What can we say about D-Jay that you haven’t heard before? We could say he is gifted, swaggy and that he helped revolutionise Namibian hip-hop.
There are a lot of adjectives we could use to describe D-Jay, but in one word, he defines himself as a champion.
The rapper went on a seven-year hiatus before dropping his latest offering, ‘The Gift and The Curse’, and I could not wait to get my hands on a copy.
It’s a lengthy album which boats 18 tracks with exciting features including Don Kamati, Mabuza, DJ Dozza, Young T and Promise.
Unlike many established rappers who avoid collaborating with new artists to protect their stardom, D-Jay collaborated with his protégés on the project.
The mature album details a lot of his experiences in life – from his upbringing to dealing with pressures that come with money and fame, and more recently, fatherhood.
The album opens with ‘Fire’ featuring Don Kamati, a song that speaks about his dreams and aspirations and shares what motivates him as a rapper.
“I do it for Damani,” he reflects. Damani, which sounds like ‘the money’, is the name of his son.
On track two, the rapper sample People’s Choice’s ‘Siwelewele’ and details why he took a break from making music. “I never meant to go away, I was dealing with labels, producers, managers, directors and family,” he raps.
In an interview with The Namibian, D-Jay further explained: “I went solo and could not really fund my music so I got employed to pay for studio. Employment came with distractions and during the same time, my seven-year relationship ended, and my son came. I had a lot on my plate,” he said.
His lyrical content has not changed much, and is still centred around giving people hope through his music, alongside songs for girls and the usual subjects all rappers talk about like nice clothes, money and cars.
Notable songs with potential to become big hits include ‘Rock With Me’, ‘Matu Controller’, ‘Call Away’ and ‘Look Out’. Hopefully he complements them with stunning visuals.
Although the album is overall enjoyable, I was not impressed by his beat selection compared to his previous projects. On ‘Anything’ and ‘Mistake Me’, D-Jay sheds his identity and borrows styles from AKA’s ‘Jika’ and Gazza’s ‘Passop’ respectively. For what it is worth, he pulls it off quite impressively, although it ends up sounding like obvious attempts to recreate those songs.
The versatility and growth on ‘The Gift and The Curse’ makes it clear that D-Jay is one of the most refined Namibian rappers.
“I am really trying to sell a lot of copies this time. I am trying to get hip-hop to the jukeboxes, 98% of rappers do not make it there,” D-Jay said.