In the early days of Boyzn Bucks, I had the pleasure of interviewing some of the crew via Skype for the first print edition of Hypetrak (Hypebeast’s now defunct music publication). Back then, uSanele described himself as a DJ, and designer of fashion and graphics, but I’d heard from people who knew him in Durban that uSanele was actually dropping bars back when Koolkat was still just a dancer.
While Riky, Okmalumkoolkat, and eventually Stilo became known for their raps, uSanele focussed on his other crafts, although if I remember what I heard correctly, he might have had a feature or two on the Boyzn Bucks mixtape that never dropped. The first time most of us probably got to hear uSanele rap was on “Mswenkofontein”, where he appropriately came through with bars about how sweet his threads were. You know the deal, combo’s being cav’d etc. The track’s a banger and uSanele didn’t disappoint, although his short verse left us wanting more. Since then, he’s sporadically popped up as a feature on fellow Boyzn members’ tracks, and put out a well received single and video called “Amabhodlela” in 2016 with Mashayabhuqe, but other than that, recorded verses from him have been scarce. Until now.
uSanele recently put out an EP called ‘Gangular’, and in a fashion we’ve come to expect from him, it’s short and sweet, and leaves you wanting more. With just 4 tracks taking up 17 minutes of your time, this EP is going to rack up the repeat streams as you find yourself listening to it on an endless loop. There’s an hypnotic element to each track, although I think it’s the melody of the opener, “Bekezela” with the always incredible Bongeziwe Mabandla, that lingers longest once you eventually close the tab.
Each track stands alone from each other yet blends seamlessly into each other. From the ethereal guitar riff on “Bekezela” to the darker gqom beat on the closer, “Bhansela”, uSanele pits himself (and his features) against a range of sounds, and it works. As a Boyzn Bucks member, there are plenty of Spova Gang and Boyzn shout outs, as well as references to dressing fly and just being dope as fuck. If that’s your thing, this is a fun, well produced collection of diverse tracks from one of the less prominent Boyzn Bucks members, who may just become your new favourite with this release.
Photography: Jamal Nxedlana
Text Layout: Zamani Xolo