UNTOLD PROFILE with FELIX NYAMBE
LEGAAH aka Zed Tupac II, may not be the United States (US) rapper Tupac Shakur, but there is certainly something about him.
Legaah, who was born Fred Thole on June 7, which came some nine days before Tupacâ€™s birthday on June 16. The two thus share the same Horoscope, Gemini, so no wonder the resemblance.
That our own â€œTupacâ€ is more famous and recognised for his looks than his music is indisputable, although it is something that might change sooner than later.
â€œI am working on Mixed-Tape which will have some of the rap music never heard before in the country and, probably, elsewhere,â€ said the 31-year-old Legaah. He is the 10th born in a family of 12.
With songs such as Ghetto, which features Mo-Money, Birie (Ft. Krummy) and Chachine, which has the unmistakable voice of JK and Mo-Money, Legaah is all fired up.
Born and bred in Ndola before relocating to Lusaka where he attended Materoâ€™s Kasamba and Woodlands â€˜Bâ€™ primary schools, Legaahâ€™s early music stints, he said, was inspired by the music of Exile (Israel) and Master Flo.
â€œI also had a soft spot for the music of Shimasta, C.R.I.$.I.$ and the likes of Lily T and Danny Kaya at the height of Mondo Music Corporation,â€ stated Legaah, who also attended Nyenyezi Secondary School.
After leaving school in 2002, with drama being his preferred passion, the soft-spoken rapper took with him the inspiration he drew from the likes of Augustine Lungu, Danny â€œSauzandeâ€ Kanengoki, Chanda â€œMaximoâ€ Mwale and Kapotwe.
For most of his spare time, Legaah was involved in community-motivated sketches on issues affecting most societies with the backing of roving Sugar Shacks Disco Sounds.
â€œThere was not much of that stuff (drama) because in 2004 I did record my maiden single titled Imiti Ikula Empanga under the watchful eye of producer Willy Jinkx at Digital X Studio,â€ he stated.
The song, despite the growing influence in dancehall and rap genre among some new kids on the block, did find its way to the ZNBC radio stations.
A year later, he took a â€œsabbaticalâ€ leave, spending more time composing his new songs, as he looked for more inspiration elsewhere in the music industry.
And he did not look much further because at the time, the music of Master Flo was still appealing, so were the grooves penned by Exile. But this time, crooner Kâ€™Millian and Funti-K were also in the mix.
No wonder the rapper did not think twice when he featured Funti K and Nox on his second single Dance With Me, which was recorded at TKâ€™s Roma Side Studios.
â€œWith the two singles doing pretty well in club houses and on airwaves, I was privileged to have received an invitation to perform at Innocent â€œSmooth IKâ€ Kalalukaâ€™s Smooth Talk fifth anniversary in 2006,â€ he said.
After the Mulungushi International Conference Centre Smooth Talk bash, it was plain-sailing for the new-comer in rap music with shows at the Longridge Junction in Chilanga and many clubs dotted around Lusaka.
But the rapper did not forget about his passion for peer education and that is the reason why in 2007-2008, he was part of the Copperbelt Peer Education Project (CBPEP) based in Kitwe, where he obtained a certificate of participation.
The groupâ€™s main health objectives were based on the sensitisation on issues such as HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria control, cholera and general hygiene.
â€œWe toured most parts of the CB including Ibenga, Nkana East and River Rain before I decided to open a shop and venture into soft drinks and liquor distribution,â€ said Legaah, who is dating his 10-month-old sonâ€™s mother, Zondile Chirwa.
Over the last years, Legaah has been in and out of the recording studios head high with some smart tracks, mainly inspired by Tupac, of course, Tracey Chapman and Phil Collins.
His new ditties include the Lily T-inspired Internationally, Zetedi, Who Do You Trust (in a relationship) and his most recent Tiku-Tiku (the heart beat) tracks.
Kitweâ€™s CM, Goddisantrus and Metrix Records have all been responsible for Legaahâ€™s works which he claims may sooner than later share in the spoils with the â€˜realâ€™ Tupacâ€™s unrivalled and timeless songs.
â€œI want to see my songs on the same charts as Tupacâ€™s California Love, Thug For Life, I Got My Mind Made Up, Of Americaz Most Wanted, Hell Razor, Changes, Me Against The World or even All Eyes On Me,â€ bragged Legaah.
UNTOLD PROFILE with FELIX NYAMBE