When it comes to OGs, we have been lucky in SA Hip Hop to witness ours age gracefully with their craft. One such OG is producer and seasoned lyricist Maraza, who recently released a seven-track EP.
The EP is titled Lost And Found, coming in at seven track plus two bonus tracks that dropped in 2019 as singles. It’s just the right length for modern day consumption. It carries a trap sound through all the tracks, with Maraza spitting in his one of a kind style. He fuses melodic singing in his hooks and works them into his verses as well. All tastefully done.
Pull Up is a mellow start to the project. The beat takes a back seat while Maraza kicks a sick flow and rhyming scheme. The skill is far from subtle but it’s that kind of brilliance you miss if your attention lapses even for a second. Pull Up is a come up story. Coming from humble beginnings sleeping on park benches and chosen to make it, being the centre of attention when he pulls up. It’s an account that will bring you close to tears.
Maraza continues to touch on his beginnings throughout the project but makes sure he speaks from a place of confidence. Angisabaleki exudes a lot of this confidence, with Maraza confident enough to include well wishes for his enemies in his prayers. All this is told over a blend of piano keys and deep 808 drums.
It’s not all depth and storytelling. Some tracks are purely for flexing and letting us all know what’s up. Hulumeni is on a less serious tip yet still gives a taste of the flow and musicality that goes into this unique style. Poured Up ft Young2unn Beats and Beast take you on a musical trip with melodies and harmonies that’ll have bopping your head uncontrollably. It features some Fanagalo, which could take you way back to the days of Gwan. It still incorporates perfectly into his style of rap.
Lost is the last of the seven tracks. It gives us reflections of a matured rapper. The level of comfort that started the project projects itself through even at the end. The freedom that comes with outgrowing the need for validation from peers and the industry in general. As with any rapper of his calibre, Maraza feels he’s the best and he’s done waiting for that to be acknowledged.
Maraza’s style of music makes it possible for him to don a trap sound without conforming to trap flows. But unfortunately with trap beats it’s unavoidable that you will have some trap vocabulary that feels out of place for a rapper of Maraza’s maturity. Some of the tracks might be a miss or come off repetitive in content. As for the overall project, it is definitely an acquired taste but definitely worth a listen if you’re into good raps.