A new Durban-based record label is in town y’all! Known as Maleningi Records, the label is launching in March 2021 to develop and showcase the most exciting hip hop and urban music talent from KwaZulu-Natal.
Maleningi Records already boasts more than six new artistes as well as multiple radio releases – and promises to take the fight to the big dogs in South Africa’s competitive music industry.
While Johannesburg and Cape Town are often considered leaders in local hip hop, Durban has its fair share of influence, not least in being the birthplace of several urban sub-genres and musical stars.
Maleningi Records’ mission is to position Durban as an even greater force in South Africa’s musical scene. Its roster of homegrown talent includes Audio Simz, Lex LaFoy, DJ Wobbly, Celestial Mic and many more.
These artistes boast an immense belief in their skills and abilities. As Celestial Mic, a lyrical machine, aptly puts it, “We keep on rapping so people know what actual rap should sound like.”
Maleningi Records co-founder
Maleningi Records co-founder TeabagCC is already well established as a strong pillar of Durban’s hip hop and entertainment industry. He has influenced the lives and careers of several Durban music stars in one way or another.
TeabagCC is also the force behind the label’s single Aytchu. Born in Isipingo, he’s deeply entrenched in KZN’s music scene and started his music career at the tender age of 14 as a composer and rapper.
He recalls, “When I reached university I branched off into DJing, which then really threw me into the KZN events and entertainment spaces. Whilst pushing my career as an events coordinator, I opened an artiste development label called Cultured Chaos Entertainment in 2012. I left the mainstream DJ space in 2017 to focus more on the executive role I felt was lacking in the scene.”
Lex LaFoy, also known as the First Lady of Maleningi Records, is no stranger to thriving in the male-dominated hip hop scene. From as early as 16 years old the formidable Red Hill MC has gone toe-to-toe with the best of the best Durban has to offer.
Her versatility and raw talent saw her moving to Johannesburg where a promising acting career opened up for her. She recently released her single Durban Magic and is more than ready to take the music industry by storm.
Lex LaFoy has also played a role in curating new music from KZN since her teens. “In 2004 when I was in matric, I was kicked out of the house for my rebellion and sent to my Dad’s,” she muses.
“I discovered a local radio station DYR (Durban Youth Radio) that had a local hip hop show. I recited a song from a book from one of my many lyric books. People loved it. That began my immersion into the Hip Hop scene in Durban.”
DJ Wobbly’s ‘Kumawa Dawg’
Maleningi Records’ most recent new single release comes off the back of signing DJ Wobbly with his hit Kumawa Dawg. DJ Wobbly is the poster child for identifying and promoting talent in local music industry.
Through his DJ’ing career, he has blazed trails that brought us great artistes such as Gemini Major, Witness The Funk, Dream Team and Nasty C to the mainstream. Having come from dance background, he knows exactly what gets the people moving and it is no surprise that Maleningi Records identified him as one of the new stars of KZN.
“I used to be a dancer in high school. I was at Northwood High School where I did a lot of musicals and I was part of the technical team,” DJ Wobbly recalls. “Sound has always been my love. I taught myself how to DJ via YouTube, learned some tricks from other DJs along the way, and after a performance at a high-profile 21st birthday I validated my place in the industry.”
TeabagCC, Lex LaFoy and DJ Wobbly are just some of the names to look out for as Maleningi Records propels Durban to the front of the SA Hip-Hop pack.