Although he draws his inspiration from the old school, Linky Maphanyane belongs to the new generation of hip hop. He sings not of the stereotypical struggle of hip hop with violence and trying “to survive the hood,” no; love, le good life and success make the lyrical content of his music. He is main stream and he is not trying to hide it. Linky has a Bachelor’s degree in Computing and Information Science and works a few blocks away from The Gazette offices and for the interview he insists we meet on his lunch break.
The young rapper has the charm of a young privileged boy, the confidence of a super star but all the same humble. He is nothing like the pompous, arrogant chap who I saw on that sick wit it video. In fact, it is all an illusion; the glitz, the glam, the gold chains, and the shades in music videos give that off sometimes. I pull up a chair to sit next to him to kill the space between him and I so as to really step into his world and like old friends. We talk openly for hours and almost forget about the short lunch break.
He was introduced to good music in his childhood by his sister and cousins. “I think my musical journey started in my room. When I was young, my older sisters used to play music out loudly and because we shared a room at some point, I had no choice but to adapt and as you can imagine, TLC, Salt and Pepper, Brandy, Toni Braxton were some of the sounds that I grew up to.” He goes on to say that, “but as I got older and started going to my cousins’ house (Nomadic formerly known as Mr T and Man E) I was introduced to a whole other genre, Hip Hop. These two guys played the likes of 2 Pac, Biggy Smalls, Dr Dre, and the more I listened the more I became drawn to it.”
“I recall a time when Man E used to make me and his little brother write down rhymes and sing other artists’ songs,” says Linky. At that point in his life he didn’t know that he could lay down a verse. It was only in high school when he met Shay from Jaymecca (Jwaneng) that his love for Hip Hop was intensified. “I was meeting up with these people who had the same interests as me and in varsity I met producer, Word play. My career was beginning, I was now writing more rhymes and starting to record more.”
His very first single, Not an option, which was inspired by Gaborone’s night life was not popular but slowly, with more work and effort in the music, he started to get recognition in music circles. He reveals that early last year (2012), he was approached by Blu Muffin’s Posta Mac to join the music label and since he got signed up, the young lad has been releasing hit after hit and collaborating with several local musicians. Sick wit it, Tonight, All eyes on me are the singles under his belt. At only 24 years and a ‘freshmen’ in the industry, we can only hope, he is the real deal and not a ‘one hit wonder’ that will only fizzle out in a few years