Very few artists have recorded music about South African anti-apartheid activist Bantu Stephen Biko.
The one song that comes to mind is rock star Peter Gabriel’s music eulogy inspired by Biko’s death.
The emotional 1980 hit was a fitting tribute to one of Africa’s favourite sons.
37 years later and a local rapper, coincidentally named Bicko Gee, has attempted to turn back the hands of time with a tribute to the apartheid hero.
The Monarch native’s yet-to-be released 21-track album titled “I write what I want” is essentially kasi stories in a record.
In an exclusive interview with Voice Entertainment, the self-confessed street rapper revealed the album’s lyrical content was largely inspired by Steve Biko.
“Biko is a father to Africa and to be associated with him has always been an honour,” explained the man born Ofentse Seboko 34 years ago.
The ‘To whom it may concern’ rapper said he changed his name ‘Biki’ to Bicko and ever since people have always referred to him as Steve Bicko.
“I added a Gee at the end because I’m a rapper, and that sounded hip,” he explained with a chuckle.
Five years in the making, the album, which this reporter had the privilege of listening to, is a philosophical representation of life in Botswana’s notorious townships such as Monarch, Somerset, Blue Town, Old Naledi and Bontleng.
It is an old school hip hop project, fusing Trapalanga with traces of trap, and proves Bicko Gee’s adaptability in the game.
“I have been working on this album since 2012. I made sure I balanced the talent – that is why I worked with MCs like Zeus, Konkrete, Normadic, Sliq and Boiterg,” he said.
In a bid to tap into the country’s vast talent pool, Seboko explained that he worked with different producers, which has made his album a blend of hip hop for both the old and new school hip hop heads.
“I roped in Bally from Heavensent Productions, Anest and Milly Malicks,” he revealed.
A laid back artists whose love for rap developed in the late 90s when he was still at primary school, Bicko Gee started writing lyrics as a student at Mater Spei College.
“It was not easy to record like it is now. Back in the day studio time would set you back a cool P2, 800 and we didn’t have that kind of money!
“It took me quite some time to finally come up with my own project, but I’m happy that I did everything at my own pace,” he said.
He adds that his music revolves around what he sees and feels, hence the title ‘I write what I like’.
“My stuff is full of satire. I love comedy. I’m a storyteller and a conceptual writer, so my lyrics touch base with the ordinary person next door,” summarised the potential next big act to come out of Francistown.
As the interview comes to an end, he bobs his head to one of the hits featuring Magilo, a Trapalanga jam that’ll definitely have everyone doing the spaghetti dance.