Rapper Refiloe Phoolo, better known as Cassper Nyovest, may be a proper(ty) liar.
A deed search City Press conducted shows that neither he nor his record label, Family Tree Media, own any property in the country, despite heavy hints on Facebook and Twitter that he owns the home he lives in.
Instead, the deed search shows the names of two owners who in 2012 registered the townhouse in Lonehill, Jozi, which the 25-year-old has been passing off as his own. Cassper is known for showing off “his crib” on social media.
In June, he reportedly said: “I’ve got property, artists, clothing label and [an] energy drink.”
The following month, he posted on his Facebook page a picture of his “crib” with a caption that read: “Moving into the new house in Kyalami. Feeling away up!!! I feel blessed!!!”
Four months later, he released his track Dust2Dust, in which he trashes rival rapper AKA: “I’m writing this at the crib, shooting free throws. You stayed in a townhouse that’s owned by Oskido and got kicked out.”
Cassper declined to comment on Friday, saying he would “rather comment on his music career”.
The rapper, who this week received two nominations – Best Male and Best Hip-Hop Album – for the 15th Metro FM Music Awards, said it was up to people to believe whatever they wanted to believe.
“I’m successful and people don’t want to see people succeed. People must just go on and write whatever they want to. At the end of the day, people believe what they believe, whether truth or lies,” he said.
Cassper says he doesn’t read newspapers any more, but his mother always calls him in a panic when she reads a negative report.
“That is why I wrote Mama I Made It. I dedicated the song to my dearest mother.
“I’m the biggest artist in the country at the moment. You put my name in the paper, people would want to read about me. It’s just sad that when I do great things, they don’t write about it.”
Cassper said he tweeted pictures of his homes because “I’m telling my story that I come from nothing”.
“I’m not trying to make anyone feel any less. But I’m inspiring little kids in the ’hood who think you need to be born in a privileged family to be successful.
“I got where I am today because I was also inspired by Kanye West and our own HHP,” he said.
But Thebe Ikalafeng, a branding expert and head of strategy at Brand Leadership, doesn’t disagree with him. He said social media has exacerbated the pressure to be perceived to be living the life that is consistent with one’s perceived success, especially celebrities, but equally with ordinary people.
“Quite often, social media, particularly the visual medium of Instagram, is its own world, far removed from reality. It’s a sad reflection of the pressure that many people have succumbed to borrowed lifestyle, living other people’s expectations of them rather than being realistic role models or even just real ordinary people,” Ikalafeng pointed out.
He further explained that given the sluggish economy, joblessness and high cost of living, it has added pressure for the “have nots” and “think haves” to display borrowed wealth or counterfeit brands to keep up with the perceptions of their fans and friends and to fool their foes.
“Unfortunately, it always catches up with them as it’s a thin lie that’s easily punctured with a little enquiry,” concluded Ikalafeng.