MASERU — Hip hop is perceived as a music genre for people with talent, swagger, attitude and live the high lifestyle.
But local hip hop artist Lerato ‘L-Tore’ Leteka sees himself as an ordinary down-to-earth emcee who takes pride in making good music.
With four Mixtapes under his belt, Leteka has worked with some of the hottest and most popular emcees in the country.
Leteka who belongs to a hip hop group, Mic Vandalists, told the Weekender he worked solo to let people see what he is made of.
He is now perceived as the king of hip hop music in the streets of Maseru because of his attitude and talent.
Leteka made a name for himself alongside his dancing partners the Krump Kings when they were crowned kings of break-dancing in October 2009 in South Africa.
His hits ‘Hip hop my lady, Can you see her and I know what I want have also earned him recognition.
Although he has been seen as an emcee, he revealed to the Weekender that he is also a vocalist.
“I’m mostly into Hip hop which appeals to young people but I am also working with K-Mo on an R’n’B project that we hope will mesmerise the genre’s fans.”
Leteka said although he has been around the music scene for years he has never released a full length album because “the Lesotho market is just too complicated and there is nothing protecting us as artistes”.
“We have no support from authorities in terms of policies regarding issues like royalties, copyright and against piracy” he told the Weekender.
“I have only released four Mixtapes where I collaborated with a number of local emcees including Kat-Law, Dunamiz, Metal-Jacket, Shuffle and Minister Po to mention but a few.”
Instead Leteka chose to release his latest 15-track production, Just fort Kick in August last year in South Africa where it is making waves with hits like Betsa and Kealipalamisa receiving airplay in Limpopo province.
He said the local market enjoys I’m Hustling (do me) from the same album.
“I have only released Mixtapes to establish the type of market Lesotho has before putting much effort in releasing a full length album.
“Mixtapes also help me stay on the edge of wanting to continue music with minimal financing involved,” Leteka said.
Despite the current problems Leteka said he is proud to be one of the local artistes who have taken the lead in making the hip hop genre an ‘industry’.
“I have produced two tracks from Dunamiz’s latest offering, Glory in the Streets. I am also in studio with Minister Po,” he added.
Leteka said artistes should take their music seriously and invest for success.
“Musicians should treat their talent as careers and feel compelled to blossom.”
The 23-year-old artist said the sooner Lesotho has laws protecting music rights the better the music industry will flourish.
“We have established individual relations with international artistes but we don’t have support from the government. The sooner we get aid from those in authority the sooner the country’s economy is going to benefit.”