Some few weeks ago, The Voice cartoonist, LESOLE NTSHOLE was feeling bored and decided visit to a friend who owns a music-recording studio at his home when he had a conversation on dog eat dog situation in the music industry between two young men.
Man in a black T-shirt (After the studio owner played one of the songs he recently recorded): That song is going to take airwaves by storm after its release.
Man in green overalls: You’re right. The song is going to be a hit.
I have a feeling too that it is going to rock the airwaves.
The song is an original composition. It also carries a message.
Man in a black: The song has quality sound when I compare it with other Gaborone guys’ songs who claim to be rappers.
Man in green overalls: Don’t talk about guys in Gaborone. There are no rappers in Gaborone.
Man in a black : That is what I always tell people. It is not that Gaborone has good rappers.
Some of these guys that people think are good rappers in Gaborone or Botswana steal other famous American artists’ songs.
They steal the instruments and replace them with their boring lyrics.
Man in green overalls: I do agree with you.
I have listened to many local songs many times and come to realize that the songs they perform are not theirs.
It seems most musicians in Botswana lack education and do not know its an offence to steal another person’s work and claim it as yours.
Man in a black T-shirt: One problem I realized is that these fake rappers do not want to be themselves.
They are always struggling and trying to imitate American rappers, even their accent. Why don’t they become themselves?
Man in green overalls: Rappers in Gaborone like show-offs. They try to seek attention so that girls will notice them.
Man in a black T-shirt: I believe what you say. There is a difference between a real rapper and an attention seeker.
Man in green overalls: Even the girls do not take notice of them. They think our rappers are fools.
I have seen negative comments posted by girls on facebook. If you log on facebook, you will laugh.
Some of the girls go to an extent of posting on facebook that they are sick and tired of Gaborone wannabe rappers who usually wear trousers halfway their butt.
They tell stories on how these fake rappers propose to them and claim to have a lot of money when they even don’t.
Man in a black T-shirt: That is what I have noticed about these wannabe American rappers. They live in a world fantasy.
Whenever they rap, they rap about guns and about having a lot of money. Why do you rap about money when you don’t even have some money to buy yourself some food?
Why you rap about guns or that you will shoot someone if you have never seen a gun, heard gunshots, or seen a person shot and die from gunshot?
Man in green overalls: That is true. That is why our rappers do not make it in the music industry.
Nobody will spend his or her hard-earned cash to buy that nonsense, or take notice of you because people will think you are crazy and wasting their time.
Man in a black T-shirt: Our rappers here in Botswana are always trying to be replicas of African-Americans.
Instead, they will replicate rappers like Snoopy Doggy, Dr Dre, and 50 Cent.
Those African-American rappers sing about their life experiences.
They rap about gunshots because they have at one time touched guns, heard gunshots, and saw people die from gunshots.
They sing about money because they have a lot of money, so how does a rapper in Botswana rap about money when he does not have even a single thebe at the bank?
Man in green overalls: Well it does not make sense.
When I do Hip-hop, I mix it with Setswana poetry.
It makes sense to portray who I am and not to copy someone’s culture.
Man in a black T-shirt: I have noticed that even fake music studios here in our country, have accepted or, I must say they find it fashionable that, if you are a real Hip-hop artist, you should rap about girls, money, and guns.
When you approach with your demo, they will just look at you from toe to head.
If you are not dressed in Hip-hop attire, they will simply tell you that you are not a Hip-hop artist and will not listen to or bother to record you.
Man in green overalls: But being a real Hip-hop artist or rapper is not about what you wear.
Man in a black T-shirt: Those niggers don’t care.
Sometimes if they have had a chance to listen to your demo, they will tell you that it is nonsense even when deep inside, they know you wrote a hit.
Man in green overalls: I believe that is jealousy, and sometimes see you as a threat.
Man in a black T-shirt: Some months ago, my friend approached some music studios in Gaborone with his demo.
They told him that it was nonsense. They wanted him to feel disappointed just because he was a great threat to them.
He was discovered by some guys from Zambia after listening to his demo. As I speak to you now, my friend is staying in Zambia.
He is working for one of the largest music studios there. The studio owners like him.
He stays in a mansion and they pay him a lot of money after they told him to abandon his studies at the university.
Man in green overalls: In Botswana, if you have talent, you don’t end anywhere.
I guess things are going to improve as we have the Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS).
Copying foreign music will now be outdated. We will know who are real rappers and those who are fake rappers.
What I like about COSBOTS is that, artists will have to declare that they own copyright the original music.
If an artist uses another artist’s work, he should show some proof that he has a signed permission to use or reproduce that artist’s song.
Serious or hard-working musicians will have radio stations and television pay them royalties if their songs get airplay.
The conversation dies when someone knocks on the door.