aka artikulateKONFAB aka KONtraversealFABetiks aka KONdomFABrik aka KONsciousFABulist aka GOBGAG aka SENSE_SAY aka MOHLANKAN’A SANKATANA
An audio-political assault on your motor neurones!
In 1992, at the tender age of 11, KONFAB (then affectionately known as Sneez) received a thorough ass whipping from his old man. He had snuck out of the crib to perform at a dingy strip joint called Palace Hotel in Teyateyaneng, a good 30km outside of his home in Maseru, Lesotho, with his crew By All Means… this is where it all began.
15 years have since elapsed and KONFAB’s involvement in hip-hop, as well as his rhyme structure, remains nothing short of prolific, rebellious and defiant of accepted household norms. An ironic and ill-known fact, KONFAB perseveres through a conventional 9-5 everyday, as a Civil Engineer in Cape Town. This, he argues, gives him more impetus to lambaste industry and establishment in his rhymes. His forthcoming debut album, Swart Gevaar, is in part based on his experiences while working side by side with old school South Africa on a construction site in Wellington. Hence contentions such as:
“…from a bystander’s perspective/ white man doesn’t respect this/
wide-census government elected/ his highness president and friends…”
And notwithstanding KONFAB’s scientific professional background, he truly dismantles the formula in his rhymes. His quest is to stretch the barriers of language and syllabic metre to their artistic limits, whilst simultaneously delivering an impassioned message, often with a slightly crass sense of humour.
“…hussein and who’s looney? group me with the un/
a hooligan humanitarian with too many skinny friends…”
KONFAB comes clad as 3 different characters: KONtraversealFABetiks, KONdom FABrik and KONscious FABulist, which reflect all the dimensions underlying Sense-Say, KONFAB’s day-time disguise.
KONFAB’s journey through hip-hop started in Maseru in the early ‘90s when the relatively new artform was thriving in the small town. He entered a rapping competition in school with a crew of homeys and came out tops, having never written a rhyme himself. Following this, he was invited to join a prominent local hip-hop movement called Black Mentality, and was placed in a 3-man crew, By All Means. Here KONFAB got an early exposure to the world of word, art and performance.
This flow continued till 1995 when the problem child was eventually banished to a boarding school in Johannesburg. Far from destabilizing KONFAB’s firm grounding in hip-hop, the change of environment only stratified his style, giving it a more pronounced urban street feel.
In 1999 KONFAB relocated to Cape Town. This is where he truly flourished as an MC, and earned his stripes in the underground. He made solo moves for a number of years locking open-mic sets and small gigs here and there, gradually infiltrating the Cape Town hip-hop movement.
Over the years, KONFAB has come to be affiliated with two crews, Blkmst Fxn and Writers Block (one of the most revered in Cape Town), while at the same time pushing solo projects with Dplanet, Oracle Flo and Ben Sharpa, under the Pioneer Unit banner. KONFAB has also graced mics and laced joints with the likes of tha Hymphatic Thabs, Archetypes, King Daniel, Mpisi the Monolith and many other underground heavyweights at events such as Hip-Hop Connected and Drudge Dialect, culminating in the Tri-Continental Festival where he finished verses with the likes of Wordsworth. In 2007 KONFAB performed at a Ninja Tune / Big Dada night in London called You Don’t Know alongside Mary Anne Hobbs, The Bug and Vex’d. Whilst in London he also performed at Jonzi-D’s The Surgery at the world-famous Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Cult BBC 1 radio personality Mary Anne Hobbs was moved to state that KONFAB is “one of the most inspired and agile lyricists in the world today.”
KONFAB’s style of rhyme remains grounded and devoid of any influence from the materialistic and flashy schools of thought so prevalent in mainstream hip-hop today. He projects the anti-establishment, presently disadvantaged, previously dissed and damaged, seriously pissed-off with anger mismanaged, half-foreign, urbanised darkie that he is.
“…the proper hip-hop product to cop/
toppling popular culture – it rocks!”
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