Innovative rapper, content producer and artist ShabZi Madallion brought his unrivalled magic to The Element with The Pristine Queen, Azizzar.
The Mad Lion, as he’s also known, is fresh off of premiering his short film Soul’d Out at The Bioscope in Maboneng, titled after his latest project alongside cinematographer and producer Nicki Walker.
The pioneering artist has had one helluva year and been dropping new content – singles, music videos, web series episodes and EPs – almost every week since the beginning of the year and shows no signs of slowing with a joint album with Jimmy Wiz, Look At The Team, dropping in November.
ShabZi Madallion, throughout his journey, has become synonymous with truth; going (and taking fans and consumers) to the depths of his vulnerability, and tackling subjects that could easily be deemed as taboo.
“I want to get to a point in my life where there’s not much to hide…. What’s worth keeping a secret; what’s worth people not knowing?”
Currently at a point on his musical and artistic journey where he’s breaking the mould of what is expected, he says he’s more confident in himself and his artistry and playing around with different ways of celebrating, and showing respect to, his craft.
“When you do things outside of who you are, you learn new things about who you are,” he says.
Often among artists in the country who are considered, by fans and Hip Hop aficionados, as highly talented and ‘slept on’, ShabZi says he’s found that he gets more acknowledgement from people within in the game in person.
“There are people who take their hats off for me when they meet me, but they don’t do it publicly. People see me in this game… but, I know it’s secretly because I’ve had a lot of handshakes from people in the game (that we all love and respect) that have taken their hat off to me, but it’s to my face.”
He adds, “Part of the game is actually being acknowledged for being great.”
On a recent episode of his web-series The Lion’s Den, he shared a video where he documented his submission of For The People, his EP from earlier this year, to the upcoming South African Hip Hop Awards, in the categories Best Freshman; Lyricist of The Year and Mixtape of The Year.
Regarding the decision to submit For The People from the slew of work he’s released this year, he says “the project was intentionally made for us to really invest in us putting it out there. The more I listen to it – I’m like ‘we did a great job, here’”.
And, when is ShabZi Madallion most in his Element, you ask – when he’s cookin’ something up.
“When I’m working… anything that has to do with work – I’m in my Element. Anything that’s got to do with being productive, I’m really in my Element”.
It’s no wonder, then, that he’s increasingly becoming known as the hardest working rapper in SA.
Hear more on his thoughts on the game, friendship, closure and more in the full interview here: