Eavesdrop is a multi-hyphenate artist who is an MC, a producer, a director, and an actor. She has been active in Cape Town’s Hip-Hop scene for almost 2 decades and as a lyricist she often produces meaningful lyrics, expressing ideas that have depth.
In this interview, we had an important conversation with Eavesdrop about the importance of representation and authenticity. We talked honestly about sometimes feeling conflicted on how best to support younger artists, especially women. Strength and confidence are a prerequisite for being a Hip-Hop artist, and we reflect on how to support other women while encouraging them to rely on their own strength and confidence to excel.
We also discuss South Africa’s political history and how that influences the presence and participation of women in Hip-Hop. Eavesdrop introduces us to the concept of “imbokodo” (“rock” in Zulu”), which emerged during the anti-apartheid movement. A common chant during the movement was “Wathint’abafazi, wathint’imbokodo!” (“You strike women, you strike a rock!”).
We also talk about the cost of authenticity. Eavesdrop says that being authentic to yourself as an artist is freedom. It often does not mean wealth, but it does mean freedom. In an industry where some equate talent and success with material things, placing higher importance on wealth than on the actual art or the message, Eavesdrop reflects on the importance of being her authentic self