23 Sep Profile: Malome Vector, from the kingdom of the sky comes culture and hip-hop
- Malome Vector on 2 big tracks this year “Price to Pay” and “Dumelang”
- Inspired by Lesotho’s music and culture
- The mokorotlo & Basotho blanket are hip-hop/afropop’s new swag
- Versatile talent: battle rap, singing, trap
The kingdom of the sky, otherwise known as Lesotho is experiencing an upsurge of hip-hop artists bursting from an unlikely rap underground.
Malome Vector isn’t new to churning out hits. In the last few years, he built his name in his home country Lesotho through local hits such as “Khosi,” “Nobodym,” “Ichu,” and “Motho Waka.”
This year he has 2 breakout tracks “Price to Pay” and “Dumelang”, since his signing with Ambitious Entertainment.
Malome Vector’s creative output is inspired by Lesothos’s rich heritage in traditional music and storytelling further explored in hip-hop as a battle rapper with its burgeoning rap scene. He has taken these influences and created his own version of Afro-pop. As a homage to his culture, Malome Vector is a striking figure in music videos. Dressed in his mokorotlo, traditional straw hat, appearing on the flag and license plates, inspired by the conical mountain, Mount Qiloane, and his Basotho blanket, which represents a variety of rites of passage in society, from rank, to everyday wear.
That he is spitting verses is a formidable showcase and zeitgeist of young artists showcasing their culture to the world and deep pride together with a unique authenticity. The Basotho blanket was seen in Louis Vuitton menswear collection in 2017 and featured in Black Panther in 2018. Worn by an artist as an expression of his identity is powerful and resonates a depth and texture to his music.
Malome Vector’s music sees its foundation in earlier work with artist Mega Hertz. The two worked closely at one point with Malome sourcing beats from the then producer. (Mega Hertz is now also a rapper and singer.) Inspired by Lesotho artists, Sankomota, Chakela and Famole as well as hip-hop artists HHP and Morafe, Malome has artistically distilled these sounds & influences into his own music right now.
His expressive versatility is seen in a melodic style of singing from the early days with songs that leaned in more of an Afro-pop direction. His transition into trap has been done with equal flair, expressed in “Price to Pay” and “Dumelang”.
Malome Vector is currently working on an album. In a year of releases by everyone in the music industry, his does not yet have a release date, it is considered one of the most-anticipated new projects for late 2020.
The hit maker is will no doubt deliver a genre-defining record, aligned with his dream of bringing Lesotho music to South Africa.
Words by Rob Greeff