends they tried their luck at running an internet café in Soweto and at some point he tried out at a call centre, which only lasted for three months. “I’m not really much of a talker. I worked in sales…imagine me trying to convince someone to buy a Cell C contract.”

It was while living in the South Western Township that his aunt told him to come back home. “Ma O’lady said I should come back home and try study some course. That’s when I went to Rosebank College to do the graphic designing course.”

Maqabuka lost his mother at a young age and his aunt has practically been his mother ever since. “She’s so dope man. Very supportive”

Amid his struggles for an income, he  start a clothing label with a friend, called Intsizwa Z’phelele. “I’m no longer part of it, but I help them with graphics.”

Talking about his difficult period in life he says “You go through depression, because of pressure from society. As a guy who studied in Pretoria, guys you went to school with are driving nice cars, they’re working and wena you’re broke and still hustling. Those times made me strong. I had to go through that phase.”

“I would advise one to start out as a graphic designer…or get a course that’ll give you a job and then study art afterwards because it’s not for the fainthearted-it’s art. I studied in Pretoria and came to Joburg and it was kinda hard because no one knew me, but if I went to Wits or UJ, I would have things different.”

Ludumo Maqabuka’s depiction of street rituals

Clearly he knows people and some important people know of him now, as he is a resident artist at August House and he is part of their current exhibition. Artists from the renowned studio will be part of a group collection which opens today in Sandton, titled the August House Group Exhibition In collaboration with Teresa Lizamore Mentorship Programme. It will include Zamani Xaba, Bukhosi Nyathi and Kealeboga Tlaleng among others.


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