Posted in Artist Profiles, South Africa

5th Floor

5th Floor (Cape Town)

5th Floor is a 12 strong Cape Town hip-hop outfit that was assembled in 1996. ’04/’05 saw the crew release their debut album called Attention To Detail. 5th Floor then independently launched a second album called “Sex & Revolution” in March ’09 through So Treal Music. Sex & Revolution is Camo & Kasual T accompanied by a 4 piece band. The crew performs and produces hip-hop music, as well as providing platforms for urban-art expression within their immediate community.5th Floor is a proud product of their environment and to reflect their heritage they have chosen poetry & live music as their medium. Their lyrics reveal meaning in everyday life while drawing on lessons from our common ancestry. In keeping with the ethics of real music the 5th Floor encourages Knowledge-Of-Self. This is an element that has motivated and inspired the crew in many ways. The relevance of universal concepts apply to the local and abroad underprivileged communities where there is a large hip hop audience. 5th Floor sounds visually and verbally are highly influenced with a soulful, lyrical feel. They’re sound is very similar to Slum Villiage, J Dilla, retro Black Eyes Peas, Common, Talib Kweli, K-OS and A Tribe Called Quest. It has a soulful, roots and conscious vibe.

Collectively the Fifth Floor Unit has shared platforms with artist worldwide. The caliber ranges from poets like Sarah Jones, Timbuktu, Loop Troop to Lesego Rampoalekeng, artists like Tumi & the Volume to Black Thought of The Roots, Zaki Ibrahim, John Robinson, People under the Stairs, Slum Village, Talip Kweli through to outfits like Blk Sonshine, MXO and Bongo Muffin. The presence of 5th Floor has been felt globally. Their work appeared in the award- winning graffiti documentary “Over Spray” & they have shared platforms with artist in all elements of the culture. Dj’s like South Africa’s no. 1 Ready-D & Mr Len of Company Flow (NY) & Black Noise&EvenPOC(ProphetofdaCity). 5th Floor featured on the Harambe Dope Sessions Compilation, MK89(DSTV), Hype Magazine(Oct ‘09), Merge Magazine Compilation, Sunday Sun, Channel O(DSTV), Latitude(SABC), Street Journal(SABC), What’s On Cape Town(CTV). the 5th Floor has been felt in venues nationally Like The Assembly Cape Town, Car Fax & Roka Bar Gauteng, Tings & Times Pretoria & Oppikopi & Synergy Music Fest, Arts cape Theatre Hip hop Connected ‘09 & Cape Town Fest ‘10 to name a few. The latest album they released was “Sex and Revolution” which was released in 2009.

5th Floor Music Review

The group right now is comprised of two members now. They’re most current work/album is “Sex and Revolution” released in 2009. One of the most stands out singles are “Good Life”, “Ghetto Epics” and “Right to Left”. One of my favorites off the album is “Ghetto Epics” ft. Viki Mangaliso, it’s a mid tempo track with a very Slum Village, original Hip-Hop sound. The instrumentation is very on point and they are playing with live instruments. Consciously speaking, in the song they are rapping about the hardships and what’s going on where they are from. Jazz sounding songstress, Viki Mangaliso brings an organic Jazz flavor and vibe to the song as she harmonizes in the background. This song most definitely has an original Jazz hip-hop feel to it.

My second favorite off of the album is “Good Life” ft. MXO. The song starts off with a very familiar American sample to the track. This particular track was digitized but very great sounding. With a very simple but catchy hook sung by MXO,  the two emcee’s deliver an excellent “What if” message lyrically speaking and rapping about the good life. It’s a feel good, sing-along song with a very great track. What caught my ear was the beat, then the catchy hook and the lyricism of the two artists.

My final favorite was the first single off the album “Right to Left”. The track is with live instruments and the band is on point musically on this song. With a mid tempo pace beat, the two artist lyrically bring a very eclectic but witty and sharp deliver to the song. What’s amazing is, you can hear the J.Dilla, Talib Kweli and Slum Village influence all throughout the entire song. They even had a music video for the song as well to bring the hip-hop piece to life visually. It’s a great hip-hop song and what stands out to me about this group is they really are sticking to the hip-hop roots and not this new style of music out to today titled “rap”.

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