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Track of the Day: Okmalumkoolkat – Holy Oxygen

A month ago it was announced that Okmalumkoolkat (Simiso Zwane) would sign with Austrian label…

A month ago it was announced that Okmalumkoolkat (Simiso Zwane) would sign with Austrian label Affine Records and release his first solo EP, to be produced by label mates Cid Rim and The Clonius. The four-track EP, titled Holy Oxygen now has a 4th of August release date and the title track has just been released.

The song’s production is prominent but never overwhelms. While Cid Rim’s fingerprints are all over it, Okmalumkoolkat is and remains the track’s central gravitational force. There are some brilliant lines to parse through, as he spits “verbal origami”: “Jump into the eyes of Candice Swanepoel / I’m deeper than a swimming pool / I’m a deadly chemical.” The track’s second verse exhibits some of the most inward-looking and unguarded moments we’re yet to hear from Zwane, as he raps “Why you think I’m rapping? / You don’t know what happened / I was never happy / When my father left me.” It’s inside the last minute, though, that the song reaches its climax as the track clears, with just the rhythm and Zwane remaining: “Laser / Eyes sore / Haibo / Skyfall / Hitchcock / Psycho / I’m gunning for the high score”. By now, his unique style is familiar to anyone who’s been paying even the scantest attention to the great wealth of local hip hop being released, and this track might be the clearest expression of his intents thus far. 

You can listen to ‘Holy Oxygen’ here:

 

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