“Lonke” by J-Smash and K. Keed, featuring Yolophonik, was released February 17, with an official lyric video to follow on YouTube 4 days later.
The South African sound is the foundation of this song as the first half of the track, as well as the chorus and title of the track, are in Zulu – the official language of a specific region in South Africa.
J-Smash is a South African DJ and Hip-Hop producer who has been making waves since 2018, and has worked with Entertainment Lords as well as independently.
K.Keed was raised in Cape Town and debuted as a musician in 2019. Most recently she independently released an 8-song album titled Alter Ego in February 2022.
Yolophonik is a producer and beat maker also based in South Africa who was named as one of the Producers of the Year by Freshman Magazine in 2019.These two producers came together with K. Keed to transport you somewhere cosmic with this soul-searching song of self-reflection.
To my surprise, the lyrics for this song are next to impossible to find, with the only source for them being the lyric video. However, the vibe of this song conveys what it’s about without having to know a single line.
That being said, I just had to know the true meaning of the lyrics rather than just assuming I did based on how they made me feel, so I wrote them down and typed them into Google translate for us, and then asked one of my friends in South Africa if they could confirm. After sending my translation to my friend, I was able to get a more accurate translation from one of his friends, since Google didn’t get it quite right.
So, for those who do not speak Zulu, this is how the song goes:
“Lonke- All of it
Ubuyayifuna- If you want it
Izapha- Come here
Yizoyi landa- Come fetch it
Kum- to me/by me
Ndilufuna lonke- I want all of it
Uthando Lakho- Your love“
For the second verse, K. Keed switches things up by spitting her bars in English, explaining:
“It’s been a minute, I been on my own
I’m feeling better, When I’m all alone
You do it to me baby, And I been tryna love you
You don’t know me lately, It’s only me you’re calling
Give me something to keep, How I’m feeling lately
We can talk if you please, Just pull up on a nigga“
To summarize this beautifully composed artwork, this is a song about someone who wants more from someone and is caught in the loop of not getting the attention and affection they need from the situation.
My favorite part of this song is, whether or not you know Zulu (or have a friend who can translate for you) the mellow vibe of the track and slow delivery of the lyrics allows the listener to FEEL the meaning of the song, unlocking a universal experience that transcends language barriers.
Lonke is a top-notch masterpiece that I hope gains popularity in all corners of the globe.