P.U.S.H.ing New Heights: Lesotho rappers show a different side of the Mountain Kingdom

By Mookho Makhetha (@marjoriemakh)

Lesotho rappers Lakzen, Soul of Wit and L-Tore, behind the new single  ‘P.U.S.H‘ (Put Ur Skills Higher’) have added a more dynamic tint to that narrative that very rarely sees stories about the hustle and bustle of Lesotho’s urban areas and instead thrives on the images of a man wearing a Seanamarena and mokorotlo (the Basotho hat) on his trusty stead galloping in the green valleys of the sleepy mountainside.

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This post was originally published on the Afripop website. 

Very rarely does one see stories about the hustle and bustle of Lesotho’s urban areas. Perhaps it is improbable to some that the ‘sleepy’, relatively mysterious kingdom with its rugged but picturesque landscapes and its lofty peaks gushing volumes of its white gold has anything to bustle about. Lesotho, the name, seems to always conjure images of a man wearing a Seanamarena and mokorotlo (the Basotho hat) on his trusty stead galloping across the sometimes green, sometimes white gorges and valleys the country is famous for. A quick Google image search is ready evidence of this.

Lesotho rappers Lakzen, Soul of Wit and L-Tore have added a more dynamic tint to that narrative. The trio recently released the video for their collaborative single, P.U.S.H. The video which was shot in Maseru CBD East depicts the quotidian hustle of the ordinary Mosotho. The camera manoeuvres through the Maseru market, the taxi ranks and the surrounding areas to show all manner of street side hustles, from the street side cobblers mending shoes to the food vendors preparing meals and snacks, usually roasted, to the hawkers selling a selection of fruits and vegetables.

The acronym P.U.S.H. stands for ‘Put Ur Skills Higher’ and with it, the rappers declare that they will push themselves to reach higher heights. It is about commanding respect through hard work rather than demanding it and as rapper-producer L-Tore explained, “For me, that meant writing to show people my abilities”. At the same time, they are issuing a clarion call to everyone else to do the same.

The three feel that their own hustle and their struggle to get their due recognition are comparable to the daily hustle, the daily grind they captured in the video.

P.U.S.H’s visual story was inspired by Blitz the Ambassador’s Dikembe video. Although they worked as a team to develop it, the video was shot and directed by Hlompho LetsieloSehlabaka Rampeta of Cuts on Raps, who also did this video for Melimo E Mecha and Carl MacMillan helped the director shoot and edit the video.

The head-bopping track was produced by L-Tore and it was meant to be a part of a compilation album called The Opening by music publishing house GatQuality. It has been released as a single instead.

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