Olive Branch are a Lesotho-based duo consisting of rappers Future and Isoscà¨les. We decided to touch base with them regarding their album which was released as a free download in 2012.
Why did you release a collaborative project?
Future: I for one felt we would make double the impact if we collaborated together as compared to an indivisual release. Plus we’ve always had mutual respect for one another since we first met in 2007 (Ultimate FM 1 Year Birthday party_ at The Joint: Setsoto). We were almost in a crew ‘ISO.A.FU’ (pronounced ‘I Saw A Few’) with A.V.A but that never materialised due to creative differences.
Who did you work with on the album?
Future: Lyrical Bacteria and Feline Spirit Dawta on the promotion side of things. Already established producers such as Phil the Kritik (3 beats), Cymtom (2 beats), Johnson (5 beats) & Suuth (1 beat) worked on the production and relatively upcoming producers such as SickNature, Jed Luigi, Sigh & Kayson also chipped in with a beat each. A.V.A, Fatal Verb, Voodoo, Codi-Cox & Kommanda Obbs each dropped a verse for various tracks and Leomile sang a hook on one song. Luuk of SlumRec did the album cover.
What are your thoughts on the current state of hip-hop in Lesotho?
Future: I think itâ€™s growing at its fastest at the moment as we’re seeing more and more good quality sounding projects coming out. Decent music videos are being shot e.g Beaver’s ‘Cased Closed’ Ft. Broken Record… a handful of cats are getting booked and paid for performances so I feel there’s steady growth in Leostho Hip Hop thus far.
Isoscà¨les: I think there’s really some improvement in terms of sound and video quality. Cats like Kommanda Obbs have really set the bar high for the genre and have put it on the map in this regard. In my view, local artists still get sidelined when it comes to shows-they are normally booked to perform alongside other S.A artists(in Lesotho shows) and given peanuts as pay. At times they are not paid AT ALL! This is a very big challenge for Hip Hop in the country and impacts negatively on its growth.
Future aka Futuristic
Born: November, 1991
Hails from: Mazenod, Maseru
Earliest musical influences: Michael Jackson, Mahlathini and The Mahotella Queens, Brenda Fassie, Mzwakhe Mbuli etc. mainly from father’s collection.
Biggest hip-hop influences: Nas, Jay-Z, Phonte, Common, and Talib Kweli.
Born: December 1989
Hails from: Khubetsoana, Maseru
Started rapping: 2006
Biggest hip-hop influences: Nas, Black Thought of the Roots crew, Proverb, Minister PO.