News of the death of rapper Thuto ‘Dramaboi’ Ramphaleng sent shock waves across the country when his family announced that he had died at Princess Marina Referral Hospital in a press statement last week.
He was given a befitting memorial service by his fellow creatives at Molapo Piazza in Gaborone on Monday this week. Speakers described the 28-year old rapper as a music icon who was the epitome of greatness and humility.
SA hip-hop star Khuli Chana told of how he had met Dramaboi when he was on the threshold of retirement but changed his mind because of the impact of Dramaboi’s humility on him. “I have lost a lot of peers in the music industry but Dramaboi touched me deeply,” he said.
Dramaboi was also described as a gift to the music industry with a lyrical prowess that connected with people from all walks of life. According to his industry peers, the Motswako superstar dropped bars that were nothing short of phenomenal. Modiri Nage, popularly known as MOD of MMP Family, said the departed superstar used to rap on the streets of Maruapula and always had a dream to make it with his music gift.
“Dramaboi Wa Makeishane,” as he was affectionately known, kept pushing his hustle until he penetrated the tough music scene under Rock The City Music where he released his sophomore album, “Wa Makeishane,” which featured hits like “Candy” and “Roma Nna”. Dramaboi went on to sign a deal with Mafia Soul (now Urban Soul), releasing “Township Music 2” that too was a success with notable hits like “Sala le Nna,” which was dedicated to his late grandmother. “Sala Le Nna” was an instant hit through which Dramaboi introduced his little sister, Katleng Ramphaleng, to the music industry.
Said founder of Urban Soul stores, Molefi Nkwete: “I had the opportunity to work with Dramaboi. We met in 2012 when he was doing a mixtape, ‘We Running the Streets.’ I got exposed to his music on a personal level in the process. I saw his talent, and that’s how we connected. Dramaboi was a national icon and hero. Kids sang along to his music but all of us as a nation did not give him the best. He was powerful and his power came from his music. He was selfless with his wisdom and love.”
Kwaito Kwasa star, Odirile ‘Vee Mampeezy’ Sento, described Dramaboi as a young legend who made it in the tough creative industry and an activist who wanted to see all his township people succeed.
The music industry has vowed to continue the legacy of Dramaboi by ensuring that his music lives on