Ogone Tshepe AKA Biscuithead, is a 21 year old producer born and bred in Francistown. Most people would know him from his smash hit Employee of the Month or his joint project with fellow FTowner BNKHD but before that, he was one of 6 kids raised by a single mother in Botswana’s second capital, after his dad passed away when he was only two years old.
“My mother never wants to believe me, but I remember the day I was born. Like, I really remember being born. We talk about it sometimes and I tell her certain things about that day that she confirms are true but she still doesn’t want to believe it,” he tells me when I ask him what his earliest memory is.
Definitely not what I expected to hear.
“I have four brothers and a half sister. We were all raised by my mom and I lived in Francistown until I was about 16, when I came to Gaborone in High School to go to MaP (Maru a Pula). I stayed in the hostels on campus, then with one of my brothers.”
It was around that time that he was introduced to the production side of music by his cousin, Teezy B Cheddar. “Teezy had this old ass PC and he’d mostly spend a lot of time playing games on it but he also had Fruity Loops on there. One night he showed me the basics of making beats and I just picked it up from there.” He took to it like a fish to water, and eventually got better and better at it. It wasn’t long before his friends started asking to rap over his beats and soon enough, they’d formed a rap group called The A Gang that “kinda popped” for a very brief moment, subsequently disbanding a month later.
“It was a thing where, sure, we were kinda cool at what we did but also going to a private school sorta helped. It made you cool, in Francistown, so I think that was also a part of the little buzz we got at the time.”
Soon after he formed another group with former A Gang member JFK and Jay Pacino called BAF (Bad As Fucc). “We dropped Ghetto Fornication featuring BNKHD, Katlego and another track called Madness. At the time I was very experimental with my sound. Katlego did really well on the streets and that track had some House music elements to it. When I started making music I would make whatever was cool at the time but eventually I started being more experimental with my sounds and some beats would change 3 or 4 times in as many minutes.”
BAF disbanded as time went on, with each member deciding to fly solo and it was around that time that he produced 24Eight. “That track got me 200 followers just like that, on Soundcloud. Most of my Soundcloud followers now come from around that time.” The song’s still up on his Soundcloud and it’s a trippy ballad by a young man selling dreams to a girl about treating her right and not being like the rest. People would like it for the same reason they thought Bryson Tiller’s Don’t was phenomenal - we all like selling and buying dreams, especially where something as universal as love is concerned.
24Eight was followed by Employee of the Month a year later featuring Ban T. It’s an earworm of a tune that made most of Gaborone’s young musical audience sit up and take notice. The video was shot in conjunction with Sefalana Trading at a time when most brands wouldn’t touch rap music with a 10 foot pole, and shot and edited by Teezy B (The cousin who introduced him to beat making). It was also directed by his older brother - Talk about keeping it in the family! It featured cameo appearances from Botswana Hip Hop’s most notable personalities as well as apparel brands and was probably the first inkling of what exactly his aim is as a creative - to put everyone on, wherever he can.
“Apart from music I also have +267 Radio, a podcast centered on Bots music. We interview artists, premiere new music and basically just try to put good people on. There’s also Come Up Sessions, an event that focuses on promoting upcoming artists and giving them a platform to showcase their talent. We ran into a hiccup the first time around cos the people in charge of the venue dropped the ball but we’re working on coming back better and stronger. Aside from that, there’s some other stuff I don’t wanna give away that I’ll be working on this year and all in all I feel like 2018 will definitely be a winning year for me,” he shared.
The beginning of this year saw Biscuit drop a join tape with frequent collaborator BNKHD (Collectively they’re known as BNKSCT) titled Blue Jacket Dreams. “BNKHD actually came up with the name. Blue Jacket is the biggest street in FTown. It has banks, large stores, tiny vendors - Everyone is there and we went with that cos we wanted to channel some of that energy - It represents hard work and activity”. The project is still in heavy street rotation and definitely serves as a smooth way to ease us into his own full length project, 1997TilForever.