It is quite rare for rappers to use their birth names but, Lesson just thought his was just too interesting not to go to stage.
Born in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg yet rooted at a small village called Phaphazela in Malamulele, Lesson Makhubele fell in love with rap music at the age of 11 and also just released an album called Fresh Air. To get a bit of fresh air on Lesson, we asked him to share a thing to two about himself.
Q: Why did you choose to call yourself ‘Lesson’ as your stage name?
A: Lesson is my name of birth. I chose to use it because it is interesting and carries a lot of memories. It reminds me of a lot of things. It keeps me grounded or sane if I may put it that way.
Q: Does your music live up to your stage name? If yes, why?
A: Yes it does. Although it entertains the audience, it also contains lessons that they can take. I believe songs such as Try Again, We Here Now, Cheese and Xikwembu from my album are very motivational.
Q: What attracted you to rap?
A: I was attracted by the way it sounds, the artists’ dress codes, the culture and its freedom of expression seemed so powerful and exciting.
Q: Why did you venture into Tsonga Rap?
A: I ventured into Tsonga Rap because I felt it was necessary and relevant for me to represent and be the voice for the voiceless. Also, I believe Tsonga is a nice language so I’ve come to learn that it is even nicer when combined with a rap beat.
Q: Tell us about Down to Earth.
A: Down To Earth is a rap band that I started with my homeboys whereby we’ve established another name for Tsonga Rap as ‘TsongaMbela’. It is derived from the word Tsonga and ‘tsokombela’ which means ‘sweet’ to further emphasize how nice or delicious Tsonga Rap is as a music genre.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: My parents, they are the coolest people in the world. My mother has a strong personality, she is intelligent and very optimistic about the future all the time. My father is the king of cool, I believe he is the real definition of what a hustler is and just has too much swag.
Q: Tell us about your new and upcoming album; Fresh Air, what is it about and where can people get it?
A: Fresh Air is all about keeping it cool, hunger for new ideas and self-belief. It is a fun record, packed with positive energy to get you going and club bangers. You don’t have to be a rap fanatic to love this album. I believe its TsongaMbela will give Tsonga rap a new different dimension. The Fresh Air album is available at Google Play, iTunes and Tidal. Also, click here to download Good Vibe for free.
Q: What do you think are the challenges faced by Tsonga Rappers? How do you overcome them?
A: Challenges faced by Tsonga rappers are finances and funds to help them push their craft otherwise there is so much talent in our music genre. The only way to overcome this challenge is for get funding and also convince record companies and media platforms to believe that it is actually beautiful music. Also, Tsonga people need to invest in their own artists in order to change the way things are currently.
Q: Which local artists have you worked with; Tsonga and non-Tsonga and what did you learn from them?
A: I’ve worked with Prince Rhangani, Dala Fam, Thevu Thevu and Abdul Milazi. I’ve learned that I need to take myself seriously as a musician in order to sustain longevity.
Q: What do you think about the future of Tsonga Rap in South Africa?
A: I think it has a very bright future and I believe the South African music industry has been waiting for us for too long – it’s time we finally enter this space.
Follow Lesson on his Facebook page as Lesson SA, Twitter as @Lesson SA and Instagram as @lesson_sa.