The rapper, real name Thulani Ngcobo, appeared in an empty gallery in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday without the wig that earned him his stage name.
He stands accused of killing his wife, Catherine Modisane, 41, at a bed and breakfast on 30 December in Yeoville.
Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff asked Ngcobo if he would be able to afford a self-appointed lawyer, but Ngcobo said: “I don’t have money to appoint my personal lawyer so I would love to apply for a Legal Aid one.”
As Ngcobo was leaving the dock, he called over his manager to collect a piece of paper from him and said: “Please keep it safe, my brother.”
A childhood friend of Ngcobo and Modisane, who refused to be named, said he knew the couple since they were teenagers.
“From what I knew, Modisane was so sweet and Thulani has a short temper, but the couple was always happy and together at all times, so I was shocked when I heard this news,” said the friend.
He said he last saw the couple two weeks ago and they looked happy.
None of the rapper’s family were at court.
Ngcobo will remain in custody until his next appearance.