HHAP Episode 43: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/neva-again. The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.  

In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa’s history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”.

The opening song is “Persevere” by Monishia Schoeman, Emile Jansen, Adam Haupt with additional vocals by Razeen Haupt, and the closing song is “Trickle Down” by Emile Jansen, Stefan Benting, Agape Dirtypro Tadana, Shameema Williams, and Adam Haupt. Both are on the album In The Key Of B

HHAP Episode 42: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 1

This is part 1 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/neva-again. The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.  

In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa’s history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival

The Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival and Conference is seeking submissions for performers and presenters for their 15th annual event to be held at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, on March 26-29, 2020. This year’s theme is “15 Years of Hip Hop: Past, Present and Future”. This year, the festival is honoring the roots of hip hop as a vehicle of empowerment and resistance for marginalized voices while celebrating how hip hop has also dynamically changed as a movement through time. Looking back in order to step forward, this 15th year’s focus is to honor the foundations of hip hop as well as to celebrate the artists that keep hip hop alive. We invite all artists from around the world to celebrate the roots, seeds, and branches of hip hop as we honor how it has existed, developed, mobilized, and sparked change throughout the decades.

HHAP Episode 41: Teck-Zilla Talks Hip Hop, Str8buttah & Afropop Breakbeats

The DJ, producer, or beat maker is an important element in hip hop. The beat is the first thing we hear when a song starts, and it is the first clue that our favorite song is about to come on. Hip hop producers usually work with several artists, and some of the more well known producers have their signature styles. In Nigeria, one of those producers is Teck-Zilla, as well as other producers in the Str8buttah camp. Teck-Zilla is a hip hop producer and co-founder of Str8buttah, a hip hop collective that consists of several producers and MCs. In this episode Teck-Zilla talks with us about his own career & influences, the beginnings of Str8buttah, and his approach to beat production.

Teck-Zilla has a distinct style. Listen to his beats on his BandCamp page and you will hear his diverse musical influences, from soul and R&B, to Afrobeat, to hip hop. After DJing a breakdance battle in Nigeria, Teck-Zilla produced an entire mixtape of break beats, B-Boy Zilla (A B-Boy Breaks EP) in 2017. In the EP Teck-Zilla turns Afropop tracks into break beats! His BandCamp page also includes remixes and tributes dedicated to artists like Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, and Nigerian music legends Fela Kuti and Sade. In addition to beats and remix EPs, Teck-Zilla’s work includes production projects with several established and upcoming hip hop artists.

Teck-Zilla moves between Nigeria, Canada, & the UK regularly. We were able to catch him while he’s in Lagos working on some new projects. We start the episode with his beat “Dear Summer”, then “Skelewu B-Boys” from the B-Boy Zilla EP. We end the episode with his beat “Summer Zilla” from his EP of the same name. Teck-Zilla also teamed up with Modenine for the recently release album Esoteric Mellow. All of these are available on his BandCamp page: https://str8buttah.bandcamp.com

Teck-Zilla is also on social media
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/teck-zilla
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Teckzilla/
Twitter https://twitter.com/TeckZilla108
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/teckzilla108/

HHAP EPISODE 40: Modenine Shares His Views on Hip-Hop Culture and Industry in Nigeria

The second episode of our month of Nigerian hip hop is a conversation with hip hop legend, Modenine. Modenine’s hip hop career began in the 1990s, and he has produced over 10 albums and mixtapes. Currently based in England, he talks about the early days of hip hop in Nigeria, as well as the experiences that influenced his entry into hip hop culture.

Modenine discusses the history of hip hop in Nigeria and the diversity you find across Nigeria. He also has strong views on the direction that hip hop is going in, as well as the music industry in Nigeria. This includes an interesting discussion on how Nigerian artists are treated compared to U.S. artists, and how some U.S. and Nigerian artists have handled that unequal treatment.

Modenine also retells his experience in Nigeria with WaPi (Words and Pictures), a program through the British Council that promoted hip hop culture through the British Council in several countries.

He also explains grime music! Grime a genre of music related to hip hop, which emerged among African and Caribbean migrants in England. Grime music is very similar to hip hop, and many grime artists are also hip hop lyricists.

You can find the new album, Esoteric Mellow, by Modenine and producer Teck-Zilla on iTunes music, Amazon music, and Bandcamp (https://str8buttah.bandcamp.com/album/esoteric-mellow)

Modenine is on social media at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modenineofficialpage
Twitter @modenine
Instagram @modenine_polimaf

Nigeria has the largest Black population in the world, and has the 7th largest population in the world. The country’s music and film industries are two of the largest in the world. In the series of episodes on Nigerian hip hop, we get several different perspectives on hip hop in one of Africa’s powerhouses.

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