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By Keitumetse Segoai | Feb 04, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DA L.E.S. is widely regarded as South Africa's king of swag.

DA L.E.S. is widely regarded as South Africa's king of swag.

He burst on to the scene in 2007 as part of the eccentric Hip Hop group Jozi which released its debut album at that time.

Inspired by its success, he released his solo album in 2008. The album Fresh 2 Defstrengthened his status as one of South Africa's best rappers.

Last year saw the release of the much anticipated Jozi sophomore WildLife. Sadly the success of the album has been overshadowed by the departure of group member Bongani Fassie.

Da L.E.S. is not stirred by the rumours about Fassie's departure and insists that sentiments have not soured between them.

He explains: "Bongs and I still work together. He is going to produce my next solo album."

Fassie has played a pivotal role in Da L.E.S.'s career. It was Fassie who inspired Da L.E.S. to rap when he was 16 years old.

The two met in a skating park and Da L.E.S. describes the friendship as an exchange of skills.

"I taught Bongs how to skate and he taught me how to rap. When he got his studio he invited me to record some of my raps."

Da L.E.S., known to some as Lesley Mampe, came from Houston, Texas, in the US, and moved to South Africa when he was seven years old. He admits that the transition from America to South Africa was not easy.

"I missed my friends from the States," he says. "I hated having to wear school uniform and there was no basketball being played here."

He has since settled in well and cannot help but cause a stir whenever he leaves his house.

Instead of being peeved by the constant pestering from fans, he finds that it is quite humbling.

Parallel to his slick beats Da L.E.S. has been known for his kaleidoscopic style of dress.

"I think it's important how you look but it's also vital that your look looks effortless."

Today Da L.E.S. puts on boxer shorts to the test. He first tries BM Equipment Boxers from Mr Price.

"I'm a rapper. There is no way I can wear boxers that have red cherries on them."

The second boxer shorts he tries on are from Truworths Man.

"The buttons down the front of the boxers make it easier to pee, so that's a good thing. These I would recommend to guys who want to wear baggy pants."

Next he tries on boxer shorts from Identity.

"These have a tighter fit, which is good if you want to wear skinny jeans."

The last set of boxer shorts he tries on are from Woolworths.

"These feel good on the skin and are quite comfortable. I'm familiar with these Woolworths boxers because I use them myself. I know they are the best out of the lot."

Female fans will be glad to know that beneath the swag is a humble pair of 100percent organic cotton Woolworths boxer shorts.

"Swagger comes naturally to me," says Da L.E.S.


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