Okmalumkoolkat

About Okmalumkoolkat

One of South Africa's most influential (and infamous) rappers, Okmalumkoolkat was born Smiso Zwane in 1983 and raised in KwaZulu-Natal’s Umlazi township. After college, he moved to Johannesburg, where he met Dokta SpiZee and formed the new-wave kwaito duo Dirty Paraffin in 2012. Zwane's improvisatory and Zulu-centric rap style bubbled underground—notably in LV's "Sebenza", whose video introduced Zwane’s celebrated Taxi Driver dance—before he met the mainstream as the featured voice on Cassper Nyovest's 2014 hit "Gusheshe”. Vienna's jazzy Affine label provided a sonic step forward for Zwane’s futuristic solo mini-album Holy Oxygen, and the 100k Macassette mixtape set the stage for his proper debut album, Mlazi Milano in 2016. Zwane's mix of dark gqom beats and whimsical sci-fi lyrics, often referencing contemporary technology, proved a winning combination—though in 2020, Zwane switched up his bass sound once more for a chillwave-meets-trap vide in the Bhlomington EP.

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