By Helen Herimbi

With a reputation for being long-winded, rapper Siyabonga “Slikour” Metane spoke to Tonight about his new album and fallouts in the music industry. Below is the highly edited version.

In the interview, Slik – a solo rapper and one-seventh of the prolific rap group, Skwatta Kamp – lives up to his reputation. He answers questions in a lengthy manner, occasionally swaying from the topic, but eventually redirecting himself.

But before the rude monster rears its ugly head to tell him to get to the point, you realise he actually goes on for eons because it is as though his mouth is the loudspeaker for his heart. He just speaks what he feels.

For those with no patience, he’s condensed his views into a new album entitled Ventilation Mixtape Volume 2.

Through his second solo release, he vents and delves deeper into his evolution. He reckons he is “more vulnerable” on this album. “The quality and the standard of this album is better than others which have financial backing, it’s the best from a musical perspective.”

It boasts facets unorthodox to the hip-hop genre.

“We got choirs to sing and we got producers from all over the country to get the album done,” he stresses. Volume 2 brings with it a more eclectic sound like Umsindo, which mentions kwaito giants.

“It’s hip-hop the way you’ve never heard it before. Some people are one dimensional and are scared of change.”

Those very scaredy cats might be singing a new tune when the Presents The Umsindo Party takes place on November 30 at the Black Orchid in Randburg. This promises to be a star-studded event, possibly even featuring – according to Slik – an appearance by an international act.

Production duo Semitone – who have worked on Skwatta and Slik albums for years – are conspicuous by their absence in Slik’s redefinition of hip-hop, but he is quick to explain there is no beef.”

“Maybe they were hungry for something further than Skwatta Kamp. Skwatta was really their door in and that’s great. So we’re cool, we’re good people.”

But the jury is out on whether Slik and his one-time protégé, My Man, are cool.

In a song called I’m Gone, off Volume 2, Slik Delivers scathing lyrics such as: “You insulted me like I never gave you hope or food or shelter … the faith I had in you you’ll never get it back. From anybody.”

Slik explains: “My Man and I had a fallout. We’d already done a national tour for him, but the album wasn’t selling and radio wasn’t supporting him. I was also frustrated, but he took his frustrations out on me although I’m the guy who is trying to help him.”

“The last straw was when he tried to physically confront Lebo at my first launch. I felt like me and Lebo go way back, so I was not going to let it happen. I literally said ‘I don’t want to work with My Man’. But he’s a good artist and I still wish him well.”

This article appeared in Tonight on 31 October 2007.