By Claire Morrison
What would you get if you combined a boy from the townships, a hard-hitting message, and electric soul, set to a beat that makes you wanna dance? The answer is the music of rapper Blaque Nubon.
The Christian hip hop artist has introduced a side of his genre that is distinctly driven by the desire to worship and glorify the God of the Bible. His unique sound blends ’70s soul, classic vocal samples and a stream of thought-provoking lyrics that stay with the listener, long after the music fades.
His lyrically driven music tackles issues head on, spearheading the movement for ‘solution’ music that aims to shed light on real problems in the world. The 26 year-old talks about what has plagued and shaped his own life: being disillusioned with wealth and ambition, the brokenness of the city and the idolatry and hypocrisy of the modern life. Blaque wishes to engage with his listeners beyond grooves and beats, giving them real life-transforming hope. In a chat that I had with him recently, he says that if his music does not point them to this hope, then it’s essentially lifeless and therefore pointless: “I don’t want my music to just be an extension of myself, it has to start conversation with and among people to create change. I want to [be] talking to my listeners in their heads and hearts even when I’ve stopped rapping.”
Blaque wishes to engage with his listeners beyond grooves and beats, giving them real life-transforming hope.
Blaque, born and bred in Tembisa, Johannesburg says his musical journey was catalysed by turning to Christ. While he had always dreamt of creating a statement through art, he never knew what that statement was until he found a concrete reason to create. The pressure to be someone great steadily wore him down and Blaque increasingly lost himself in a life without purpose or meaning. His life was a mess until God called him to use his love for music for something bigger than his own ambitions. “My life was upside-down, but Christ flipped it right-side up again.”
Generally, Blaque aspires to see Christian hip hop recognised as a solid genre complementing the larger South African music landscape. He believes that it can challenge and engage people unlike a lot of other stuff out there. Personally, he hopes that it will also be a viable means to sustain himself and his family.
Since his conversion, Blaque has desired to use all his talents, dreams and experiences to share his Saviour with the world. Signing with Fresh Impression Music Company, he released his first two solo albums The Inception EP in 2012 and Reformation Mixtape vol. 1 in the same year. Just a few weeks ago he was nominated for the SABC Crown Gospel Award for Best Rap Album in his collaborative offering Watchman. “Next year I will be touring around Africa while working on my next album, hoping to create, create, and create some more!”
Here is Watchman on iTunes.