I met Kagiso aka Zero My Hero on a rainy Saturday evening on the way to a music session at Club Pelican. Kagiso, 25, a poet/rapper considers himself to be a man of words. He intertwines his poetry background as a form of lyricism for his music. In the budding stages of his music career, Zero My Hero, has recently finished mixtape CD of his music and is working on building his own in-house studio.
In the scantily crowd of spectators and performers (blame the weather), Zero My Hero remained engaged and supportive to every performance that went on stage; he even gave the occasional whispers of critique to what he thought worked or could be improved.
Zero My Hero is a refreshing guy to spend time with, and his dedication to perfecting his craft is even more refreshing. He’s a man on a mission to mingle his social consciousness of township life with his love for music. After a recital of his poetry, I got a chance to chat with him for a moment.
Tell me about the style of your music?:
I make music based on social commentary. I draw a lot of influences from things that are happening around Soweto. I make music for people to listen to.
What inspired you to rap?
I think it started when I wrote my first love letter to my first crush in primary school. From then it started with poetry and then listening to music from a young age. I like words very much; I like to play around with them—they have a lot of meaning. I just take one word and try to take it other dimensions.
Where do you draw your influences from?
I listen to a lot of Saul Williams, Mack Manaka, and just lot of poets actually. I draw inspiration from them.
How long have you been rapping?
My first stage performance was in 2002. I was writing before then and would rap and recite poems in the hallways in high school, but officially in 2002.
Do you prefer rapping or poetry?
I like rhythm applied poetry. You can send you message clearly through poetry. I have a love for words first.
Can you recite a poem for me right now?
-Oh man, ok. Let me see…
At times I speak with nothing in mind.
The problem is with nothing in the mind, there’s nothing to write.
That’s when I look into the heart and transform what matters into art.
See, silence grants concessions, so I speak out to craft awareness in the streets.
Love making is unique, but it’s all between the sheets.
Protect yourself when you sleep. Freedom comes at a price of deadly disease.
These mothers are being made at an extremely young age. But there’s no room for selfness only awareness.
These drugs have my people affected.
It all starts as an experiment.
But addiction is enhanced with that one gleaming moment.
See I prefer using this art to enrich the heart
and teach a few people a few good deeds
like a hand in reach when a friend is in need.
Poetry is not just technique.
You first have to practice so you can preach, teach when you speech.
This message is peace. Poetry is not that deep.
It just helps us dream of a perfect world,
where the legal fraternity never defends murderers,
or priest remain Baptists and no longer turned rapists;
a world that hasn’t revoked women’s rights to an abortion.
Call me an idealist, cause I have an idea hear this:
In order our crucifix our demons we need to fix our home first. For a lack of respect reflects on our parent’s doorsteps.
–Zero My Hero