Too gay for hip hop? Dezza begs to differ


Hip-Hop artist Ndumiso “Dezza” Mchunu has made history as the first rapper in South Africa to feature a gay drag queen

Dezza from KZN features Boene Ntshilo on his upcoming album. The duo also recently shot a music video, where Ntshilo plays his love interest.

This has sent shockwaves in the niche hip-hop industry, but Mchunu says he is not fazed by it.

The controversial single titled My Everything features Ntshilo on vocals, as well as playing Mchunu’s lover in the recently shot video in which the two engaged in “intimate” scenes to give it credibility.

Mchunu says he was introduced to Ntshilo by author and recording label executive Mofenyi Malepe, who is also his manager.

“Boene basically added that special thing to a song I had recorded almost five years ago. I had honestly never heard a voice like his, and it is exactly what the track needed, and it has gone on to be the single that I think people would love.”

For his part, 28-year-old Ntshilo, who is from Schweizer- Reneke in North West, says he had banged on doors for years, but no one was willing to give him a chance simply because he is gay.

“I have been rejected by many artists and producers, who I will not name, for years. Many considered me as too ‘out there’ or did not want to be associated with someone like me, which hurt badly.

“I knew that I am talented, and being sidelined for being who I am really put me down. But working with Dezza has been amazing, and I have never met a more open-minded guy like him,” he says.

Asked about how he feels the hip-hop industry will receive him after featuring a drag queen on his album, Mchunu is quick to say that he is not bothered.

“It was refreshing working with Boene. We clicked and created musical chemistry. It was purely magical. Funny thing is, I wanted to make a love song, and when I learnt he was gay, it blew me over and I saw it as a blessing, so I was not even bothered.

“What is to be bothered about by the way? When I heard her, there was no way to say no to the flair she brought and injected to the song,” he says.

“I am always worried about my hip-hop credibility, but not because I did a song with a gay person, if my music career was to be cut short because I worked with a gay person, then I will die a happy man. I would have been sidelined for being real.”

Mchunu says that his album, HEAL KZN, dropping in April, is an honest account of the hardship he has gone through, including his stint at a mental hospital.

“It’s a sincere reminder to myself after suffering depression and being locked up in a mental hospital for four months after the industry showed me the middle finger.

“I got my healing in KZN, and it’s a plea to my people that we need to heal the wounds of everything bad that has plagued KZN.”

Mchunu has worked with Kaygee Pitsong, Mad ill and Mice, as well as featuring Maraza, Jay Stash and Casharel from the DRC.