Aspiring rapper sells albums on uMhlanga streets
UMHLNAGA – Rap artist, Y.T is ‘takin’ it to the streets’ to make a living selling his music on Millennium Bridge during rush hour.
Ronald ” Y.T” Jambo says he gets by selling his CD’s on the street. The 28-year-old rapper from Zimbabwe has big dreams for his music. “I wanted the best from day one,” said Y.T, “I want to touch souls from the hood to the burb.” With hopes to make it as an internationally-acclaimed rapper, Y.T recorded his first major album, ‘It is what it is,’ and simply started selling it. As the breadwinner in his family, Y.T is hoping to make up for lost time by focusing on his music. “I’ve realized that [my parents] look up to me- I’m the breadwinner and I have to make it happen,” said Y.T. And while his parents don’t support his music career, and he has never had a tutor or mentor, Y.T has decide to pursue his dream. after a long struggle, the rapper has realized that music is the only life for him:
After school, where he was given the nickname, Y.T, the rap artist enrolled as a civil engineering student in Zimbabwe, he soon won a scholarship to study electronic engineering at The University of Béjaïa in Algeria, but could not cope with the challenge of studying in a foreign language (French). “I blew it,” said Y.T, “I’ve wasted a lot of time and I don’t want to waste any more.” Years after he lost his engineering scholarship in 2009, Y.T. went home but did not settle, it wasn’t long before the self-described risk-taker packed up and headed to Durban to record his album. And the ‘muso’ is working hard, with plans to build up his own brand, ‘Grind24,’ with a blog and clothing merchandise to motivate others with his work ethos: “you’ve got to grind 24 hours a day.”
A love of music was at the heart of Y.T’s school days at Christ the King- Daramombe High Scool where he was taken with the reggae-inspired lyrical chanting of his peers. “They call it toasting,” said Y.T, “ I wasn’t really into reggae, I just liked the way they did it.” Listening to Tupac with his cousin is what steered Y.T toward hip-hop and he started writing his own songs in 2002, mixing English and Shona in rhymes about life. One such school-inspired song called ‘Dream On’ was his first fully English song and since then the rapper wrote all his songs in English because Shona is not universally understood. “I want people to listen to what I’m saying and understand each and every word,” said Y.T.
The message behind the music is important to the aspiring star because his aim is to motivate through rap. “I want to motivate people on the ground who don’t have anything,” said the rapper. Having a positive influence on youth, in particular is a responsibility that Y.T takes seriously. “I avoid explicit language and swearing- I want people to be able to listen to my music with their kids in the car or at home,” said Y.T. The rapper’s vision is to change the negative aspects of the music scene rather than assimilate to them. “I don’t want to change or forsake what I believe in, I’d like to see the world change.”
Y.T says that his struggles in life, coming from a poverty-stricken place where he had nothing, have made the journey a long one. “I have to be patient,” said the rapper, ” people mustn’t feel sorry for me because I see the trials in my life as nothing more than time spent waiting at the bus stop.”