Last weekend, Entertainment Now! caught up with Exile, one of the most talented rappers in the country from back in the days. He is known to be one of the members of the popular group, ‘The Kalaharians’, and one of the artists who were at the forefront of the music industry in the country from the 90s to the early 2000s.
Born Exile Isaack in Nyango, Zambia, during the struggle era, Exile moved to the United States (US) with his parents when he was 11 years old. His stay in the US introduced him to the hip-hop culture, and that is where he learned the real essence of rhythm and poetry (rap). When he returned to Namibia, he was introduced to ‘The Kalaharians’ by his friends who were also in the music industry at that time.
Fame and money
“Fame came too soon and some of us were not mature enough for the limelight. We got exposed to the industry and we didn’t know how to handle it because money was also flowing in, certain bad habits started developing and everything was getting out of control,” Exile narrated, saying the money factor contributed to the group breaking up.
He also believes that it was because of the fame and money that women kept chasing after him. “The industry gave me three children – all from different mothers,” said the father of two boys and a daughter.
When Exile left the group, he went solo and made few great collaborations. “My career wasn’t fulfilling as the first time when I was still part of The Kalaharians”.
After some time of going solo, Exile lost interest in the industry because “There was too much favouritism and it was only rich artists who used to win awards even when they do not have real talent”.
“I got discouraged because it isn’t like that in the US. People in America look at the authenticity, rhythm, logical thinking and talent of an artist – but in Namibia, they look at the size of your bag. Real talent has died in this country because there’s no respect and culture for music,” narrated the eloquent artist.
Alcohol and drug abuse
According to him, life took a blind eye immediately after his mother died in 2016.
“Those were challenging times because she was my support system. Family conflicts began and they took everything because she didn’t leave a will. My half-brother and I fought for her properties, which lead to my downfall,” explained Exile, whose mother was a human rights activist and teacher.
His mother’s house was sold and he lost the support of his family members
It was at that point in his life when drugs and alcohol took over him.
The rapper said he has been in and out of jail for being caught with drugs and involved in fights.
“I was in shock and the only thing that could make me feel better was crack cocaine. It was a wrong decision one could make but it was pain-relieving,” he expressed.
“I associated myself with drug lords and I would spend over N$3 000 on drugs in one night; it was morally downgrading and the society judged me for looking skanky,” he elaborated.
“Drugs have killed the greatest talents in the world and I buried a lot of my friends because of that,” he reminisced before assuring Entertainment Now! that he learned a lesson and he has turned his back on drugs.
Leap of faith
As a religious man, Exile believes in the power of prayer and he also gets words of encouragement from his father, an ambassador in Egypt.
“Staying with the poorest of poor people humbled me and made me a better person. I learned that one can live in the shack with nothing to eat but still be happy. Living here made me rewind my life and redefine happiness,” he stated.
According to him, being a parent also made him redefine his purpose in life.
He said, “I learned my lesson and realised I need to be a better father to my kids.”
When asked if he has any regrets, the positive-minded rapper said: “In life, people make mistakes and my mistakes made me a better person in society. I cannot let my circumstances and what I have gone through define me.”
Dreams and aspirations
Like anybody else, the 40-year-old rapper said he believes his dreams are still valid.
“I am planning to go back in the studio and the entertainment industry, and maybe get a government job as well,” noted Exile.
A week ago, Exile and his two industry friends Fidel and Shikololo released a freestyle titled ‘Deadly ground’, which amazed thousands of their fans on social media. The freestyle was proof that the talented rapper still got the flow, rhythm and he is still the king of the mic.
The three artists are working on a second version of the freestyle that will feature the best hip hop artists in the country, such as Kanibal, D Jay, Snazzy, Wamboseun, J black, Dice, Jericho, Rizzy and many others. The freestyle is aimed at uniting all veteran hip hop artists.
Food for thought
Entertainment Now! also approached Windhoek Psychologist Dr Joab Mudzanapabwe to comment on the hazards of drug abuse in the creative industry.
“The musical world is creative and some artists take drugs to enhance their creativity and talent. Some drugs help them go beyond average and boost their performances. They become addicted because the more they consume the drugs, the more likely they are to build up a tolerance to its effects”.
Mudzanabwe discouraged artists from using drugs with the purpose to enhance their talents, saying: “The natural talent is enough if you want to become successful in the music industry. Unfortunately, there was never a musician that became successful after using drugs for a very long time”.
2020-05-22 10:10:29 | 12 days ago