African Battle Cry

Video taken at the African Battle Cry held in December 2017 in Cape Town by Heal the Hood.

HHAP Episode 18: Quentin Williams on Multilingualism & Hip Hop in South Africa

This episode, South African hip hop scholar and sociolinguist Dr. Quentin Williams discusses his new book Remix Multilingualism: Hip Hop, Ethnography and Performing Marginalized Voice (Bloomsbury Press). 

Dr. Williams is a Senior Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at the University of Western Cape. He has published papers and book chapters on the performance of multilingualism, popular cultural practices (specifically Hip Hop), agency and voice in urban multilingual spaces. In addition to the book we’ll be discussing today, he is also currently editing the book Kaapse Styles: Hip Hop Art & Activism in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dr. Williams has been writing on language and hip hop in South Africa for several years, and has extensive credibility within South Africa’s well established hip hop community. Dr. Williams’ research and work has also made valuable contributions to the field of linguistics.  

In this interview we discuss the book, Dr. Williams research on South African hip hop, and ultimately his place as a Coloured man from the Cape Flats in one of the oldest and largest hip hop scenes in Africa. 

Episode Breakdown

6:24 – Being a hip hop sociolinguist & self reflection in the book.
7:50 – The arena of freestyle rap battles
11:35 – His work with the group Suburban Menace
16:05 – Hip hop research and scholarship, & the responsibility to the subjects of the research
22:43 – His experiences in the Cape Flats township of Bishop Lavis during hip hop’s days of hip hop, during the last years of the anti-apartheid struggle
29:10 – Relationships between Black & Coloured hip hop heads
38:05 – Different hip hop language varieties in South Africa
39:40 – Braggadocio, and its place and purpose in hip hop
45:00 – Masculinity & toughness in hip hop
49:24 – Dr. Williams concept of “Body Rap”, respectability politics, the pornification of hip hop culture, & rape culture within hip hop culture*
58:12 – Women navigating masculine hip hop spaces
1:07:44 – The diverse audiences that this book speaks to

*Dr. Williams defines Body Rap as “a sub-genre of local rap, where the overarching theme in the lyrics is the sexualization and often the denigration of women’s bodies, performed for the pleasure of men”.

This episode, South African hip hop scholar and sociolinguist Dr. Quentin Williams discusses his new book Remix Multilingualism: Hip Hop, Ethnography and Performing Marginalized Voice (Bloomsbury Press).

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 18: Quentin Williams on Multilingualism & Hip Hop in South Africa”

Spoken Word or Rap?

Iain Robinson a.k.a Ewokessay is a freestyle battle and Slam champion, Hip Hop activist, South African rapper, and a spoken word flavored Hip Hop activist. Ewokessay writes and recites rhymes, raps and poetry of a performative nature.  He considers this to be the core of his career. He has been a student of Hip Hop history and culture since he first learned to love Graffiti in early high school.  Since then he has been devoted to discovering how he can get to play my his part as a practitioner of Hip Hop arts. When it comes to his words you can tell that he tries study things that either interest or upset him.  The interesting things seem to be his inspiration. In his blog he states “Spoken Word is the combination of all of my inputs and outputs, some rhyming, some comic timing, some serious jiving and some straight shooting without the ducking and diving.”

Continue reading “Spoken Word or Rap?”

Team Dibi

Dibi is a hip hop lyricist from Port Elizabeth but resides in Johannesburg. He graduated from AFDA film school in 2015, and has directed two of his own music videos. His most successful song of the year is a song titled “Golide” which was in the Top 10 on Yfm’s Hot 99 Hip-Hop Chart.

Continue reading “Team Dibi”

N-jay.52 Has an Ocean Special

I had the pleasure of reviewing one of N-Jay.52 songs once again. Njabulo Skondo (born September 26, 1995), known as N-jay.52, is a South African rapper from Engcobo, Eastern Cape. N-jay.52 embarked on his musical career as a teenager releasing a mixtape that sparked the birth of 3rd Grave 1.0.2. In 2011 he released his first mixtape titled The Son of Victoria and the following year, he released a sequel of the project, The Son of Victoria:2.

Continue reading “N-jay.52 Has an Ocean Special”

NPK Twice Is In His PRIME

 

Born Pat Nkosinathi Pat Khoza but better known as NPK Twice. He is a South African Rapper,Entrepreneur,Poet, and Creative. The NPK are actually his initials and the Twice was given to him by a close friend in a cypher. He started rapping in 2010 under a crew called Fusion. NPK Founded the label Syntex Inc in 2014 after talks for him to join Sony Music Africa failed. He has also worked on the West Rand Music Awards and West Side Entertainment.

At the age of 12, NPK Twice began to write and compose his own lyrics, focusing heavily on his rhyme scheme and flow, as a result of a heavy Lil Wayne influence in the year of 2007, disregarding subject matter and content for the time being. His first rap, a 16 second, 8 bar verse, could easily have been confused for a nursery rhyme.

The music I usually get sent is just a song/single. When I received this EP, I was pretty excited to listen to more than one song! Each song has really dope beats. I was doing a little dance to all of them! I feel like the use of profanity could have been left out in some of them, a good rapper does not have to curse in every song he or she makes. The lyrics are great by themselves to not use “bad words.”

My favorite song is Trippin On Me, the beat is just amazing and sounds like a song that would make everyone in the club and just vibe to the song. After the beat drops the catchy chorus comes on and I can’t get it out of my head. I feel like this song shows his personality, because it is a very fun upbeat song. This song would definitely make everyone’s girlfriends trip on NPK Twice! I would watch out for this artist is on a rise to the top and in his PRIME.

Link to EP:

https://soundcloud.com/npktwice/sets/prime-ep-2017

Email:
Thisistwice@gmail.com

Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/NpkTwice

Twitter & IG:
@NpkTwiceSA

 

 

Review: “Skop skiet en Donder” by COPA

This week I had the pleasure to Review another up and coming Artist named COPA from Cape Town South Africa. The song I’ll be mentioning is “skop skiet en donder” which I have no idea what it says/means but for me, it’s more about the beat of a song over the lyrics any day. The beat to this song had a throwback 90’s hip hop feel to it which I appreciated. I was not expecting that 90’s feel prior to listening to the song. The second thing I thought of whilst listening to this song was, it would do great in an action movie! Or one of those movies centered around an undercover agent/investigator. Go ahead and listen to it, I’m sure you’ll agree with me! Even though I could not understand most of what the artist was saying, I can infer that the goal of the artist was to emphasize the throwback vibe of the foundation of hip-hop and also incorporate his own culture with the language/dialect he speaks in. Apart from COPA’s music, the aesthetic theme of his art on his song covers gives a sort of contrast to the throwback feel of the beat/lyrics of the song, which is quite interesting! Before visiting his social media pages, I assumed the art that went along with his music to have an old-fashioned look to it but I was pleasantly surprised! The galactic look to COPA’s work is the futuristic contrast to the 90’s vibe to his songs. All in all, I suggest anyone who is a fan of 90’s hip hop as well as South African hip hop to definitely check out COPA’s work, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

Here are the various links to his social media/ songs:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/classic_copes/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicCopes/

Sound Cloud: https://www.soundcloud.com/copa_the1

 

Review: “ThIS THat” by LDK

I had the pleasure of reviewing the work of an up and coming artist named “LDK”. As some background info, this specific piece of work from LDK was an response due to his silence and inactivity in the music industry as well as personal issues which are expressed lyrically in the song. I appreciated the candor in this particular song. Many people, including myself, can relate to the reality of life when things aren’t going as planned, especially when being approached by personal struggles and challenges that need to be overcome. Although, the idea of the song portrays specific struggles being met by the artist, they also express how he endured and became triumphant through those personal issues, which can be a reminder for others that the very struggles we go through can definitely serve as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth of not only our inner selves, but outside aspects and indirect interventions as well.

I’ve also observed LDK’s other works like his “Rebel Friday” freestyles and such, which are pretty nice to listen to, most specifically because of the beats behind them. I also like the theme of the freestyle video, it gave me a kind of “throwback” vibe/feel with the black & white and pin-up kind of style/dress to the work, definitely my type of theme. My message to LDK would be to keep up the good work! It is always wonderful to see artists express themselves through music that can relate to a plethora of other individuals that can relate! All in all, I applaud LDK and his passion. I’d recommend LDK’s work to anyone who likes and is looking to support up and coming African artists, you wont regret it!

Here are streams/links to LDK’s song and Rebel Friday freestyle:

“ThIS THat” song stream:

You can connect with LDK here:

Twitter: @LDK_TheNoble

WhatsApp/Contact Digits: 074 620 8565

I.G: @ldk_thenoble

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LDKTheNoble

Email: lindokuhledominic@gmail.com

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/ldk-thenoble

Blog: www.ldkthenoble.wordpress.com

We All Need A Soul Dreamer

Njabulo Skondo (born September 26, 1995), known as N-jay.52, is a South African rapper from Engcobo, Eastern Cape. N-jay.52 embarked on his musical career as a teenager releasing a mixtape that sparked the birth of 3rd Grave 1.0.2. In 2011 he released his first Mixtape titled The Son of Victoria and the following year, he released a sequel of the project, The Son of Victoria:2.

N-jay.52 began to gain major recognition in 2016 after the release of his debut single “From Me” which is taken from his upcoming critically acclaimed studio EP titled “Lord Forgive Me For My Dreams”. He enjoys the moderate success of his mix tape titled Bipolar released in 2016 and currently has a video out for the mixtapes standout single “For The City”. This single is from his upcoming LP titled “cEvil:”A Townships Tale”. This song is about a South African dreamer who shares his experiences when he dreamed as a child and how he dreams now as a young man.

This is the type of music I enjoy listening to. Artist that sings/raps about REAL life experiences make REAL music! The amount of personal information N-jay.52 exposes in this song means he isn’t afraid to share his journey to success. This song could come off as vulnerable but that is not the case at all. He is sharing his story to tell the listeners that you don’t have to be stuck in your situation. I would definitely be looking out for more music by Njay52, and Soul Dreamin has just been added to my “fave song” list. He is an artist that everyone is to look out for.

No matter what you are going through remember to always stay committed to your dreams/goals. Being aware of situations means you have taken the first step in realizing that change needs to be made. Never let anyone determine your destiny for you. Your life is yours and you’re the only one who can make it better for yourself.

 

Gigi Lamayne’s #1BAR

South African MC, Gigi LaMayne releases her new track, #1BAR (Prod. ABZA) this Friday.

Gigi Lamayne is one of our favorite lyricists.

A part of the “Born Free”* generation, Gigi Lamayne has matured so much as an artist since her first single “Ice Cream” was released years ago.

Her new track #1BAR samples sounds rom Kwaito Legend, `Makhendlas, “Iminwe”. In the track, Gigi Lamayne “displays not only flawless lyricism, but also vernacular wordplay”

*The Born frees are South Africans Born after the fall of apartheid in 1994.