Genre; Hip-hop/ Rap
Artistes; AP Venom and Pauletta
2018 is a song by South African rapper AP Venom featuring songstress Pauletta, this is Venom’s first song of this year. What caught my attention with this song was the title ‘2018’ it got me wanting to know more about what made the year 2018 so special to this artiste that got him reminiscing about it two years later, and that curiosity was in more ways than one satisfied after listening to this track.
The intro of this song begins with a melancholic piano play which leads us to the angel – like voice of Pauletta as she effortlessly belts out the chorus to begin this track. As I begin to lose myself in the emotional yet empowering lyrics of her chorus there’s a beautiful transition to AP Venom’s rap verse and the track only gets better.
Venom raps like one fuelled by conviction and this translates into his delivery on this song, his verses strike right to the heart it’s almost like he’s taking us with him through his journey/story. I could literally feel the different emotions he evoked at different parts of the song as he took us through what 2018 was like for him.
The lyrics of this song takes us through an emotional tale that revolves around the pain of betrayal, death of a loved one and losing trust in people and friendships. There’s a bit of everything in there that each of us as listeners can relate to, I for one can relate to the feeling he protrayed of being betrayed by someone I once considered as family and I’m still dealing with that hurt.
But what I loved most about this song was the perfect mix and chemistry between both of this artistes, especially in terms of how different the lyrics and chorus were. While Venom verses were most parts about the hurt and betrayal he went through and other challenges he faced, Pauletta’s chorus served as a reminder after each of Venom’s verse that “when you burn you learn… one thing’s for certain-you’re the definition of a soldier now, warrior”.
I think that is one message we all can take away from this track – whatever we go through both good and bad has the ability to shape us into stronger and better people. This track was a beautiful reminder that we’re all survivors in our own ways despite our scars we’re still fighting on and that ‘some lessons are blessings in disguise.’
The final verse made for a beautiful outro as he paid homage to his late grandfather and also to the woman who had raised him ‘his late grandmother’, I got emotional as I listened to him reminisce about his time with her from the jokes to how he wished she was still alive to see him become who she wanted him to be. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one would be able to relate to everything on this verse on an even deeper level.
It’s no surprise that this track was inspired by the loss of his grandmother. “I spent most of my childhood under her care and i was looking forward to finishing my degree (Occupational therapy) so i could thank her by caring for her every need and want” AP Venom explains. “But sadly in October she passed on and i felt a void in me, i felt like i had failed at a significant goal in my life although i knew i had no control over what took place…i just couldn’t shake that failure feeling off.”
As saddening as most of this song was there was still a display of strength and conviction of better days to come on this track,and that really makes this song even more well rounded to me.
This song is one filled with a load of relatable lyrics, simplistic instrumentation, excellent word play, wonderful lyric flow and delivery which all come together to make this song a must listen for everyone.
And I did it just to help him, not for favours
But the same person had the nerves to steal from me
Had me asking myself, like, am I kind or stupid-I’m kind of stupid, I guessAP Venom
Download or listen to ‘2018‘
Meet the artiste
I’m Nhlanhla (AP Venom) Shongwe, a 26 year old currently studying occupational therapy at the University of KwaZulu Natal. I’m originally from Manguzi, a small town North of Kwazulu Natal. I write music and poetry, i lift weights and run (ran 28KM just last friday in 2hrs 31 mins). I’m currently signed to a record label Gniusmuzikgang. I would consider myself as super funny and friendly.
You can find him on his socials as AP Venom on Twitter, Facebook, IG and Tiktok.