Words: Thabang ‘TipiDang’ Manyelo
Photography: Chisanga Mubanga
Artist/Model: TTGO
Styling: Andile Matomela
DEAD.
Beautiful Boyz 
PieSlovakia&Dance

ACT 1 – Geppetto.

Have you ever looked over at your neighbours grimy and murky swimming pool and thought to yourself; “Some people just want to watch the world burn”? This pool glistens in front of you, in that cheerless green reminiscent of an empty Heineken bottle. Well a BMW 1 series, in that awful unsanitary pool green struggles to parallel park right below us. It ambles back and forth like an Instagram boomerang. We watch on, dead, so to speak, from Bangy’s balcony.

On said balcony, I am having a conversation with a black hole. A force so enigmatic, that he pulls you in with every single syllable he utters. He captivates every nerve in your being and holds it like an Opera singer holds a high note then sways you at will. Geppetto, playing with your heartstrings. His caramel-tipped dreads get in the way of his face from time to time, so he combs them back with his fingers as if he’s re-enacting the iconic water scene from Baywatch. A candyfloss pink denim jacket hangs on this rickety frame he calls a body. His hands are cloaked by different coloured velvety gloves that zip up the side of his pinky. Maroon on the left. Black on the right. Much like his personality. A velvety persona smooth to the touch. A mental state that’s dual layered yet immaculately synchronized. A rapper wrapped in Genius. TTGO.

In terms of rap and music, Pretoria has always been seen as the scrawny little brother to Jo’burg, the rugby captain of the high school we call hip hop. TTGO does not disarm this opinion as I thought he would. Instead, like a nurturing farmer, he sprays seeds of insight about the complexities of ‘Petori’. He speaks of this moon and sun dilemma that Pretoria suffers from. “In Petori people don’t take it all the way. It’s either they’re too artsy or they’re too business. It’s always one or the other. It’s either they’re too business and not enough talent…” He pauses, rerouting the destination of his answer and then follows up with; “… well the ones without talent ba tlo sokola (are going to struggle), they’re dead anyway so…”

Check out Part II of Introducing TTGO here