South Africa

“It’s not how I look at myself,” rapper Touchline on comparison to the late ProKid

Touchline ProKid

Despite always being compared to the late rapper, ProKid, Touchline has told The Citizen that he doesn’t see himself like that. The rapper recently made his acting debut in a local film.

“People have said it and it’s not how I look at myself,” said Touchline about the ProKid comparisons.

Touchline, who hails from Tembisa is seen as one of the torch bearers of “real Hip Hop” because his storytelling is soaked in township syntax, delivered in great word play and hard-hitting lyrics that a variety of listeners relate to. Because of this, he has been compared with ProKid.

 “I’ve taken my own path. I’m from a different hood, different era and just a different socio-economic ear. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Pro.”

“It’s easier for me to make money now, than it was for him back those days. Prod made it easier for us. Rappers can now make it without a hit song.”

In 2018 he released the heartfelt The Procedure where he rapped on the Uthini Ngo Pro beat, paying homage to the rapper from Soweto after his passing.

In 2019 Touchline won The People’s Choice Award at the Verse of the Year Awards hosted by Slikour On Life and Stogie T.

“The legendary Zubz telling me that my music is incredible and exactly what the game needs. He had a lot of praise for me, which was a shock considering I didn’t even think he had heard about me,” said Touchline in an interview in 2019.

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Comparing music making and filmmaking

After making his on screen acting debut in a local film, rapper Touchline has juxtaposed the challenges of filmmaking and making music.

“The hours are crazy. I would get on set around nine in the morning and get back home around 4 am. I would be back at it in the morning, mind you when I get home and I have to memorise the script,” Touchline told The Citizen.

The Actions over Captions rapper was roped in by Hip Hop producer Omen to be part of film, Ziyawa, after seeing that Touchline had the potential.

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Ziyawa is a story about two best friends who fight over a girl, but their grudge escalates when the two start challenging each other on who can host the best party on campus.

“He [Omen] thought I fit the role, I then went for auditions. It’s the first time doing something on-screen, but I’ve done theatre before,” said the rapper whose real name is Thabo Mahlwele. The theatre work Touchline has done was in high school plays, but he said that he’s played an extra on a show on Netflix.

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2024 prospects

After the TV debut, the rapper is keen on taking up more roles in this year.

“I want to do another movie, I want to do my own thing like Kevin Hart,” he said. He also wants to get into business more, but didn’t say what kind of business he wants to pursue.

Last year he released a collaborative project with fellow rapper Ginger Trill, titled Boyzen Da Hood. “The reception to the project has been incredible and the buy-in from the public is amazing, people are still streaming the project,” said Touchline.

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A post shared by Thabo Mahlwele (@touchline_truth)

But he has marked this year as the one in which he’ll release an album “I’m more than half-way through with it. I’ll release it in the first quarter or first half of the year.”

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