Yanga Chief is back and ready to tell his story through music

Rapper Yanga Chief. Picture: Instagram

Rapper Yanga Chief. Picture: Instagram

Published May 7, 2024


Award-winning rapper, Yanga Chief has returned to the music scene after taking some time off to focus on things such as filmmaking.

The rapper recently released a special single for mothers titled, “Mbali Yam”.

The musician explained that the song had been sitting with him for a while, but he never released it because he felt like it was too personal.

“Every time I listened to it, it sounded too personal, with it being Mother’s Day, I am a bit more comfortable sharing it,” he said in a recent interview on Metro FM’s The Touchdown.

Speaking to the show hosts, Tbo Touch and Loot Love, the musician spoke about why he took a break from his music career, what he got up too, and now that he’s back, what he plans to do.

“I just lost the passion for it. The music wasn’t really drawing me in anymore and the type of music I wanted to make, I don’t think I had the confidence enough to just go with it.

“Now I am ready to just jump back in, even though I know some of the sounds are not palatable for certain people, but I’ve learnt to appreciate my story more than anything else, and I feel like whatever the sound of the music is, my story is what people are going to connect and relate to.

“It’s not just about me, it’s about a kid with nothing somewhere else, listening, in there little situation, so I’m doing it for that now. Now that I think about it in that way, it’s easier for me to take on any song and sound.”

The “My Baby” hitmaker has also been working on another musicial project.

“I’ve been quietly working on a SA hip hop documentary. I think I am one of the best placed people to be able to tell an SA hip hop story, considering where my career started with Skwatta Kamp, all the way until now, with the likes of AKA, I think that whole journey needs to be told and I have a good relationship with all my OGs...”

Speaking more about the late Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, Chief recalled that it was the rapper who gave him his first commercial music break on the song, “Run Jozi”.

“I remember when he gave me the beat and I wrote to it and then he was like, ‘Ok let me do the hook’ and then he’s like, ‘Ok, let me do another verse’... we played a lot of music tennis like that.

“I’ve worked with so many other artists and he was the first person to release an official song with me. I had like 20 songs with other artists that never came out for some reason. But he released ‘Run Jozi’, it was the first time I was ever on any commercial song.”

When asked about what he thinks of the general mood of hip hop in the country, Chief responded,:“I think it’s dope. I like the attention that all the new kids are getting and that they are building for themselves... it will take some time before it gets super commercial, but this is how it starts. I think they doing amazing well.

“Shout out to Eastern Cape rappers, Cape Town rappers, Pretoria rappers, Durban rappers. If you listening to SA hip hop right now, you have such a vast type of sounds to pick from. That’s always been the identity of SA hip hop.”