Tag: Cape Town Hip Hop
This conversation with Rock the Mic winner, and Cape Town MC Klein Fortuin took place at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in April 2018. Klein Fortuin won the Rock the Mic competition held by Heal the Hood, a Cape Town based hip hop community organization. In the conversation Klein Fortuin talks about his career and hip hop in the Mitchells Plain township in Cape Town, South Africa, which is home to a legendary hip hop scene and the birthplace of South African hip hop. Klein Fortuin talks about what makes that township such an epicenter for hip hop culture in South Africa. Klein Fortuin also talks about his win in Heal the Hood’s Rock the Mic competition and commercial and underground rap scenes in South Africa. Klein Fortuin is on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/klein-fortuin) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kleinfortuin/)
Our conversation with Cape Town based hip hop and spoken word artist Nazlee Saif centers on discussions of race, gender, religion, sexuality, and activism. This conversation centers on the use of hip hop as a cultural space within which to engage several different social issues, and to deconstruct social taboos that continue to exist within hip hop culture. Nazlee Saif is a spoken word and hip hop artist originally from Durban, who moved to Cape Town and attended the University of Cape Town (UCT) during the height of the #RhodesMustFall movement. Nazlee, who was already a socially conscious artist, was an activist and organizer in the movement on the UCT campus. Nazlee, as a queer identified, Muslim, MC, also brings those intersecting identities into the hip hop, a culture that has historically been very patriarchal, very misogynistic, and hostile to queer voices. In the conversation Nazlee Saif talks about several topic, including the #RhodesMustFall movement at UCT, intersectionality, being Black & Coloured, queer identities, being a Muslim & queer MC, Steve Biko and Black consciousness, the term “Hoteps”, and feminism. Nazlee Saif’s presence in hip hop challenges hip hop’s masculine, heteronormative culture. Nazlee Saif expresses strong stances on topics of race, sexuality, and religion. The artist’s discussion of a level of frustration with Black Consciousness, as well as the term “Hoteps”, may put Nazlee Saif at odds with some Pan Africanists. Nazlee on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwNoj0WTO0fAoKG0fagDFxQ Nazlee on Twitter: @NazleeArbee Readings Clark, Msia Kibona. 2014. “Gendered Representations among Tanzanian Female Emcees”. In Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa, edited by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Koster. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press. Haupt, Adam. 2016. Queering Hip-Hop, Queering the City: Dope Saint Jude’s Transformative Politics. M/C Journal, 19(4). Smith, Marquita R., 2014. “Or a Real, Real Bad Lesbian”: Nicki Minaj and the Acknowledgement of Queer Desire in Hip-Hop Culture. Popular Music and Society, 37(3), pp.360-370.
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”.