KwaMashu, the township north of Durban, is a furnace when it comes to creating seminal South African rappers – like Riky Rick, Zakwe, Duncan and... Black Moss. Who you may ask? Well just FYI, Black Moss is one of the most gifted lyricists ever to come out of eThekwini, crushing street battles and playing underground shows throughout the 2000s before he bounced to Seoul, Korea, and disappeared off many local hip hop enthusiasts' radars. What happened to Black Moss? Is he still making music? And what are the pros and cons of being an expat rapper? Let's find out…
Tell us about the birth and flight of Black Moss? Why did you immigrate?
Well I started off in 2006 as the host of the biggest hip hop platform at the time in Durban, Life Check. I built a strong name and following in Durban but to answer your question I wouldn't say I fled or immigrated. In 2011 I started traveling with my girlfriend at the time and my curiosity to find out more about the world and its people grew from then on. I haven't given thought to how long I plan on being abroad.
You started off in the cypher/freestyling and battling scene… Do you think it's important for emcees to prove themselves that way? Or is it no longer necessary with the advent of the Internet?
I think it's important for every MC/rapper to take their craft and talent seriously. The format or platform will always be changing, but I think the respect we show the art and the culture should always be at the highest level.
Your music still has a strong connection to the Zulu Kingdom in terms of lyrical content… talk about being an artist living abroad. How much of the new culture do you integrate into your art, and is it important to retain a connection to your roots?
I'd say it's most important to stay true to your purpose than your roots. I identify first with being a human being, then as a Zulu, and my purpose is to speak to people of all nations with my music. With that being said, I think it's beautiful when I can educate the listener about where I come from and make them ask questions because at times that's the only opportunity they may get learn about me and my history. At the moment I don't do much rapping in Korean even though I can speak it a bit and I'm not sure if I will.
Tell us about your crew, Part Time Cooks…
Check us out at www.parttimecooks.com
You still come back to the homeland for the occasional show… how does it feel to play in-front of hometown fans?
I always love performing at home and it feels good to perform in front of fans who still follow the music.
Any last words, shout outs?
Shout out to my sister Phumi and brother Drumkit. Thank you very much for inviting me to this conversation.
Take a listen: