My real name is Makena S. Mahapa, also known as K9King and I am 34 years old. I was born and raised in Polokwane, now residing at Seshego Zone 1 where I recently bought my property after being advised by my dad to study and have something to fall back on because of the uncertainty that comes with the music industry here in South Africa. I studied and acquired a National Diploma in Building Science and furthermore a Baccalaureus Technologiae: Quantity Surveying for Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria – main camp). I also have an NQF Level 6 certificate in OHS and I am currently doing another degree in Project Management with UNISA. My passion for music started at a very young age, I think it really started reflecting at age 10. I used to print and sell lyrics to fellow pupils back in high school (Hoer Skool Tom Naude) in grade 8 & 9 because I was privileged enough to have been introduced to the internet when it was relatively new and most people were not yet acquainted with it at the time.
Why Gangster Rap?
Prior to going the Gangster Rap route, I actually was doing a Wu-Tang Clan type of Hip Hop but I pivoted to Gangster Rap because I wanted to tell real life stories that impacted me and other people and wanted to be relevant. My biggest influence in that regard at the time was Tupac Amaru Shakur. I found myself no longer writing songs that expressed skills on the mic but rather ones that tackled day to day issues that most of us face in the ghetto/hood alike. Gangster rap then somehow became a way for me
What is the Best and Worst thing about Hip hop according to your experiences?
The best thing about Hip Hop is it’s ability to reach out and touch others in the sense that someone somehow relates. It is also it’s ability to give the most seldomly heard a platform to be heard and to express themselves without being argued with or questioned. When a track is done, it’s done. One can only take what they wish to take and neglect what they don’t with to. They can never change the artist’s opinion on the subject matter. Hip hop has also put food on a plate for many families meaning it has the capability of being career in it self.
The worst thing however could be that it can take up and consume one’s life so much and for so long and they’d still never see the light of day and make it where they had wished to be. Basically, many artists that long to be heard can work ultra hard throughout the journey with hip hop but still never meet the primary objective of either being heard or known respectively. Hip hop can also closely be linked to drugs one way or another. A famous artist can take them to keep up with performance demands to keep awake and flamboyant, and unknown artist can mingle with them to escape the reality of never being heard after having put out so much in an attempt to be heard/recognized.
What places have you traveled that made you fall more in love with Hip hop?
The stage is that one place that I found to have the ability to precipitated the acknowledgement of self. Its the one place that when I go on, I raise the stakes even higher than I had prior to going there. It gives me that sense of belonging and affirmation that I love this game regardless of where I am as an artist there and then. I have been of many stage from Polokwane to Cap City (Pretoria), to Jo’burg to Cape Town. As one would know, my line of work (construction), one travels to build new structures from city to city, and somehow hip hop has always been a part of me and it somehow manages to always connect me with different artists from place to place. Hence I find myself having to perform at the least expected times and places alike.
Who are the great artists do you wish to reach out and work with in this hip hop game?
(Ha ha ha ha) Aftermath. A bit too optimistic as it may be or sound. I’ve always wanted to have that one on one with Dr Dre and have him produce an entire album with a brother. Of course this is a dream that is yet to be realized, let alone commence.
Ghetto Load ft Shibe L. What is the motive behind this track and how is the experience working with Shibe L?
Ghetto Load, if u listen to the content, speaks of a “loads” of things that the ghetto can exhorted on a person. It’s about daily happenings that take place in my hood or any other ghetto for that matter. At the time the track was recorded, Shibe had never recorded a track in her life, let alone been to a studio I believe. I had recorded the track both verses a day before I met her, so when we met at Jack Botes Hall/Polokwane municipality park after having heard her voice for a good 30 minutes, I was convinced she had the voice I needed to finalize the track. I then took her to the studio, believe it or not, the artist that is Shibe L was born from there on. She has always been a delight to work with since. She’s easy going and never has to put in extra effort to do what she does, she’s a natural and hence how she is getting ahead in the music industry.
Do you think that Mzansi Hip hop has lost direction or it is on the right track?
Yep, I feel like African music is extremely directed and dictated by its Western counterpart. I mean we knew hip hop to be the way it was in the 90’s, thats how we did. Now trap came in and now every that’s a trend we are now clearly following. How about setting trends ourselves and being the followers for once? At this stage, it seems if hip hop evolves to a certain/specific norm again, we are going to be confined to that particular norm simply to keep up or whatever.
K9King; What’s the story behind this stage name?
K9King… okay, so as you now know, my real is Makena right? My childhood friends shortened it and called me Kena instead. So if you say Kena 5x repeatedly… it sounds as if you are saying K9, wouldn’t you agree? Yeah so that’s how the K9 name stuck and the king was later added cause my homes felt I was king on the mic.
Besides hard work; patience, persistence, perseverance are key attributes to have in any endeavor you might wish to undertake.
To my son Neo “Mo’ Cash” Mahapa (12), my kid brothers Mphefi whose down in Cape Town and Tebogo “Cannibal Mahapa, my sister in music Shibe ” Shibe L” Lephalala, business partner Lloyd “Narcotix” Makhasa, my homeboy and the other half of our dou rap crew Pabi “Black Tech” Masekoamemg, Khomotso “No-peace” Sebone, Raymond “L Ray” Mphephu, and the entire Psycos R Dope click… Love all y’all and keep hip hop alive #woof
What are your childhood funny memories?
I was prefect in Grade 7… Six (6) months later I shot some kid that blatantly refused to take an order to pick up rubbish from the sport ground with a BB gun given to me by another prefect. I of course was apprehended and berdge was suspended for two (2) months. Fast forward to a month ago, I’m in the studio recording a track with that same guy. How did I find out it was him? While recording, I was talking about an incident that happened in that school that was funny – after I spoke about it, guy goes; “You know, a prefect once shot me for not wanting to pick up papers in that school a long time ago.” Can imagine how astonished we both were when I told him it was me..? Hence I didn’t even know that he went to that school. It’s a small world