Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight for May is popsnotthefather (real name Lungani Siseko Mabude) a Gauteng-based rapper and singer who fuses smooth hip hop with experimental melodies.
“It’s super crazy,” says Pops. “It means that we’re finally being recognised for what we’re doing. We’ve spent hours in the studio and I’ve slept on the floor and I’d be like – what am I even doing right now? But it’s so great and so surreal to be included as Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight.”
Pops’s debut album, NNNN (an acronym for Not Now, Not Never), released through Africori is a celebration of the female form and an eclectic collection of hip hop-rooted tracks.
After being introduced to hip hop in Grade 5 by his cousin Onke, who would play the CDs that came with every issue of South Africa’s Hype Magazine, Pops developed a keen interest in music theory and took up violin until Grade 10. But it was his friendship with producer 808x in Matric that persuaded him to start dabbling in rap music.
His debut alternative single “DTF” (2018) and subsequent high profile feature on The Big Hash’s album “Save Me” (2019) put Pops on the map, but he chose to spend more time perfecting his signature sound before releasing a complete album.
From being influenced by the funk his father played to him growing up, to being a fan of underground indie artists like King Krule, to listening to The Weeknd and Tame Impala while recording, Pops’ appreciation for a myriad of musical genres is reflective on NNNN.
As Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight for May, popsnotthefather is poised to become one of the freshest faces on SA’s burgeoning hip hop scene.