I sit here, quarter-to getting kicked out of my flat as mortifying feelings of my own stupidity lingers. But I ignore them; I’ve ignored them over the past couple of months while working on this series inspecting the State of South African Hip Hop in 2014. I’ve turned down a couple of opportunities which would’ve ensured that I’m not in my current predicament. But Drake taught me better – YOLO-life baby!
I’ve discovered, and keep discovering, the most interesting factoids about the movement which is only now – after crystallizing in the late eighties – is only starting to grip the consciousness of South Africa’s mainstream. It’s thrilling to think that there was a point where rappers were among the most ostracized people in society. Look at them now. Continue reading
I’ve been seeing an increasing amount of requests from musicians to give their music an ear. It’s nice, getting asked to comment on something. But I’m starting to feel that it’s nice in the same way that albums aren’t an immersive experience anymore; here today, in the recycle bin tomorrow, non-existent by the third day. It’s like the story of Jesus Christ, but in reverse.
I’m not comfortable being a watchdog of anything. I just want to write about cool shit I discover on my own, without ever having to feel like I’m obliged to share my infinite wisdom. And if I like it, I might give it a write-up; or head over to iTunes and buy the album. Hell, I’ll go to the next show provided we’re in the same city! But, and I grapple with this daily, I’m by no means an expert of anything; I feel uncomfortable when people put me on a pedestal – I’m acrophobic, so it gets really awkward and uncomfortable.
I’m interested in how hip-hop, the music and the cultural aesthetic, is influencing how people relate to the spaces they inhabit. What lens do we view ourselves through, for instance? Is it still through images fed to us by the television, or has the Internet become another source? These are some of the things which interested me at the Back To The City, a street culture festival held in Johannesburg’s CBD, this year.
Myself and some compadres went around the Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Newtown Precinct asking people what Freedom Day meant to them. We picked a wide variety of subjects, the range of which was reflected in the responses. The festival is significant in that it’s held on Freedom Day. Automatically, there are a lot of elements at play – socio-political and otherwise, including reclaiming our space in the innercity – and hip-hop is soundtracking every passing moment. You can hear it boom, from the Redbull stage on one end, to the Main Stage at the other extreme – rap is alive! I think it’s a watershed moment which – if not captured, showcased, and interrogated – will result in yet another generation which succeeded in soundtracking its revolution yet failed to preserve it.
Well, not really. More like a creative way to rant about recent places whereby I’ve discovered my work being used without so much as crediting the source. Ah well, wesssssyyyyydE!
For real though, these people should know better.
On-line gossip magazine The Juice:
I don’t understand why the homie had to cut out my watermark.
Update: The webmaster responded promptly to my request that I be credited for the image. Amaze! :)
About two months ago, myself the homieMaliq (of the Pretoria hip-hop group Ba4za) decided to do a video for one of his songs ‘Phakamisa‘ which features Black Moss and is produced by Trompie. He wanted only his verse in it (Black Moss is overseas at the moment), and didn’t have anything in mind besides that he wanted the video to be simple.
We linked up one Saturday, went out to get industrial lights, and freestyled the whole shoot. We ran into the two pantsula cats who were kind enough to spare a few moments to show us a few moves while taking outside shots. This is the result of the entire process. Continue reading