Fri Oct 20 23:37:09 SAST 2017
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Hip-hop Lemapi's weapon against drug abuse

By Refentse Makgamatha | 2017-07-15 09:43:41.0

A hip-hop trio is on a mission to get young people off the streets and to grab a mic.

Lemapi is the name and they promise to make global waves. Founded by producer and rapper Tshepo "Teeza" Mashilo, the group consists of members Tumisang "Scarra" Sithole and Mongezi "3Two1" Zwane.

It all started in a small place called Nelmapius in Pretoria where the creatives all grew up.

The three started off as soloists and later decided to mesh together all their different sounds, creating a fresh hip-hop sound.

When asked about the meaning of their name, it turns out that it's from Nelmapius. "The point is to put our neighbourhood on the map."

"We were all inspired by what we had observed in our area. Young people turned to drugs, alcohol and girls were likely to fall pregnant in their teens," says Mongezi.

The group dropped their first mix tape back in 2015 titled Till Death Do Us Apart. However, in 2016 they released a seven-track EP titled Bridge and got rapper and critic Slikour to review it for them.

The music enjoyed critical acclaim from hip-hop critics, and had airplay on YFM.

The trio emphasise that "young people should find like-minded friends to avoid surrounding themselves with people who don't share their vision".

On their five-year plan, they want to take youths off drugs by getting them off the streets and into studios and art galleries.

"We aim to grow to a point where we are financially able to assist young people to achieve their dreams because most of them lack the funds to further their education.

"We want to have an organisation that will expose the youth in our hood that art can be a job and a good distraction," says Mongezi.

As for now, the group plans on collaborating with artists across Africa before they go international.