Exactly ten days ahead of Sizwe Alakine’s latest single release ‘Mang Ka Pa Mang’, Sizwe announces his debut presentation, Alakine World, under this moniker.
In a tactic to maintain momentum while fans are still ruminating about the ‘Mang Ka Pa Mang’ music video, at 86K views on YouTube alone, Sizwe releases his debut just in time as the album is the quintessential soundtrack to Kasi summer.
The 13-track project,a homecoming of sorts, is a project that functions as the narration and a musical collage of occurrences particular to the township as well as the people who reside in these spaces.
The album retains the singles dropped earlier this year, to which fans can expect to hear recent singles ‘Mang Ka pa Mang’, ‘AmaVampire’ ft Mr. JazziQ, Tserai J, PMD, Boibizza, 2woshort & Soultribute, and ‘After Tears’ ft Dj Stokie, Boohle and Tycoon.
The album provides a platform that engrosses these singles in the context of Alakine World, offering opportunities to draw meaning anew.
The tracklist is rich with numerous topics of township discourse as each track offers various matters to reflect on. ‘Ntaka [Imali Ayikho]’ ft Imnotsteelo begins by highlighting one of the most prevalent subject matters in the township and the country, economic disparity.
‘Ntaka [Imali Ayikho]’ is a desperate plea that emphasizes the struggle of obtaining bare necessities. ‘Abantu’ ft Lady Du is a radio-friendly musical sketch of the nosy neighbor who frequently inserts themselves in other’s affairs. This person envies and wishes ill of his fellow man while paying little attention to the events in their own life.
In a track lay with light log drum frolics matched with wah-wah guitar plucking ‘Bring it Back’ ft King Jillz, Strictly Bk, Roii & Sauwcy, is a stripped-down and moody balladic rendition of an Amapiano love song.
The song explores making up after a lover’s quarrel and speaks on the urgency to have said makeup, as life without a partner is an unbearable reality. ‘Bring it Back’ features a beautiful rap verse that is a light reminisce of Alakine as Reason, presenting a varied facet to Amapiano.
Well positioned in the album succession, ‘Ngiyashiselwa’ ft King Jillz & Boibizza, is an illustration of the burning desire for another.
Sonically complex, the dittydisplays aspects of purity by using elements of Zulu culture, delivering the proclamation of love through a barrage of poetic oration. ‘Ngiyashiselwa’ is dichotomy personified, as the pure proclamation of love is simultaneously laced with the rawness of sexual attraction.
Taking the album back to a gloomier theme with ‘Amaginsa’ ft Deeper Phil, Kabza De Small & DayJoy Skillz the track is an exposition of being in close proximity to gangsters and criminals. In Alakine’s lyrics, these are the people who live around us, are our friends, and part of our families.
A disheartening sentiment highlighted sees Alakine express the incomprehensibility of this not being shared lived experience as others live lives without struggles and strife while these themes are rampant in the township.
On a lighter note, other notable mentions on Alakine World are chill dance number ‘Ziayawa La’ ft. Zan’Ten & Raspy as well as numbers offering typical Amapiano dance cadences, ‘Estoepini’ ft. Tserai J, PMD, Vision & KiD X and ‘Konko’ ft. S’tukzin & Gemini Major.
While a few of the themes addressed in Alakine World are somewhat heavy and very realistic, amid party tracks and Kasi ballads, the clever device of laying darker themes on Amapiano beats seeks to ease the intensity of harsh reality.
This device – typical to South African Struggle Music – shows displays dance and happy energy superimposed on the painful lyric.
Alakine World reflects this nuanced essence of Black South Africa as the project is also seeking joy and reasons to enjoy life amid strife. This very essence is what makes the South African people beautiful and colorful, this is what makes being black, and South African at that, sure feel good.
Alakineworld is out now, stream/listen: WarnerMusicAfrica.lnk.to/Alakine_World