“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This Chinese proverb rings true for Zimbabwe-born and South Africa-based rapper King 98, whose government name is Ngonidzashe Dondo.
Having started music at the age of 13, King 98 was inspired by the United States’ Asap Rocky and he fell in love with Hip Hop because of its culture and the swag that comes with it.
King 98 who is only aged 20 has already shared the stage with Africa’s bigwigs, Cassper Nyovest and is bound to also share the stage with Nasty C.
The rapper was relatively unknown before the Change a Life Concert which will be headlined by Nasty C in August and The ZimTainment editor, Ronald Magweta (RM) caught up with King 98 (K98) who took us through his emerging career as a Hip Hop artiste.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
RM: Apparently not many people knew you before the Change a Life Concert to be headlined by Nasty C in August. How are you feeling to be sharing the stage with him and how do you see the event in propelling your career or yourself as an artiste?
K98: I am really excited about the concert and I am grateful to God that he has given me this opportunity. Sharing the stage with a superstar like Nasty C is a blessing, I feel that people will get to know and grow with me as an artiste. It is a task that I am ready to fulfill.
RM: Since you are based in South Africa where Hip Hop is prominent, how is the Zim Hip Hop industry and what do you think must be done to elevate it?
K98: As far as I am concerned, the Zim Hip Hop industry is growing, it is only a matter of time for it to blow up and the artistes are fully expressing themselves. To lift up the industry people need to give upcoming artistes a chance to shine and also show their talent.
I have noticed it’s hard for rappers to blow up in Zimbabwe and this slows down the growth of Hip Hop. I admire the South African Hip Hop where by every year there is a new name which comes out.
RM: As an upcoming artiste, what are you bringing in the industry that that will make you unique or a force to reckon with?
K98: I am bringing in a global sound that will cross the borders of Africa and beyond, and make music that will put Zimbabwe on the global stage. I want to be the best Zim Hip Hop export and my mission is to do what people say cannot be done.
RM: Up to now, how many singles, EPs or albums have you released?
K98: I have 10 singles that I have released from the year 2015 to 2017 and one music video which is on YouTube. For now I will be releasing singles only then next year is when I will release a full body of work.
RM: It is reported that you have done a song with Nasty C, how did you manage to get him on board and how was it to work with someone of his caliber?
K98: Well, apparently I am sorry I am not in a position to answer this question now. The thing is we recorded a song with Nasty but I am not allowed to give out too much information up until the song is out.
RM: If you were to do a collaboration with a Zim Hip Hop artiste, who will you go for and why?
I will definitely choose to work with Takura, I love and appreciate and admire what he is doing for the industry and how hard he pushes his craft. He is a dream chaser.
RM: Who is your role model and who mentors you?
K98: Well my role models are Drake, Cassper Nyovest and Davido, then Ali Keys, Cassper’s producer is the one who mentors me.
RM: What is your advice to young artistes out there who want to venture into music as a career?
K98: To my fellow young artistes I would want to say that the sky is the limit and do not be discouraged on whatever you love to do. Pray hard, express your art, keep working and always have faith.
RM: Finally, besides music, what else do you enjoy doing?
I really love playing soccer, reading books or novels and spending time with family and friends.
Watch: King 98 – Sauce Man