We are Black Vulcanite. Mark Mushiva, Alain Villet & Nikolai Tjongarero.
Black Vulcanite, they appear to remember the future. They are not a rag tag posse of loonies that see things that don’t exist; they are a rag tag posse of loonies that see things that don’t exist YET. Some of you will call them visionaries long after their time and some of you will marvel at their gifts today. This bio has nothing to do with precognition or how they are kinda fuggen dope, this is a terrestrial and extraterrestrial broadcast announcing their presence in your schools, malls and offices. I hope you are watching closely.
We are the voice of a thousand griots.
Black Vulcanite – the Namibian trio of promising, forward thinking Namibian artists who we’ve been keeping a close eye on here at the 25toLyf offices. They burst onto the scene with I Hope They Write which instantly propelled them into the conversation as a name to watch. This was followed by Fallen Sun which quickly dispelled any further doubt, these guys were a seriously talented African hip hop group who demanded your attention.
Fast forward to the present day, after recently signing a record deal, they announced the release of their Remember The Future EP which needless to say I was eager to get my hands on. Let’s get into it.
The project is sprinkled with African influences throughout, including some well chosen spoken word snippets and short poems which help meld the different pieces and ideas together. Nothing ever feels out of place or forced however, instead fitting in perfectly with the whole aesthetic of the tape. The music is soulful, poetic, and supremely intelligent. No doubt its going to take several listens to catch all the references and concepts tackled by the group. I can tell you straight away though, they quality is immediately evident.
Sometimes when you attempt to take on such lofty topics you run the fear of alienating the listeners and sacrificing some musical elements in favour of sticking to the conscious roadmap. Thankfully, I can say that this is not the case with Remember The Future at all. There is a depth to the songs that forces you to pay attention to catch everything, but Black Vulcanite have ensured they considered the beats, hooks and melodies just enough to keep you interested even if you are only giving it a cursory listen. Mark Mushiva is a highly intelligent lyricist, Ali provides a soulful angle, Okin’s poetry has an impressive depth to it and Swiss producer Maloon the Boom seems to have figured out how to build beats around them which complete the puzzle beautifully.
Highlights are scattered throughout the project. I Hope They Write sets the tone early on, expressing the groups desire to make a lasting impression with their art. Visions starts innocently with a reference to the groups interest in sci-fi “Live long and prosper” but carries a much deeper message with some acute observations about our society.
Beware of Cars may seem a slightly misleading title, because the song is not about cars at all but instead a warning to stay aware of your surroundings and not to get sucked in into the superficial life. Cosmic Symphony made me want to fly away on a spaceship with my significant other, a very catchy tune which I think has plenty of potential to become a favourite at radio.
Let It Be is another potential single, great hook and positive vibe to this one which borrows heavily from Ooh Wee by Mark Ronson, Ghostface & Nate Dogg. The EP closes with Semper Fidelis (Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal”) which is a perfect way to end the EP, spelling out the artists dedication to the artform while acknowledging that with hard work and a little bit of faith, anything is possible.
I can’t put into words how excited I am for the future of hip hop on this continent of ours. Black Vulcanite are a part of a new wave of African hip hop artists who are really starting to come into their own. Finding a unique style and backed by unbridled ambition and belief, they are beginning to deliver some truly top quality African Hip Hop records. (also see: Raiza Biza)
These 3 supremely talented individuals have come together to form a something of a Namibian super-group where each individual brings something quite unique to the table, but at the same time complimenting each other. The subject matter may not appeal to drive-by rap fans who are looking for another 2Chainz, but that is a good thing. This is for the purists. This is BV – I think I might call them Black Voltron.
Stream Remember The Future below and hit up @BlackVulcanite on twitter to find out where you can get your hands on a copy of one of the best hip hop projects to ever come out of Namibia.