AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

#SAHipHop2014

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Thursday, October 16th, 2014

#SAHipHop2014: Rapper Flex Boogie Live At Fingo Festival

As member of the hip-hop quartet Ba4za, Hakeem Lesolang presided over one of the most fertile yet under-appreciated eras in South African hip-hop. Capcity Rapcity as it was referred to by the bundles of heads scattered across Mzansi, fed our collective appetites the fuzzy memories of yester-year hip-hop through a steady stream of boom-bap rap

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Jitsvinger–Practicing, Not Preaching

This article by Lindokuhle Nkosi originally appears on the PASS website. She kindy agreed to let us publish it. Lindokuhle is one of two South Africans partaking in this year’s Invisble Borders project. She documents her encounters...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hip Hop And Religion

Off the whim, I asked Kwanele Sosibo if he’d be interested in contributing to the series. He swung me this fascinating, unpublished piece about hip-hop and religion within a South African hip-hop context. Sosibo writes for the Mail and...

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Rap Songs About Weed

Hip-hop’s love affair with marijuana is a much-publicized affair. Artists such as Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg have built careers by co-opting the good ganja crop and working it into their public personas. Of late, the likes...

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Interview With Khuli Chana

On the morning of 28th October 2013 – a Monday – South Africa woke up to news that rapper Khuli Chana’s vehicle had been shot at by the police after they mistook it for that of a...

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Ill Skillz In Five Videos

Cape Town’s self-proclaimed two dope boyz Uno and Jimmy Flexx are Ill Skillz. At the end of 2013 they released Notes from the Native Yard (NFTNY), a collection of songs steeped in the tradition of great storytellers...

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Pretoria’s Forgotten Hip-Hop Scene

In 2010, documentary filmmaker Sara Chitambo packed up five years’ worth of life in Cape Town and relocated to the eGoli, ePitori to be precise. Among her long list of priorities was to immerse herself the Pretoria...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

This Studio Of A Life–Portraits Of Rappers And Producers

I can’t recall when I first fell in love with hip-hop, but I do know that the first song I transcribed was Coolio’s ‘Gangster’s paradise.’ Transcribing lyrics in ‘songbooks’ was a big deal in the mid-nineties; it...

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

A Few Thoughts About The Rapper AKA

“What do you like about the guy?” asked a friend after I told them about an album listening session the rapper AKA had hosted a day earlier. “I don’t know, I don’t get the guy; and maybe...

Friday, June 27th, 2014

#Belated: Tumi And The Volume

Their stage act resembles an inside joke; they play tricks on the audience with a wry sense of humour which underlies the whole scenario. The guitarist will sommer play a lick off of a well-known song of...

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Lesego Rampolokeng’s Elegy To Robo The Technician

“Raise your hand up if you’re a hip-hop head” said Lesego Rampolokeng, rallying a house full of poets at a gathering in Melville on a wet Sunday afternoon in 2013. I put mine up, as did a few...

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Discovering Prophets Of Da City

One late afternoon while milling about at the University of Cape Town’s main campus, I ran into Adam Haupt, the Associate Professor of Media Studies who’s authored books such as Static: Race and Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media...

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The Rules of South African Hip Hop in 2014

South African hip-hop has become too safe. Cutting edge rappers are being sidelined in favour of tried-and-tested mainstays – creating a cycle of regurgitated talent that receives preferential treatment by radio stations, booking agents, and sponsors. Doubtless, the...

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The State Of African Hip Hop In 2014

In 2014, African hip-hop has graduated from the bedroom and walked into the boardroom. It’s left its cape (baggy jeans) at the door and picked up a pair of tight-fitting pants. In extreme cases, hip-hop has shed...

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

South African Hip Hop–An Outsider’s Perspective

One evening while channel surfing at home, I stumbled upon what sounded like a rap cypher* on the radio. Quickly, I got up to look for an empty cassette tape nearby. Once I found one (a see-through Sonotech C-60 if...