End of an Era; A Timeline, The End of Cash Time Life

Formed after the break-up of rap group Teargas, Cashtime Life, one of the most formidable independent labels in recent years, is no more. At the height of its popularity, the label’s rooster read like a dream, K.O, Ma-E, Kid-X, DJ Vigi, Maggz, & Nomuzi were a strong collective by any standards.

The release of K.O’s smash-hit Caracara, featuring stable mate Kid-X, coincided with the introduction of the label to massive critical acclaim, this allowed the collective to perform throughout the country on the back of K.O’s solo peak at the time.

During its time, the label dropped two mixtapes, Cashtime Fam’s Cashtime R.A.D.I.O, and Kid-X’s 3 Quarter Pace which did well over 600k downloads. The label further released two studio albums, K.O’s impressive debut Skhanda Republic selling over 40 000 copies, and MA-E’s disappointing Township Councillor. Each artist had a run with some singles dropping over time, from Kid-X’s Se7en, introducing Nomuzi Mabena, Ma-E’s Lie 2 Me, K.O’s One Time featuring Maggz, Ma-E & Masandi, to DJ Vigi’s numerous hit singles including Sorry Makhe, Pasop and start-studded Bang Out.

It was a beautiful run, with what seemed like a never ending buzz, but in early 2016 the cracks started to show;

March 2016: Cashtime Life & Nomuzi ‘Moozlie’ Mabena part ways, citing differences in the development of her music career. She had styled herself as the Skhanda Queen.

August 2016: Only five months after the departure of Moozlie, Kid-X announces his departure on SABC 1’s flagship music show LiveAmp. He goes on to partner with Kwesta on newly formed label Rap Lyf.

January 2017: Following the postponement of his album release date in November the previous year, Maggz announces his departure at a time when his album was finally set for release.

June 2017: Label co-founder and K.O.’s long-time manager Thabiso Khati leaves the label to form a talent management company managedxthabiso with Yung Swiss as one of the talents on its roster.

July 2017: In an interview with SlikourOnLife, Ma-E shares his unhappiness with how his debut album was rolled out, the lack of label support and subsequent poor performance. He also announces new music on the way on his own label Ghanda Productions.

July 2017: Label co-founder K.O drops new single No Feelings under Sony Music, announcing his sophomore album will also be released under Sony in September. According to K.O, Cashtime Life will continue to exist as the beneficiary of the noteworthy catalogue they built over time.

There is much to be celebrated, at its peak, Cashtime Life influenced & changed the game with its kwaito-inspired sound & a clothing label that saw almost every kid in the hood rock a Cashtime Life tee during summer 2014. What an era.

Cashtime tsotsi for life, not so much.

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