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Album Review: We Listened To Anatii’s Iyeza

Album Review: We Listened To Anatii’s Iyeza

by: Precious Ngwenya - 12 November 2018

Coming straight from a collaboration album, Anatii rides solo and deliver his best work yet with Iyeza.

Anatii has always been the guy behind the beats of every other big hip-hop artist in the country and he needed his own project to cement his time in the game. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ gave us a glimpse of Anatii the Xhosa rapper, and Iyeza offers us the full experience of the Electronic Bushman.

The 10-track album is the reintroduction of Anatii. It shows us a new side to Anatii, the man who is in touch with his spirituality. From the first visuals that he dropped for, ‘Thixo Onofefe,’ we see a new man – one who was never revealed through one of his past projects, ARTIIFACT.

Ehlathini’ is the opening song on the album and through that we get to understand why he calls himself the, ‘Electronic Bushman’. He transformed into the modern bushman by going for sounds inspired by Mbanqanga and Maskandi, which he made very electronic and rap-like.

Having handled the whole production of the album by himself, Anatii was able to create an album that allowed him to branch out as a fully-fledged producer, who outgrew the most basic of hip-hop sounds. ‘Endaweni’ is a refreshing and soulful dance song which is something we are not used to from artists who are primarily caught up in the trap of trap music.

Iyeza has become a spiritual document for Anatii with songs like Zion (Interlude) and God my best friend. His approach to African spirituality is highly visible throughout the album. This could have been a continuation of the gospel album ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ which he collaborated on with the seasoned AKA. The entire album is not what we would usually expect from hip-hop albums.

Anatii shows his romantic side with  ‘wena,’ the love song with Afro beats. It is accompanied by Xhosa lyrics, which sees the rapper leaving behind the bad boy, ride-or-die troupes while giving us real emotions that remind us of Afro-Pop giants like Mafikizolo and the Jaziel Brothers. .

Iyeza is one of the few albums released this year that are totally worth listening to. The songs are different and Anatii created an album which is not genre locked to only hip-hop. It can easily be classified under Afro-Pop and Dance as well. If you would like to listen to a hip-hop album with a different approach with its sounds, Iyeza is absolutely that album.