Cassper Nyovest - Thuto (2017)
Signed up the 28/03/2017
"Mr Fill Up" is now more than ever explicitly confident in the divine entity that he is slowly morphing into. It is unequivocally most satisfying that his stride is stealthy until you hear him announce something in a song over an audibly appealing yammer. He's tactical, he's charming and he will not bend his knee to anybody who doesn't deserve the courtesy. I guess that about sums up Thuto.
Cassper on Thuto is Cassper readjusting himself after realising just how much of a force he undoubtedly and incomparably is. Witnessing the young black man puff his chest out and stare a beast in the eye is especially momentus. He's not taking any of the bullying and fake-smiling from his fellow media folk and Internet trolls alike any longer.
In this album the Maftown Hip Hop prodigy is shedding skin, ready to shape into a new and improved version of himself. "They probably thought that 'Shebeleza' was my peak", he scoffs over the smooth We Living Good in which he features Family Tree signee, Tshego. He is only just getting started, and he plans to have a long-run and even build a legacy for himself and the people he holds dear through this all-consuming business called music. Three main themes are maintained throughout the body of work; 1. A nod to his background and upbringing, 2. Confronting uphill battles within his personal relationships, 3. Celebrating his current successes.
The song Confused is especially hard as f* in terms of lyrical agility. Listening to him rap here is as though you were watching an origin story at the theaters. The scorching narrative coupled with the raw honesty, you can't help but cheer for Cassper as her lays his cards on the table and gives himself to (the god that is) vulnerability, while he reliquishes his own condescension as some form of sacrifice. Cassper takes into consideration the ails which he had previously endured and the demons that continue to shadow his path even in the light that he has found. He discusses dire topics such as his mom's depression, the darkness which he cloaks within himself, and the downside of success itself.
In songs like Destiny we witness Nyovest tapping into a more troubled side of his being. He goes back and forth in his own head, scolding himself, questioning his own motives, while at the same time realising that every other person he holds dear is capable of bringing ruin unto him more than he wants to believe. He dissects love as a universal concept; how it comes coupled with pain, sacrifices and anything else that always somehow manages to drive even the most upright person down a wicked path. "I don't wanna die for love like Reeva Steenkamp" sums up just how sceptical he has become of love and opening himself up to the idea of companionship. He has become overly wary towards the idea of offering complete trust to someone who might just turn on you at any given moment. He notes that the accepted template of love is flawed, as he addresses his own role in using this very emotion, coupled with the privileges patriachy affords him, as a weapon.
In songs such as Amen Hallelujah we hear Nyovest easing up a bit as he prepares to celebrate his accomplishments. I couldn't help but imagine black people by a pool at a braai, wearing colourful clothes and being carefree- thankful to whatever God they believe in for pulling through for them, as the beat gingerly drummed on. This particular song, though not the socially accepted definition of a summer hit, possesses the frivolous fire to have a good run as a summer theme in the streets. But then again that would depend on if the powers that be don't try to use their influence to hold it back, as they are notoriously known to do if something doesn't sound the way they want it to (er... trappy). "Radio claims to play local, but all I hear is some Drake vocals".
I can confidently confirm that this album is a wholly gratifying experience. This is the story of the South African youth and household. I was also quite shook at how the replay value is at its grandest for this album. I can gaurantee that temptation to skip any song at all on this particular offering is very low. A young man from Mahikeng has just come into his own; now comfortable in his own skin, he embraces the god within himself. From apologies to the people he's hurt, to expressing his disappointment towards those who've caused him pain, to pure flexing and contentment in what he has achieved, Thuto is a prestine biographical audio collection by the in-coming King.
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