TRACE profiles multi-award winning hip hop heavyweight Cassper Nyovest

The evening of February 28th proved to be a triumphant night of prestige for SA rapper Cassper Nyovest, who scooped up a whopping five Metro FM Awards at an annual ceremony dedicated to the “celebration of greatness” in music.

Virtually wiping out his competition, Nyovest cleaned up big time and walked away with trophies for ‘Best Hit Single’, ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Best Male Album’, the ‘Listeners Choice Award’ and the coveted ‘Best Hip Hop Album’ honour.

Social media was abuzz from both SA and abroad with praises of endearment for the SA hip hop superstars’ accolades. American rapper Talib Kweli, who collaborated with Nyovest on his “Doc Shebeleza” remix, gave him a shout-out on Twitter:

You’re probably wondering who this hip hop newcomer truly is and where he hails from. Don’t worry, we got you – TRACE has his backstory.

Born Refiloe Maele Phoolo on 16 December 1990 in the Mafikeng village of Montshiwa, Cassper Nyovest developed his love for performing at an early age, always fighting to be in every primary school play production and talent show. Inspired by his late brother Khotso Motebang Phoolo, who was a rapper, but sadly passed away in 2003, Cassper decided to take on the world of music and hasn’t looked back since.

After overcoming a few bumps in the road along his musical journey, Nyovest finally got the break he’d been waiting for. He wrote a song entitled “Holla at a Pantsula”, which blew up in his neighbourhood, prompting him to produce an unofficial music video that now has over23 000 views on Youtube.

Labels soon began to take notice and, before he knew it, Cassper began touring the country and the globe, performing alongside SA hip hop legends HHP and Tuks Senganga in Camden London and Milton Keyes in the UK.

Cassper’s undeniable international appeal piqued the interest of US rapper Kid Cudi, who spotted Nyovest at a trendy Johannesburg nightclub in 2013 and called him over to request a joint music venture after watching his performance. The following year, Cassper went on to perform as an opening act at the Kendrick Lamar concert.

TRACE reached out to the local lyricist for an exclusive Q&A.SA hip hop enthusiasts can read more about his craft and ambitions in ‘The New Age’ newspaper – out Monday 9 March 2015!

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