“Compost Rose” conversation with Ofentse

The South African hip-hop scene is brimming with talented individuals who have yet to be recognized by the mainstream. As writers and journalists, it is our responsibility to showcase these individuals and their work to our audience. Recently, I had the privilege of catching up with one of these talented individuals, Ofentse. We discussed his latest release and what the future holds for him.

You need no introduction, especially to people who have been following hip-hop. What has your journey been like?

My journey has been a character builder. It has been more miss than hit, fault being my own, but I am patient, and I am willing to learn.

Recently you released a project called “Compost Rose”. How has the feedback been from your fans and hip-hop listeners in general?

It has been good. It is almost like a 180 degree turn from the type of music I had released prior to this and some people who had not interacted with my music before telling me about how they can relate to this project. There are also those who say they prefer the type of music before this, which I understand.

What’s the meaning behind the title of the album?

You can grow a garden in dirt if you nurture it.  Even in the most destitute of situations there is beauty, there is an opportunity for growth and greatness. You just have to look.

You are very skilled with language, but you seem to hold back on using it. Will you consider being more explicit in future projects?

I probably will when my opinion matters a little more, but I also try to be as palatable as possible. I have very strong opinions and people are sensitive.

Your growth from “Fising” and “Off the raps/VenomRaps” to “I have new music, but I can explain it” to your most recent work has been significant. How do you manage to be so consistent while there are so many subgenres in hip-hop?

I am always working on sounding better and I try new styles with my music. That helps a lot.

Your collaborations with other artists on the project are impressive. How did you choose them and how did you know that they were the right fit for the features?

It happened naturally. We’ve been sending music back and forth for years now and the personal and professional relationships with them became easy.

Thekidnextdoor appears frequently on the guest features. What is your relationship with them, and is there a possibility of a joint project in the future?

Those are my brothers. We have a bond that is extends outside of making music. And of course we’re going to do another joint project. We are already working on a sequel to “Sayless”.

“Thata” and “Shame” are the most popular songs on the album, with one of them having 164,197 streams. Were they the lead singles?

Yes, they were. Thata, which was produced by Thekidsnextdoor came out 2021 and Shame, which was produced by Whoax!, released in February of 2024.

On “BLUNT FRIDAY XIII”, you went hard with your raps. What was going through your mind during the recording session, and who produced the beat?

First thing I did during that session was make the beat. I remember this one lady who told me that I should stick to making fun and vibey music because I would be out of my depth as an actual lyricist. I understood where she came from because I was not leading with my lyrical music before, so I could not be mad at her. I receive criticism better than I do compliments.

We have yet to see an official music video for the project, is it coming anytime soon?

Yes. I actually have a music video for Thata that is being finished up.

South African rappers tend to release music rather than promote it. What’s the difference between them and how can you make your project more visible to the streets?

If I am being honest, I am one of those artists who release music and struggle with promoting part. I am social idiot and that tends not to translate well to others. On a small scale, I am trying to work with other artists, blogs, community radio stations, play listers, organizers and I am going out more.

What more can we expect from you going forward in 2024?

You can expect more music. I plan on releasing another long form project that will sound different from compost Rose.

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