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From Giyani With a Beautiful Album

November 11, 2015



​I’ve never really been to Giyani but only as a stop on my way to Musina. Its a beautiful view to take in.


In all honesty, I was a mixture of excitement and curiosity when pH announced he is dropping an album. The name Matimba Gift Nkuna doesn’t ring any bells when one talks of MCs in SA but talk of one the most respected engineers and producers in the land, pH’s name weighs a ton.

When the tracklist for the album dropped, both excitement and curiosity peaked. The names of the artists featured made me salivate. The thought of all those talents on pH’s immaculate production made my ears ring in anticipation.

“The only thing you’ll take with you when you die, is godliness. Or you lack of godliness.”

The first track sets the mood on how close to home this album is to PH. With multiple people sending their shout outs from Giyani, it cements that “From Giyani With Love” is a very personal project.

The one thing that immediately stands out is the production. The finest of details in instruments are accentuated. The beat hits everything that can feel.

The features all brought their A1 game. It almost feels like all of them felt honored to work with pH & only their ultimate best would be fitting.

How beautiful Thandiswa Mazwai sounds singing in Tsonga in “Wa N’Tiva(Bot)”, you’d forget that King Tha is Xhosa. A talent that is coming into the scene with ferocity & a matching enchanting voice, Refi Sings, serenades in “Music Drops”. An upbeat, vibey song that will surely make you put on your dancing shoes for the two step.




pH is proud of Giyani. It is cemented across the whole album. The skits in between songs tackle some of the misconceptions about Giyani, for example you go through multiple toll gates to get to it, the language barrier and apparently there’s an app called Shangaan 101.

This shows that pH is not only concerned with being one of the finest musicians in the game, but his heritage is integral to him as a person and his music. He incorporates his heritage into his music via the titles, “Wa N’Tiva”, “Avuxeni” & “Teka” respectively, and also, in the production of “Wa N’Tiva” you can hear the whistle that is famous when Venda women dance with their mtshekas.

Back to the features, the raps exhibited are high quality. A clearly rejuvenated Khuli Chana runs amok on “Soko” alongside a chilled Yanga, who also graces the ode to plus size women “BBW” & the smooth Moneoa. Buks gets very personal & vivid in “Prayers” alongside Scoop Makhathini. That verse is heartfelt.

The boss mega AKA makes an appearance on “Teka” with a verse that will raise eyebrows as the shots target is clear as daylight.

The scorcher “Avuxeni” features a resoundingly calm & disappointed with current crop of rappers, Reason. He just lays it down that he is not like you faux rappers. He even boldly asks, “GHADDAMIT who the fuck are you?!”

One song I expected to be a mess because of the names on it, turned out to be a beautiful concoction. Ma-E & Mandoza talk word woes trifling women in “Ley’ngane”. The hoarse voices gelled beautifully. As HHP delivers a stellar verse about women as well in “Two Types” over a Kabelo – “Masheleni” sample. Proverb & Kabomo also show love to women in “Treats”

The execution of “Radio” with Towdee Mac is nothing short of excellent. It give off the feel of hearing a song on radio back in the days where calling into a radio station to greet your people’s was a great feeling. I searched for Eveready PM 9 batteries when I heard the song.

In being fair, the music on “From Giyani With Love” is majestic. The way pH makes a song is a beauty. It’s not just a beat but an experience with him. The songs that don’t feature anyone show pH is not a rapper’s rapper. It’s not his strongest forte but how the song is presented? Awesome.

The features all brought their A1 game. It almost feels like all of them felt honored to work with pH & only their ultimate best would be fitting.

“Fifty Rand” knocks. The beat transcends and leaves your mouth gaping open in total astonishment. “Strange Truth” samples a 45bpm song. “Vacation” is relaxing.

“From Giyani With Love” is beautiful. It’s not one dimensional, its very diverse as much as the focal point is pH’s resounding statement of “I’m a talented musician from Giyani and proud”. It’s a mixture of bars, songs, concepts and musicality. pH focused on his strengths and excelled. The features rapped their hearts off. The whole project is a very enjoyable listen.

Also, pH’s daughter is cute and bubbly. A very sweet ending to a great album.

Get pH – From Giyani With Love on iTunes here


Written by Siphiwe Zwane ( @SDotJR_ )


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