Photography by Laudable

Laudable’s latest release is worthy of praise

Johannesburg-born, Cape Town-based rapper and producer Laudable is back with a brand new tape featuring 8 tracks entitled ‘The Great Sensitivity’. Having got his start releasing music at 15 as Parenthemis, a made-up name, 2015 would see the birth of Laudable and the release of his first mixtape, ‘Survivor’s Guilt’, under that moniker. “I played [Parenthemis] for this girl and she was a really good writer, teaching me about reading things because it helps you express. She heard one of the raps I wrote for her and said that’s laudable, I was like what does that mean? She said worthy of praise and I was like hmm I like that. Laudable was a personality I could tap into. More confident than my regular [self]. When he raps it’s like damn, Laudable is where I’m fully expressing.”

Since 2015 Laudable has honed his craft, paying more attention to details and taking his time with the music. “I’ve learnt to say what I want to say properly. I listen to the first songs that I made and it was just a million ideas. I was trying to be like Eminem, Lil Wayne, Ludacris all in one. Punchline, hard, but also gangsta, when you listen to it now it’s cool, but it makes no sense. Over the years I’ve been able to rewrite raps and redo things because now I have the studio in my room. There’s no pressure I can sit with it for as long as I want.”

Laudable describes his current lyrical style as more condensed yet featuring a number of personalities. “I’ve now found different ways of using my voice so I can tap into different styles. Make a song that sounds like someone else on the hook, someone else on the verse, someone else on the other verse but it’s all me. Because I’ve practiced so much that I now know that I can do this and this in one song and it won’t be confusing.”

While ‘The Great Sensitivity’ was initially meant to contain 19 tracks, Laudable stripped down the release in order to keep the energy high. “The concept is tapping into a serious vulnerability in the sense that not having to prove yourself all the time. Not having to make a song that you think is going to go on the radio. Make a song that’s actually what I’m feeling today. People relate to it because of that. My other tracks I was just trying to make hit singles with this one I feel I really tapped into because I was producing everything, so I had time to really think about what I wanted to do. So being as honest as possible. No fronts.”

This honesty is not meant to get in the way of people’s interpretations of the tape. “It’s very personal but open to everyone’s opinion. They’re not like, you can’t relate to this if you’re not from the streets. It’s not like that. You relate to it because you’ve lied to someone and you’ve felt this way and maybe this is the way I felt as well.”

With six out of eight tracks produced by Laudable, the tape also features beats by notbenjamin and JessieBam. “notbenjamin is a good friend of mine and there’s a song of his on all of my projects. He’s the person that taught me how to use Logic, which I use now every day. So, I have big respect for him. The other one my homie JessieBam just sent to me. I just wrote it immediately and that song is ‘The Great Sensitivity’.” The tape also has appearances by Tzara and Anele.

When it comes to this release Laudable just wants people to take the time to actually listen to it. “I want them to really listen and take notice and just sit with it. These days music comes out so quickly that we don’t really appreciate how much people put into it, even if it’s a single song it could’ve taken a homie years to finalise. I’d appreciate it if people really enjoyed it for themselves. I would love to hear what people think about it if they relate, people who’ve been listening what they think about the changes, I’d like a lot of feedback.”

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