THE BELLEVUE BANDIT
“By transcending our basic animal instinct and acknowledging that we are beings of an infinite fountain of love. Zapsign Deebo changes the direction of mainstream Hip Hop and blesses us with a progressive design to questioning society.”
-Siviwe Binase – New Hustle – Side Hustlers MAY 20, 2019
With a style born in the ever-changing river of Heraclitus, delivered with the precision and gusto of an over confident witch doctor, Zapsign Deebo emerges from the depths of the forgotten neighbourhood of Yeoville, inner-city Johannesburg, having roots in the North-West province of South Africa. With his debut offering titled "Kill the Clone", released on Iapetus Records alongside other formidable Johannesburg representatives such as Yugen Blakrok, Shorty Skillz and Gin-I-Grindith, Zapsign shows that Yeoville and South Africa as a whole has a lot more gems waiting to be uncovered.
Seeing his once vibrant and immensely popular neighborhood become a dilapidated semblance of its former glory, while coming of age in a democratic South Africa fast on its way to international notoriety for political scandal, Zapsign found a place in the Hip-Hop community early, identifying with the positive lyrical content and finding the older melodies of the Fugees, a Tribe called Quest and Common Sense, to name a few, very therapeutic. Eventually coming out of high school, as part of a Rap group known as "Indigoat Clan" with fellow members ET the Alien and deKiller’Clown, already quite the nifty lyricist.
As a unit the three navigated the vast Johannesburg central district meeting with old and making new friends, producing and performing music, eventually forming alliances with two groups, namely House of Abstracted Animations which includes Joshua the I-Am (Vuzu Hustle runner up) and Based Camp with Tycro Bluford to form a power house they called Ghetto of the Future. The super group unfortunately disbanded, each member focusing more on their individual music, with Tycro joining the Indigoat Clan. During this time Deebo released a number of notable singles, most notably a compilation of loosely released tracks titled the Underwater EP, also a pair of 2 track singles titled, "Pros and Cons of Humbility" with ET the Alien, and "Ve.G X Indigoat" with Lucho Gazpacho, besides a number of projects alongside the Indigoat Clan collective.
It wasn’t until the release of the collaborative project Kill the Clone with Iapetus Records’ renowned producer Kanif theJhatMaster that the Hip-Hop community began to take interest in the name. The simple language and emphatic delivery usually obscuring layers of sharp sarcasm and multiple entendre, winning over the minds of many Headz locally. The 6 track EP was also well received internationally with a few French radio stations such as 2LC Blaster, playing "Artificial Intelligence" a strong favourite, with the album and video for "Download the new OS" appearing on a number of local and international blogs.
Taking the project to stages around his city, alongside the experienced DJ Sistamatik, their live set is sure to get even the most hardened Hip-Hop and Live Performance critics off their seats and nodding their heads in an unknown state between approval and disgust. It draws both the eyes and the ears and thus leading the listener’s attention and body away from the dull conversation at the bar, towards the animated monologue on the stage. On the strength of Kill the Clone, Zapsign Deebo is surely a name to keep your eye on, and with the backing of names such as Kanif and Sistamatik, you have no reason not to do just that.
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