Top 2 most influential figures in South African youth culture...


 A cultural icon is defined as ''an artifact that is identified by members of a culture as representative of that culture. The process of identification is subjective, and "icons" are judged by the extent to which they can be seen as an authentic proxy of that culture.''


I had to take a minute to digest the definition and really think about it from a 360 perspective, there were a couple of names that came to mind that ticked some or all of those boxes for what makes a cultural icon, but only one name was ringing more than the rest and that's Okmalumkoolkat. Whether you hate him or you love him one thing you can't do is deny that he is one of the most influential figures in contemporary youth culture in South Africa. Okamlumkoolkat is your favourite creatives favourite creative, your favourite rappers favourite rapper, from the music to the lifestyle to the aesthetics Malum is peak culture...''and its been like that for a minute Hedi Slimane...it's been like that for a minute''.


You can always judge real influence by how many children the source of influence has, and if the kids of the source have kids of their own, well then that is true power. For the last 10 years Okmalumkoolkat has been influencing Mzanzi street culture from the ground level to the top floor, from your favourite rapper using his dance moves to the stylish kids of braamfontein mirroring his combos from head to toe, his influence is felt everywhere in the scene. The only thing people haven't been able to take is the music, it is so tailor made to him that no one else can't try and bite it. His latest project the Blhomington EP is another example of how ahead his music still is to the whole game, he is a 1 of 1 and it's not even a question. 


Okmalumkoolkat changed the way South African Hip Hop identifies with it's self from a sonic to an aethetic point of view. This is one of the guys who made it really cool to be African. From rapping in zulu on drum and base beats to him creating and dictating the lexicon of the streets for the kids (80% of the slang used on the streets comes from Okmalumkoolkat or his lineage).There aren't parts of the game that you won't find a trace of his ecesence. He has influenced the most influential people in South African street culture and now they are also sources of current youth culture, from people like 45 degrees to Windows 2000 and even Cassper Nyovest Malum is the source of the ''whole design''. If you really look at the lineage of his influence you can really see how he has been one of the main driving forces of pop culture on a street level.

Okmalumkoolkat and his design company Sjambook studios are already changing the product game in South Africa with their worldclass merchandise and unmatched custom products, they are making everything from Surf boards to bikes and it's amazing to watch him create freely and at such a high level in the design space.People don't always get their flowers when they are alive and thats why we created The Gold Axis platform, to make sure that the trully great get their flowers way ahead of that time. Okmalumkoolkat is a cultural icon and only time will tell how the legend will be told but for now he is still one of the brightest stars in our space and we need to protect his art at all costs.