A look into the iconic rapper’s impact on the hip-hop community and culture in Botswana.
There is no denying the impact of Balaclava Blanco formerly known as "Ammo Ski Mask" in the new age Hip-hop in Botswana. Born in Kanye and raised in Jwaneng, the rapper stated that he was inspired to start rapping after watching 8 mile while he was in primary school. I first came across Balaclava Blanco back then known as Ammo Ski mask on the smash hit "WhySoFaded Anthem". After hearing his verse I went on to check out more of his music and I instantly became a fan till this day. Balaclava Blanco was part of Faded Gang with fellow artists Mane Dilla and Obado and their songs hit the air waves all over Radio stations and on Tv.
After Faded Gang Blanco ventured into his solo career releasing some of his best songs "Untitled ft Mane Dilla", "I Got" which were part of his Ep "The Ratchet wear’s Prada" released in 2017. Blanco’s solo career really took off as he had impressed many with his rapping and producing skills. Many of his songs were featured in Flava Dome, radio playlists and on top local Hip-hop lists on Social Media. He went on to feature on some hits such as "Made A Way by Piet the Dj" and other records in the lead up to his upcoming 2018 album "Ratchet Africa 2: Desert Dreams" with features from Sasa Klaas, R.I.Z, Max Tokeyo other Botswana local Talent and the album raked in thousands of plays on Sound cloud. In the years to follow he dropped some bangers such as "Settle The Score" a certified trap hit, "Eye came, Eye Saw" and was featured on some and also brought out his merchandise which showed his flair for fashion and is arguably one of the best dressed rappers in Botswana. In 2020 after the pandemic hit he dropped something special for his fans an album titled "Quarantine Playlist" in which he produced most of the songs and had some memorable mentions such as "Ratchet Porn" and later dropped another album "If Broken Return To The Boyfriend Factory". He also became more active on social media doing live videos producing and recording songs to take people behind the scenes and get to witness the process he undergoes when producing music. He also featured on of Botswana’s most favorite show QnA by Local Corner Multimedia where he answered some questions sent by fans and in the QnA he went on to list his top 5 artists in Botswana and some notable mentions are Veezo View, Otsile, Obado, Mane Dilla and went on to list international rappers he would like to feature such as Young thug.
Balaclava Blanco is more than just an artist, he executes his projects with tremendous precision and dedication. When he releases music, it is done with sincerity and with his best efforts. Blanco is a visionary and is one of the rappers who helped to pioneer the new Age of hip-hop in Botswana and has been mentioned by some notable artists such as Lucasraps. His performances have been amazing, as well. He really is genuinely talented and would reach global recognition if the Botswana music industry was evolved like that of our neighbor South Africa.