Homes’ new EP, Dlangamandla, is a wholesome dedication to home and family and is as fresh as the latest cold front

Homes is another unexpected gem straight out of Port Elizabeth – I’m telling you, there’s something in the water there. Dlangamandla is, in fact, his clan name and it’s pretty apt seeing as the EP serves as a homage to both his family and his forebears alike.

Homes’ is a breath of fresh air when it comes to the multiple emerging local hip hop artists I’ve listened to lately. He’s only been navigating the scene for about a year-and-a-half, but within that time he has managed to carve out a nice little niche for himself.

Hip hop takes a spin alongside some jazzy guitar inflections and earthy percussion. He pays tribute to his mother in “Umama”, his father in “Utata Nonyana”, and his entire heritage in richly layered opener “Dlangamandla”.

Easy-rolling rap lines slip from Zulu to English and back again – and you’d hardly notice. He weaves everything from warping guitar riffs to trickling synth into the mix; off-kilter percussive beats meet visceral lyricism and a sprinkle of local slang thrown in for good measure.

Even “Mam’koena”, which wraps things up with a choral undercurrent over which a traditional prayer unfurls, feels like it fits right in. It’s wholesome, it’s unique and it’s as fresh as this damn cold front – in the best of ways.