African Hip Hop Blog


Record label TinismDotc0m has unveiled their prized possession Kid Tini as the latest young rapper ready to stamp his mark on the game. Real name Phiwe Unam Tini, he hails from Butterworth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and is actually the reason for his label’s very existence! His desire to do music from a young age inspired his brother, Miso Tini, to build an environment which could nurture the skills he required to make it in the music industry: thus the birth of TinismDotc0m. With that weight on his shoulders, Kid Tini’s breakout project carries a lot of expectations with it.

His debut offering, Coming Of Age, is a combination of his experiences, hunger, drive and passion all encapsulated in 18 tracks. The length of the mixtape is a literal reflection of both his age and how much work he’s putting in. The project encloses well crafted verses backed up by effortless flows that definitely come with the self assurance of coming into your own.

The most palpable quality of this project is how the rapper presents himself: he sounds right at home on the mic, with an authenticity that makes it impossible to confuse him with anyone else! This is a musical journey penned by an adolescent that will gain plenty of respect from his peers and elders alike. In what’s quickly becoming a crowded space of young up-and-coming rappers; you don’t get the sense Kid Tini’s trying too hard to prove himself and differentiates himself by faithfully telling his own story. With plenty of boxing references and smart punchlines, the sonic balance is achieved through mellow cuts like Sextape and Running Back To You that display a different aspect of the artist’s abilities.

Shay’ Wei and One In A Mill see Jermaine Three-d Mayj-c behind the boards; showcasing the amazing skills of the producer who, despite being blind, “works his machines in a way that’ll take your breath away”. Over further production from J Smallz, Tone Jonez and Digital Beatz the rapper’s versatility is refreshing and promises some mileage well into the future. If he really does have your “role model tripping off his blueprint” it might be because of his ability to fuse elements of his influences whilst moulding a distinct sound for himself. This is best reflected on the sincere track GhettoThis song pays homage to the rapper’s favourite local group Driemanskap by interpolating their track S’phuméGugs. Also accompanying that is how the melody of the hook salutes another favourite of his, in the form of  LudacrisRunaway Love.

He definitely won’t be accused of having no respect for those that came before him! And with the delivery and lyrical content of someone beyond his years, it’s no surprise he’s “schooling dudes he was skipping class with”. Trying to whittle down this effort to a list of standout tracks is pretty hard between the hypnotic No Favours, Shay’ Wei, Addiction, Koze Kuse and the earworm Dreaming Out Loud. The beauty of Coming Of Age is how it puts Kid Tini’s best foot forward whilst seamlessly catering to different palates.

With the release of the short video for his intro Fight Every Figtht, Kid Tini introduces himself to the world. Peep the visuals below and find out what he had to say when we caught up with him afterwards.

WhatsApp-Image-20160624 (1)AHHB: Who is Kid Tini and how would you describe your sound?

Kid Tini: Kid Tini is a young dreamer from the Eastern Cape who loves to listen to and create music. My sound is a combination of everything that inspires me as an artist, this could refer to music from some of my favourite artists or art in general.

AHHB: You’re only 18… where did all this begin for you?

Kid Tini: I started rapping at the age of 10. I told my brother who is also my label head that I wanted to make music after hearing some of his old work. I got inspired to pick up the pen and I’ve been writing ever since.

AHHB: In No Favours you speak about being under pressure. Is it because of being signed to family and needing to prove yourself more?

Kid Tini: Yes. Basically, I have a very professional relationship with my brother when it comes to the music. I guess you can say tough love and hard work is the motto. I was never given any shortcuts, hence the title of the song is “No Favours

AHHB: Who were some of your influences coming up?

Kid Tini: My influences are the likes of J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Drake and Pac. I basically grew up in the studio, with this came perks of being able to watch artists like Ginger Breadman, PdotO and Kid X create music and that’s usually the difference between what my peers think is dope and what I think is dope.

AHHB: You’ve only got a couple of collaborations on the mixtape. Can we expect more in future, anyone in mind?

Kid Tini: There are a couple of artists I admire. You can definitely expect features. I would really like to have a song with Kid X though.

AHHB: At 18 tracks long, you put in some work on Coming Of Age: what’s your recording process like?

Kid Tini: I like being in an environment that allows creativity to flow freely. It all starts with an idea, the idea then grows into a whole concept and it keeps growing from there into a whole song. That’s what I did with the project and before I knew it we had a full body of work.

AHHB: Preach is one of your standout tracks, when can we expect the video to drop?

Kid Tini: I’m not certain about the timeline about the drop as yet but it should be sometime in July

AHHB: Other than Dj Switch‘s Now or Never Remix, what’s next for Kid Tini and Tinism?

Kid Tini: More music! There’s a lot more I wish to share with y’all and I hope it will be received in a manner that allows for more growth.

AHHB: Finally, If you could ask a fan one question what would it be?

Kid Tini: I would ask them how to make their favourite song.