- Category: PA 2006
Tumi Molekane, better known to exponents of South African hip hop as the lead vocalist in Tumi and the Volume, creates ‘lyrical dreamscapes’ out of harsh realities, his pieces unfolding like a musical and spiritual journey through poetic imagery. The poet, mc, philosopher, dreamer, storyteller uses words as his challenge, reflecting on a history of tragedy and engaging the issue of the complex identity struggles facing an African man of the hip hop generation in a post-apartheid South Africa. Tumi has done countless work on the Jo’burg hip-hop scene, most notably the Dead Prez show in the spring of 2000, and the Black August tour to South Africa the following year, which featured Talib Kweli and Black Thought of The Roots. First introduced to South Africa through a series of pilot Yfm advertisements that saw him reveal his potential as a real poetic force, Tumi leads what is, arguably one of South Africa ’s most electric music acts. In just over a year the group has managed to create a distinct musical accent that includes blends of samba, swing, hip hop, reggae and poetry that speaks to the unique reality of the South African experience and still relates to the world in that universal way that only beauty can. The bands live debut album ‘At The Bassline’ received three South African Music Award nominations. Tumi has shared the stage with SA’s premier talent, such as Blk Sonshine, Bra Willie Kgositsile, Max Normal, Lesego Rampolokeng, and international talent such as Saul Williams, Sarah Jones and Mutaburuka. Having worked on his project, ‘The Tao of Tumi’, in 2001 as a showcase, he is pioneering a whole new approach to making and presenting music. Around the same time, he compiled a collection of poems entitled The Black Inside Out.