History has been made following the announcement that Def Jam Africa has made a new marquee signing, inking a deal with none other than South African hip hop veteran, Stogie T. The signing is marked by the release of a new single by the elder statesman of South African hip hop, aptly titled “Mama Say”.
In the new song, the emcee slyly addresses the core issues that culminated in the infamous scuffle he had with hip hop commentator Nota on Sunday, October 3rd at Yanga’s event, Famous Friends. What can be said to be a longstanding and one-sided hostility levelled by Nota to Stogie came to a head when the two bumped into each other at the event. This resulted in a scuffle that ended with Nota being thrown out of the event by the bouncers.
Framing the song as advice from his mother, Stogie grapples with the fact that he’s “no tough guy” and admits that he’s “conflicted by religion” but in the same token, acknowledges that he is nothing to be played with. He raps,”Mama say let them hate/ Was ready to put a dental plate on freckle face/ and heard the Lord say, “Retain your grace…”/ And my law retainer straight/ Courtesy of bae/ it’s Kurt Cobain teen spirit on niggas – in their early 30s…”
There’s a few Easter eggs that speak to this meeting of the minds between Def Jam Africa and Stogie T, culminating in “Mama Say” being released as the debut single of the rapper on the label. The first is the fact that on this song, “Mama Say”, Stogie pays homage to one of Def Jam Recording’s flagship emcees LL Cool J’s fourth album Mama Said Knock You Out (released in 1991). The song “Mama Said Knock You Out” itself contained a few shots at fellow rapper Kool Moe Dee, so Stogie carries on tradition with his single. The second Easter egg is the fact that LL Cool J released a diss song aimed at rapper Canibus called “The Ripper Strikes Back” on the Def Jam Recordings compilation album Def Jam: Survival of the Fittest Vol. 1 (released in 1998), which further highlights Def Jam’s reputation of its artists putting it on wax whenever conflict arises in the rap world.
Despite the combative air Stogie is in at the moment though, it’s almost poetic justice that this blip in his career has been offset and contrasted by the news that he has signed a new deal with a record label that houses almost half of the top talent in South African hip hop. Not only is this a milestone in Stogie T’s long and illustrious career, it is also a watershed moment in South African hip hop, showing the fruits of the long game when someone plays their cards as well as Stogie has.
Speaking about the deal, Stogie said: “The story of Hip Hop is incomplete with Def Jam’s incalculable contribution to its growth and greatness. I cannot express how proud I am to add my journey to that story.”
Congratulations to the artist formerly known as Fat Buoy!