Khuli Chana is enjoying a second act of sorts. All within the first half of 2021, he has had two pivotal moments already. His towering performance on Stino Le Thenny’s “Mshimane 2.0” alongside K.O. as well as the release and subsequent success of his latest single “Buyile” Ft. TylerICU, Stino Le Thwenny & Lady Du. As such, the word ‘comeback’ has been thrown around frequently in reference to the motswako legend. This is owed to his unofficial hiatus from the studio circa 2013, after the release of his critically acclaimed and award winning sophomore album, Lost In Time, released in 2012. Lost In Time is the first and only SA hip hop album to win a SAMA for Album of the Year. By all hopes and intents, Khuli was on top of the SA hip hop food chain.
During this time-off, Khuli expanded his brand by branching into various business ventures. Amongst others, he famously inked a partnership with Absolut Vodka, one of the leading brands of Premium vodka in the country. However, there was also a fateful incident that involved him getting embroiled in a case of mistaken identity which culminated in a shooting by the SAPS in 2013, resulting in a lengthy legal battle. These are some of the things that inadvertently relegated making and releasing new music to the backseat in Khuli’s life.
Apart from sporadic features on occasion, Khuli would go on to release 2017’s One Source Live, which was a collaborative album with Absolut. This partnership put Khuli in the centre of an African collaboration album, alongside other African acts and creatives such as Sho Madjozi, (South Africa/Music), Trevor Stuurman, (South Africa/Fashion) Fabrice Monteiro, (Senegal-Benin/Fashion, art), and Osborne Macharia, (Kenya/Photography). One Source Live is a largely forgotten project in his catalogue and he would only release his solo follow up to 2012’s Lost In Time in 2019, with the release of Planet of the HaveNots.
Despite only having three solo albums under his belt, Khuli has had a long and fruitful career in South African hip hop. Starting off as part of the motswako supergroup Morafe alongside the immensely talented Towdeemac and KayGizm, Khuli’s career as a fully fledged professional recording artist spans over 15 years, a few years shy of 2 decades. Morafe’s debut album, Maru A Pula: The Anticipation was released in 2005, while Khuli’s debut solo album Motswakoriginator was released in 2009. Since then, he has gotten exponentially better with each season.
Khuli’s solo albums have proved to stand the test of time, making him an interesting subject to zone in on and determine the absolute best songs in his discography. Though it was a near impossible task, here is our ranking of the 30 best Khuli Chana songs of all time:
“I got sphahlo and a beverage, love for the hood and living lavish…that’s why I love Pitoria…”
Pretoria is one of the most renowned cities in South Africa. One of its most celebrated attributes is its rich societal composition which makes it an interesting melting pot of various ethnic groups. A variation of Tswana, Pedi and Sotho speaking people form a large part of the population in the Pretoria streets, this is why they resonate so much with motswako – outside of the traditional motswako towns in the North West and the Free State. Khuli has spoken on how much Pretoria embraced them (Morafe) as motswako outfits when the North West wasn’t as accommodating. It therefore makes sense that he would make an entire anthem for Pretoria, aptly called “Pitori”. L-Skillz and KayGizm each give an assist on this much loved cut off Motswakoriginator.
29. “Thank You”
“My father’s absence and empty promises, when nothing makes I just acknowledge this, still ke lepara, ha ba ntebala ba itebetse…”
On this gratitude ode, Khuli spits a heartfelt verse, as he often does on the Planet of the HaveNots album. He touches on various issues, from having to pay taxes, to branching out into independence, his accidental shooting by the SAPS as well as the paternal void caused by the absence of his father. He wraps these issues all up with an air of gratitude, acknowledging all the dark places they have taken him and still feeling gratified nonetheless. The stars of the song are the stellar assembly of features that includes frequent collaborator and groupmate KayGizm and Kabomo, along with Dr Tumi and Mapula Mahlo.
“Follow me, I – the leader, ha ho tsidifala I bring the heat through your speaker, ha ho fififala I bring the light so we see ya’, keep your eyes open, ha o ka latlha re tlo sia… say my name in vain, o ikepela lebitla, you biting the hand that feed ya’, o nyela didiba…”
A precedent that was set by the MotswakOriginator album is that Morafe collaborations are a permanent and frequent fixture on every Khulu album. “Futhumatsa” is one of the many songs that sound like Morafe outtakes which were given to Khuli. Towdee mans the chorus, gliding flawlessly with a rhythm syncopated to the baseline engulfed beat. Khuli gives a display reminiscent of the Morafe days, which is accentuated by the subdued humming KayGee does in the background enveloped by Khuli’s rapid fire verses. Rapping mostly in SeTswana, “Futhumatsa” is one of his standout straight motswako songs which is even better because it is the first song one hears when they press play on Khuli’s debut album, MotswakOriginator.
“Word gets around wa chesa, running ‘round in town o betsa, tlama bana line e tlale, o wa itlama nare o no etsang?”
Good artists have an uncanny ability to sometimes make effortless songs which aren’t that serious but show a certain level of expertise in executing (think Erykah Badu’ “I Want You”). “Wataday” is one of those songs. A playful cut that one hears and can’t help but think it was probably done during a jam session. A hypnotic beat by pH finds Khuli at his most nonchalant, having fun with a few people who are in the studio with him as they all look back on “what a day” it has been, interpolating part of Mdu’s “Mazola” in the process. The ad libs of all those involved blend in well together making for a gaiety effort in concert.
“They think motswako is a phase and we’re just passing by, nah, Motswakorigination multiplies, operation, tswak’ it up, motswakotation, you trynna fuck it this up and I start blazing…”
With “Tswakstikem” Khuli made a potent statement that he was ready to strike out as a solo artist. Even though he gets substantial assistance from Towdee, it was clear that this was his song and he was a fully fledged artist who could go all the way as a formidable independent artist. Releasing it as one of the earliest singles proved to pay dividends as he managed to make a dent in the industry, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. Taking full advantage of the then young and relatively novice production trio of Kamo, AKA and Buks, he received one of their best beats since they produced the scorcher “Bhampa” for Pro two years earlier (2007).
“Ten years later everything is looking good but not me and pops, I wonder how he felt when he heard I got shot but he ain’t reach out… ”
Khuli’s latest full length album, Planet of the HaveNots is his most introspective yet. On “Diary”, he gets deeply reflective, dedicating his personal rumination to all those that are listening. He shares his thoughts on the observations he has on a variety of things including the unemployed who lack initiative, greedy tenderpreneurs, teenage pregnancy as well as death. As if writing in his own personal diary, he is not judgmental as he addresses these issues but is instead empathetic. He shares his own personal shortcomings as well, mainly his estranged relationship and his family frustrating him about getting married. He closes off the song by urging all to put their trust in God as the only salvation.
24. “I Geddit”
“Shout out my barbers in Alabama, Maglera Doe splashing like pools in Bela-Bela, I’m on a road to Fridays in favela, you got squad goals then boss up, bososela, knock-a knox man foster feela, ha ba lome bao tshosa feela…”
An interesting characteristic that Khuli has is his ability to share well-informed insights even when the song he’s making doesn’t beg for him to do so. Based on its title, the beat and the flow, “I Geddit” is meant to be a straight braggadocio cut where Khuli flexes his muscle – and while he does all these, he manages to drop some valuable gems. The precise flow is underscored by jewels that range from self-belief, uplifting each other, striving for success and of course, the Maglera Doe Boy shout it.
“Whoever thought gore ntwananyan’a Mmabatho, would tswak’ & pop and phatlallatsa all of you? This time ke tlohela ntho tse sele, embrace this life for sure ke phele…”
Serving as the first single off his sophomore album, “HazzadazMove” took a little bit of time to catch fire, but boy when it did!? Considering that MotswakoOriginator had created a household name out of Khuli, having to live up to that stature was a lofty task. However, “HazzadazMove” proved to be one of his most innovative singles yet, proving that the success of his debut was not a fluke. A searing summer song built around a motown sample and a DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince “Summertime” break, it was a bold attempt that really worked. KayGizm again adds another welcomed dimension to a Khuli song with his crooning and harmonising.
22. “Hape Le Hape – Part 2”
“Lehipi la motse-moshate, made something from nothing, from zero to profits and repping Morafe, started in ‘05, you young’ns got no drive…”
After the overwhelming success of the Lost In Time posse cut “Hape Le Hape”, Khuli thought it best to make the whole concept into a series (which is currently at its trilogy stage). The second instalment is entirely different from the first, which featured four emcees. “Hape Le Hape – Part 2” features only Da L.E.S. and Kwaito legend Tokollo a.k.a Magesh of legendary Kwaito group TKZee. With this one, Khuli still retains the soulful nostalgic appeal of the first one, making use of a sample, albeit on a more laid back beat. He pays homage to Tokollo by flipping one of his beloved songs, “Do It Again”, which by all intents and purposes, inspired the “Hape Le Hape” sentiment that has been synonymous with Khuli since time immemorial. Da L.E.S. also shines on the track.
21. “Holding On To Forever”
“Tlogoloana tsaka think I got a fancy job, why’s my soul bankrupt in this fancy car?… tse monate – tse bohloko ha li fele, I’m just praying this life thing don’t fail me…”
A-Reece, one of the shining sons of SA hip hop has expressed on numerous occasions how much he looks up to Khuli. The two finally collaborated on this deep cut off Planet of the HaveNots. Once again, Khuli is in his introspective and contemplative bag, sharing heartfelt stories of the fond memories he has of his dear friends – some who have transitioned already. He also addresses his mortality by acknowledging how precious life is and reaffirming his hope and belief that God will protect him. The beat switches and Baby Boy also tries his best to be in a similar contemplative bag.
20. “Pina (Love This Music)”
“I’m a puppet on a string for this music, ain’t a thing I wouldn’t do for this music… ema pele ntwana don’t give me a pound, just surrounded by greats who rubbed off on me, won’t take all the credit, just give me my money, I love the music…”
Motswako flagship artists have always set themselves apart from other enclaves within SA hip hop by being exceptionally artistic and musical. HHP, Morafe and Mo’Molemi have some of the most virtuosic musical sensibilities in all of hip hop and this Khuli ode to music is a perfect example of how deep the love for music goes for these guys. There are many musical influences that permeate their own works, from motown to disco, jazz to soul, R&B and Lounge. Khuli, assisted by the ever so proficient KayGizm, does the noble thing and acknowledges just how much music has carried them and why ultimately everything they do is because of their love for music.
“Biggie Coogi knitwear Timberlands sycamore, paradigm shift, the reason I sing a song, aye! U sa ya ka speed, tlameile no itshoke, sa ifagela spiel, tlameile no ipoze, who gives a fuck what he gon’ say? I reach the bar either way…”
Every now and then Khuli showcases his technical skill as a rapper. Bending flows, employing inflections, metaphors and coining slang. Apart from his insane flow in this song, his references reveal him to be a hip hop scholar with an impressively wide cultural palate. He name-drops the oft-forgotten rap duo from the Bronx, Camp Lo’s “Luchini”, as well as one of The Notorious BIG’s most recognized outfit of him wearing Timbs and a Coogi sweater. Carrying on the Biggie reference, he sneakily includes “sycamore” which is a type of tree (notice he also mentioned Timberland, whose logo is a tree) but is also part of one of Biggie’s most lauded rhyme schemes, “With my sycamore style, more sicker than yours” off “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You.” This expert level hip hop head rapping. And of course Towdee delivers a masterful, award winning verse.
“The strong move silent (shhhhh!), trying to put you on, be quiet, didimala, phumula maminanyana, bietjienyana, whaa- what you can not read between the lines? You need to ho nskimanyana teach you how to deal-anyana…”
It was a point where you could give Khuli any beat and he would make a hit out of it. AB Crazy did exactly that when he gave him this beat of which he unassumingly crafted one of his biggest hits and one of the biggest SA hip hop songs of all time. “Mnatebawen” is a definition of hit that grows legs to become even bigger than itself. It is one of those prototype songs record label heads speak of when they say they want a song that can be sung with the same enthusiasm by a child, their parents and even their grandparents. Khuli even scored ad revenue through the song to show the crossover appeal it possessed. It’s also worth noting that a song with this much reach was essentially about encouraging self-love and acceptance of oneself. Khuli did that.
“Me and baby mom had to throw in the towel, the cost of bickering made me sick to my bowel, no fight left in me does that make me a coward, we holding on a string, while we’re spiraling downward, thought we had this thing empowered, thought we’d love each other until the final hour…”
One of Khuli’s strong suits is his strong self-awareness, which allows him to be brutally honest about his life without sounding like he is pandering to his audience. It is also evident that this is an attribute that has shown itself more in his latter albums as he grows and matures. On “Endurance” he lays bare his pain resulting from some of his failures. He tells the story of initially being shunned in his hometown, how he unwittingly embarked on a solo career at the incessatance of his rhyme partner Towdee, as well as falling out of love with music at some point – likening all he had to contend with to feeling imprisoned in ‘Shutter Island’ and being in the ‘sunken place’. He concludes the song by touching on his failed relationship with his daughter’s mom. Melo B Jones sings an exceptional dirge about pain, strife and endurance on the chorus.
“I been easy like Ma-Easy Does It, make believe, money easy like these JHB yellow b’s, shit could be easy like a Sunday morning, easy like ngwanyan’a Bokone, like Mama mpone…”
For Lost In Time, producer extraordinaire pH was the J Dilla to Khuli’s Q-Tip when he made Amplified. pH was all over the project and essentially helped Khuli put together his magnum opus. “Chilling” is a song that was initially pH’s, however, Khuli managed to convince him to give it to him for his album. It is a soulful groove with elements of boom bap soundscapes and features Ma-E, who delivers a dope verse, as well as pH whose rapping prowess isn’t recognised nearly enough for how exceptional he is. Khuli of course glides all over it as he raps about his predisposition to just be an easy and chilled out guy.
“Iketle pele, butleee! Cooking lyrical souffles, bona sani you can’t do it too, not the way that I do it, Imma take you back to the future, bring you back to where you is, giving you that old feeling still sounding a new way…”
If you ever doubted that Khuli is a seriously skilled emcee, who can hang with the best wordsmiths in SA hip hop, then “Ketane” should remove any doubts. The flow he employs on this is stupendous. He does inflections and slant rhymes like it’s nothing and this proves the lyrical skill-set he possesses. But if there’s one thing in Khuli’s arsenal that sets him apart is his ability to never sacrifice any aspect of song making in order to advance one aspect. Because on “Ketane” he is focused on this over the top flow that flexes his skill, it doesn’t mean that he should lose his message and intent to make an enjoyable song, with references and metaphors in tact. He swings and drags like a blues player with eyes closed in a trance – the difference is he does it with words. Bizz Makhi is also in particularly high form with his scene stealing guest verse.
“Fresh out like a boss burger with a neat mullet, just because I want my e-Wallet, watcher, blocker, pocket watching ‘nare keng mare?”
Part of Khuli’s legacy is giving lesser known artists a platform to showcase their talent. He has done this for countless artists from Notshi to Maglera Doe Boy and he’s doing the same for Stino le Thwenny. On this track that pretty much inspired the title and direction of his third album Planets of the HaveNots he is with Maglera Doe Boy, who gave the song to Khuli, as the two of them trade bars about coming from nothing and becoming something. As is the case with many rappers, their stories are rags to riches-centric and hip hop offers them an escape to live a better life, at least in the financial sense. However, there’s still value in never forgetting where one comes from and embracing it. Which is exactly what Khuli and Maglera do on this song.
13. “No More Hunger – Part 1”
“Jealousy ke bolwetse, bolakaletsi is a symptom of pimping the system, I’m telling you son…”
“No More Hunger – Part 1” is one of the major hits from an album that was a gift that kept on giving. Producing a handful of hits for various artists during this time, when Ivy League connected with Khuli, it was guaranteed to be a scorcher. Their high-pitched horns based and sample driven instrumentals seemed to fit Khuli like a glove. He in turn enlists JR and together they justify the hustler’s motive, declaring that it is because of the hunger that they strive so hard in order to get as much as they do – especially the hustlers out in the streets. However, Khuli is responsible enough to clarify that money doesn’t complete a person and therefore it is unwise to have an unfettered desire for the buck.
12. “9 Shots”
“Commissioner, I ain’t mad at ya’, chaela maponesa look I ain’t mad at ya’, chaela mogenerale look I ain’t mad, I put on a full armour of God and just laugh at you…”
For many artists, the creation of music can also be a cathartic following a traumatic experience. “9 Shots” must have felt like that for Khuli because it is the song he made detailing his feelings regarding the traumatic experience he went through in 2013. Khuli was mistaken for kidnappers by the SAPS who proceeded to fire 9 shots at his vehicle, wounding him in the process. He would later sue and settle out of court. In the song, he reflects on the shooting and how he almost lost his life but even though the subject itself is dark, he manages to make an uplifting, enjoyable song out of the ordeal. He fuses his storytelling abilities with insightful commentary about the fragility of life, the state of policing in South Africa as well as preaching a message of resilience.
11. “Tswa Daar”
“I told them get up, emelela ka maoto ao, now drop gimme ten, u bolele le mauthi ao, when kak hits the fan, elevate me when I’m down…”
By the time Khuli released “Tswa Daar” as a single off Lost In Time”, he was at the peak of his star power. The fact that he had the confidence to release a straight up boom bap song that’s uncompromised as a single that would go on to tear up charts shows his pedigree. Him and Notshi completely obliterate the pH beat with an onslaught of metaphors, similes and impressive rhyme patterns. The success of the song, owed largely to its simple and infectious hook, defied odds and became a scorcher of a single, despite at face value being a niche appealing song for the head bopping boom bap crowd.
10. “Never Grow Up”
“Change the game, growing my paper, Imma stay young, love it or hate it, I’ve been doing this from way-za!”
Considering how much he rides for ‘Pitori’, collaborating with Pretoria based producer Beat Mochini was a no-brainer for Khuli. The two make magic with this ‘fountain of youth’ cut, which finds Khuli embracing not only his youthful appearance but also the notion of staying young at heart. He looks back on all that he has gone through and marvels at how much life is still left in him. He pokes fun at how goofy he still is but balances that out with being able to handle business like the grown up man that he is. A recurring motif in his songs is his acknowledgment of God as the captain of his ship, steering his life – “Never Grow Up” is no different.
09. “Jivas Febulous”
“We gon’ stack this smega like Glenn Lew’, give the money back to dikasi like Fresh do, push the mini coops, jeeps, beemers and benz too, ban bolakaletsi, the evil that men do…”
This is another Khuli cut that one would be forgiven for thinking it’s a Morafe outtake that was just given to Khuli instead. “Jivas Febulous” was released as one of the latter singles off the MotswakOriginator album, charting as late as 2011 – two years after the album came out. It proved just how proficient Khuli was in making an album rich with potential chart topping singles. A laid back summer jam where all three Morafe members are in top form, it certainly brought back the nostalgia of those Morafe albums in the mid to late 2000s. A memorable music video was even shot for it, featuring one of Tall Ass Mo’s earliest industry performances.
“While some hated, malimabe, Shamane Kakana put some money on it, I ain’t forget you Sha’, I’m on it, like ngwanyana on Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’, look, if anyone knows me, Towdee, KayGee Mo’ Molemi, mould me…”
Another collaboration with Beat Mochini where we find Khuli at his lyrical apex. While he seldom raps for the sake of rapping on some rappity-rap shit, Khuli certainly has the chops to rap proficiently and exhibit characteristics of a highly skilled emcee – an emcee who can hold his own in any cypher or battle rap arena. He does this on “Maje” but as always, there’s a discernable message and storyline in his raps. He shares tales on how he had to throw caution to the wind and just bet on himself when he embarked on this journey to become a rapper. There’s a few who believed in him and helped him along the way – there’s a special mention of the late great HHP.
07. “Hape Le Hape”
“Look, I ain’t got half of Bouga’s buzz but everybody’s watching, I ain’t said a word why is everybody nodding, hey, u sheba kae, you ain’t never see me coming…
This is arguably a top five SA hip hop posse cut. Khuli assembled a group of emcees who were undoubtedly all at the top of their game at the time and they all rapped their asses off. Knowing that there will be four other emcees on the song must have prompted each emcee to step their game up. Khuli sets it off with a longer verse because it’s his song. The other four emcees, which are AKA, Zeus, Reason, and Towdee Mac each have eight bars and boy do they make them count. Another pH produced song, it was the first instalment to the “Hape” series that has so far seen “Hape Le Hape – Part 2” featuring Da L.E.S. and Tokollo Magesh and “Hape 3.0” featuring KayGizm.
06. “Back To The Heights”
“Ska tshoga, ska thothomela, breathe, hema, chechela morao re go tshele… ba size’e, if they acting brand new, ba mize’e, life’s a gamble, bargain, slip and fall ‘til umnandi…”
The Maftown Heights Festival era was a thing to behold. With Khuli Chana as a central figure in the formation of the festival, we saw motswako artists, who mostly hailed from Mafikeng in the North West get a much deserved platform to showcase their skills in Johannesburg – creating a home away from home. The festival hosted not just motswako artists but a large part of SA hip hop figures found their way to grace the stage of the festival in the numerous years it was held, In 2017, as a festival precursor, Khuli released this scorcher of a song, “Back To The Heights”. Its title is self-explanatory. Khuli talks his shit, with his exclusive cool slang over a Teddy Pendergrass sample.
05. “Hape 3.0”
“So we came up, fell out, made up, banged out, selling out the shows, wish that I was there for you, why you ain’t reached out, when you needed me the most…”
The third and latest instalment in the “Hape” series comes in the form of “Hape 3.0” off the Planet of the HaveNots album. It is by far the most introspective and reflective one in the series and is the first one with a solo Khuli rap performance. The only feature is KayGizm, who delivers one of his best hooks of all time. As the album opener, it a bookend of the album intro (a monologue outlining the various slang terms for money), which segues perfectly into the song. The beat is a taut, mid to high energy instrumental with brooding soulful synths and Khuli lays it with powerful vocals where he laments the death of HHP. He reveals that a rift had formed between him and the motswako legend, and that even though they managed to reconcile before his death, he wishes he could have been there for him during his turmoil. It is a beautifully penned tribute that continues to immortalise the spirit of the dearly departed Jabba.
04. “No More Hunger – Part 2”
“What’s your purpose, what’s the problem, what’s the solution, you got power, but how you use it is the question, o ikaeletseng, maikaelelo, maikarabelo, re kopa lithapelo, (ha re rapeleng), my music is a weapon for peace, it feeds the soul…”
Khuli may not be the first name one thinks of when they’re listing ‘conscious’ SA emcees. However songs like “No More Hunger – Part 2” put him in the pantheon of top tier emcees who write with laudable temerity. He takes a subject as sensitive as food insecurity and writes about in a responsible and insightful way. He is able to do this so well because he is one of the few emcees in SA hip hop who have genuine insight and a rich, informed outlook. Not only that, he has the sheer talent to translate it in his music with a natural flair. The fact that “No More Hunger – Part 1”, which was a more self-involved song about a hustler’s thirst for monetary success compelled him to take the idea further by writing about a far more prevalent plight, is not only selfless on his part but shows that he has true compassion.
“Ke hemela mic to make a living, at the end of the night I make a killing, re ilo grab-a bite and get in where we fit in, there’s a time to receive and there’s a time for giving, nna keya konka…”
When it comes to chart-topping radio hits, Khuli has never been in short supply. “Konka” is arguably one of his most successful and beloved singles off his debut album – an album that spawned several hits. It is a Don Juan of the Octave Couplet production team produced song that has an overly soulful bounce to it and features heavy R&B inspired vocals from the songstress Tamarsha. Khuli once again crafts a catchy tune that’s also full of substance in that as much as it’s a light hearted feel good song, it contains introspective and meaningful lyrics that serve as a manifesto revealing his entire modus operandi when it comes to how he views himself in the context of embarking on a solo career. He’s confident, he’s clear and he’s intends to conquer.
02. “Sthandwa Sam” (Ft. Towdee Mac)
“My soul is weary from all that chasing, I know God sent you and I’ve been patiently waiting, and then my heart pumps fast, I’m in love at last…”
The Octave Couplet beat built around a chipmunk sample-esque vocal of “Sthadwa Sam” is simply sublime. Certainly one of the best beats credited to the production crew. It proves to be a perfect fit for Khuli and his partner in rhyme Towdee, as they pour their hearts out about the people they love. Khuli talks about a romantic love interest with endearing sensitivity, as he gleefully realises how much he loves this particular person. There’s a boyish hesitation and consideration in the way he’s written the verse, seen by how he asks for permission before asking for her hand, as well as being wary of moving too fast in the relationship. Towdee flips the script, while still sticking to the brief, deciding to address his daughter as the object of his heart instead. He reassures her that even though he and her mom didn’t work out, she will always be the crown of his heart, regardless of what happens. Khuli and Towdee are some of the best introspective writers in SA hip hop as they are able to connect emotionally by wearing their hearts on their sleeve, respectively.
01. “Lenyalo” (Ft. the Rest of Morafe and Maxhoba)
“I know you probably feeling like o mo lekile, don’t you know monna y’o otileng o iphuphuthile, o tsogile, o tla tsoga a thothile, lenyalo…”
Khuli’s best song is the devastating “Lenyalo”, in which he laments the end of a marriage. In his verse, he painstakingly describes the hopeless moment in a marriage where there’s a complete dearth of love, signaling its irrevocable end. Towdee adds another dimension to the context, juxtaposing the festivities of a wedding with the gut wrenching reckoning of the hardships of the actual marriage that leave nothing but divorce as the only viable course of action. The hauntingly beautiful and extremely sentimental chorus sung by Maxhoba and KayGee is what elevates the song to a higher stratosphere, along with the arresting piano riff centred beat. The chorus bears the bittersweet characteristic of marriage, which is the entire point of the song – to illustrate the contradiction of a matrimonial union meant to bring happiness only to have a bitter end. It is such a brilliant song that despite its dark, pessimistic take on marriage, some people have expressed a desire for it to be played at their wedding.