Kommanda Obbs, born Obatia Lawrence Chapi on the 5th of May 1986 in Maputsoe north of Lesotho, is a conscious Sesotho ethnic Hip hop lyricist / artist who aim at reviving the language of Sesotho and promoting different aspects of the Basotho culture. Being heavily inspired by traditional Sesotho music (Famo), indigenous music, Jazz, Reggae, World Music, Kwaito, Afro-Beat and the Hip hop culture, Kommanda Obbs fuses these cultures to form a Hip hop sub-genre called TS’EPE (a Sesotho word for iron / steel), which is translated figuratively as hard hitting lyricism in this context.
At the age of 11, Kommanda Obbs started writing his own music after being influenced by the likes of Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Sankomota, B.O.P, Trompies, Famole, Tupac Shakur, Tau ea Mats’ekha amongst many other great musical legends. Kommanda Obbs independently released his first street project/Mix tape titled “Complex Mind Set Volume 1” managed to put Kommanda Obbs out in the underground stratosphere as an emerging artist. The street project/Mix tape is currently circulating on airwaves (community and campus radio stations including numerous commercial radio stations in the SADC region) while creating anticipation for the artist’s upcoming debut album. One of the classics from “Complex Mind Set volume 1” titled “Ke Lorile”, has been receiving major air play and features on an AIDS awareness film which is currently circulating on various broadcasting channels across the African continent. The film is called “Monna oa motsamai” (Travelling man).
Kommanda Obbs is currently working on his debut album titled TS’EPE in association with Mamela My Man Music. This project has been under construction for two years and is now reaching its final stages. Having worked with M(uzi)k of the Molakosh on most of the production, from the conceptualizing to the recording of the actual songs, I’m confident enough to say that the collective efforts invested by both Kommanda Obbs and M(uzi)k of The Molakosh have created a synergy that will make this a mature, pleasurable album to listen to. In a nutshell, the purpose of this album is to place Sesotho and other African native cultures on the global social map by giving a platform (through music) to other cultural aspects which are not as yet fully embraced by the contemporary African.