Mangaliso Asi-Izilo (Video)

Filmed on handheld by Mangaliso Asi to document his visit to Johannesburg, South Africa and most importantly Vilakazi Street, Soweto. Explore the rich sites sounds of South Africa infused with Mangaliso Asi’s unique style transcending genre expectations to offer what can only be described as powerful music.

An excellent fusion of styles here, with Mangaliso’s husky raps being set over a bright and lively traditional South African backdrop, and the end product is a fresh and unique listen. Asi’s lyricism is as relatable as ever, with his focus shifting between his origins and a wider view on humanity, and both verses are certainly packed with enough to warrant several replays; there’s something about Asi’s raw style that makes his philosphical lines a little more meaningful than similar lines from his hip-hop peers, and that’s evidenced throughout this track.

The video’s mostly footage of his visit, as written above, but is intercut with some great footage of local sights, people and the less ‘glamorous’ side of South Africa, but in a very positive, culture-laden light rather than the more preachy approach others would take with this sort of clip. Likeable audiovisual, and it’s one that’s definitely worth a go.

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Mangaliso Asi-Blissfully Ignorant (Video)

It was an all-too rare delight to get some new audio from Mangaliso last week, and it’s great that he’s following that up with this video release, also his first in quite some time.

The audio is full of introspective raps set upon a reflective production, and that’s captured well enough in the video, with shades of Coldplay’s The Scientist in the reversal aspect of the clip. In contrast to that however, Mangaliso never appears to go anywhere or do anything besides run whilst surrounded by relatively nice scenery, and the messaging there is clear-despite being around seemingly-likeable surroundings, the chase for genuine success is rather arduous, and oftentimes feels like you’re moving in reverse with no end in sight. It’s easy to relate to that for many, and the melancholy audiovisual makes for a heavy dose of realism. It’s great to see Mangaliso gets some strong camera time, and let’s see if this thought-provoking clip leads to a new project.

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Mangaliso Asi-Blissfully Ignorant


It’s been a very, very long time since we’ve heard from Mangaliso, and as one of our favourite UK rappers when he was active, it’s a pleasure to have him back around these parts.

If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll know what to expect: clever, meaningful raps with a great message, and he doesn’t slack on beat selection here. This one opts for a more acoustic style of backdrop, as Mangaliso confidently puts all of the focus onto his raps by providing little more than soft piano notes (borrowed from Nujabes) to accompany him. Those keys help enhance the reflective style of his lyrics, which move between internal reflection and outward social commentaries, whilst their sombre and downbeat delivery adds gravitas and depth to each one of his words. It’s the sort of introspective work that always sounds that little bit better at this time of year, and this is a great return to hip-hop for the talented rapper.

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Mangaliso Asi-Midas Touch Video

With intricate wordplay, a versatile flow and gritty undertones, this video effectively captures just why we rate Mangaliso as one of the best young talents in the UK scene.

The key to this song’s addictive quality is its unpretentious approach: it’s raw, unfiltered hip-hop that really offers something different in a grime-dominated UK scene with a lack of more accessible MCs. We’re treated to mid-tempo flows mixed with tongue-twisting couplets throughout, all held together with some solid wordplay and rhyme schemes that display a growing maturity and confidence with his rhymes.

The video adopts the same unfussy approach, focusing purely on Mangaliso’s much-needed camera time, which certainly helps add emotion and passion to his rhymes throughout. Be sure to watch this, and after doing so you’ll be clamouring for more gems of this calibre: click here to grab his entire mixtape for free.

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Canibus: C of Tranquility Tour, Presented By OTU Live


We’ve been busy. You may have noticed us slipping in a new page recently, OTU Live. Well, that would be our new concert promotion ‘division’, and if you know OTU, you’ll know that OTU Live will be thinking big.

You’d be very right too. For our debut concert we’ve secured one of the most iconic rappers of the last 15 years, an MC who is universally respected, and frequently in ‘best of all-time’ lists. OTU Live are bringing Canibus back to the UK, for the first time since 2006.

The fun doesn’t end there either. We’ve also put together a line-up of UK artists that would satisfy any UK hip-hop fan: the trio includes Genesis Elijah, Stig of the Dump and Mangaliso Asi. For more info, head here to grab the press release.

Tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW. Yes, RIGHT NOW. Want some? Of course you do! Click here.

Unfortunately, this event has had to be cancelled due to events outside of OTU Live and Canibus’ control. Keep your eyes peeled for our next event!

OTU Live thinks big: Our very first gig, and we’ve secured not only one of the most iconic rappers of the last 15 years, but also a line-up of UK artists that would satisfy any UK hip-hop fan.
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Mangaliso Asi - Heartbeat Of The Street [Mixtape]

Mangaliso asi, remember the name? Refer back to Ajay’s review of Jay Electronica’s show in London earlier this year, “Showing incredible adaptability, he proceeded to brilliantly deliver a lyrical onslaught. With genuine confidence and charisma, anyone who was in attendance won’t forget Mangaliso Asi any time soon.”

Well he’s back with a new mixtape for your ears, you can preview it to the left here: and if you like it, you can also download it for free. The press release sums up this guy’s talent pretty well:

Influenced by the music of his spiritual home South Africa, Mangaliso asi’s sound is reminiscent of the golden era of hip hop with an afro-jazz infused twist. His verses and beats are a rich melodic tapestry, capable of transcending the streets of London to Soweto.

Sit up, take note and prepare for the thought provoking, introspective journey that is Mangaliso asi – the true heartbeat and voice of the street.

Underground hip-hop fans will be sure to love this.

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Gig Review: Jay Electronica at the Jazz Cafe, London (17/02/10)


The picture symbolises a lot. Not only do I revere Jay Electronica as a rapper, last night I felt like he was just one of us-a regular guy who loves hip-hop.

I’ve been to an awful lot of gigs in my time, but have never been to anything that was as fulfilling on so many levels as Jay Electronica’s debut concert in the UK. Click on, I’ve got a lot to say.

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