Swazi Jive entertainment is back with another superb to kick start the year. At the beginning of 2019 the had their first ever cypher which was well received and saw the president of Swazi Jive also drop some bars. The 2020 cypher is fresh and flaming hot, from the setting of the video to the Wigo produced beat and crazy bars spit by the lads. The cypher features Luci Gang Child, OG King, Jurie, Jody Brown, Able Klein and Steez One of my favourite things about this cypher is the beat produced by Welile Wigo Mthethwa, the beat has a lo-fi feel with some incredible samples put all together into the perfect freestyle beat any rap would love. Major credit also goes to all the rappers featured on the cypher, their delivery and breath control was just impeccable with the end product being nothing short of sensational and their lyrical content was on point with room for improvement. A major shoutout to DIREKTOR ALPHA and Focus Tales TI who snapped on the visuals. The visuals are fresh and clean with the setting blending perfectly with the grimy yet lo-fi beat and hard delivery from the rappers(who are trying to prove a point), encapsulating the whole concept of a cypher. This is a great way to start the year by Swazi Jive after a silent 2019 and an exodus of most of their artist. Credit to all the rappers featured on the cypher, we hope to see and hear more from them.
Karabo Joseph Moeti is an aspiring young videographer and cinematographer born in Maseru, Lesotho. The 3rd year business administration student is determined to make his mark in this industry and highlighting creative treasure that exist in the nation of Lesotho. His latest video, Phases Of The Moon, is a three-minute montage with the focal point being overcoming. “We all go through issues in life and this piece is a reminder of how mentally strong we have to learn to be in order to overcome“ he explains about the video. “It is also important for us to acknowledge our sadness when it occurs. Your sadness leads to creativity “, he elaborates. I had a chat with Karabo to find out more about his journey.
What motivated you to start a YouTube channel?
I started my YouTube channel because I watch a lot of youtube videos in my spare time and one day I made a realisation that if I put my mind into it I could really turn it into a passion and hopefully inspire others in the process.
What or who inspires you as a person?
There are many people and things that inspire me as a person and as a creator. My parents for one. I look up to them because they’ve done everything in their power to afford me the opportunities I have today. I have other Youtubers I look up to such as Casey Neistat, Peter McKinnon, KSI and many others. I also get a lot of my inspiration from architecture and nature. But most importantly my friend Retshepile who got me into video making and video editing.
Your subject matters differ in every video, briefly share why you took that route?
I’m still in the process of discovering myself as a creator. At the moment I feel like I can do a lot of things, but I’m yet to find that niche I’m looking for that will not only grow my channel but grow me as a person and creator.
What equipment are you currently using?
At the moment my only equipment I have is my camera (Canon 800D), A microphone and a mini tripod.
What are some of the goals or vision for your channel?
I want my channel to grow to be as big as it can possibly get. I’m really passionate about making videos and I only would do this for as long as it takes. I do not always have platforms to express myself creatively and to me making videos is a form of expression.
How has the journey been? What are some of the challenges you have encountered and how have you been able to overcome them?
The journey has been extremely difficult I’m not going to lie. It took me about a year just to get 100 subscribers, but obviously this may differ depending on the kind of content you’re creating. For me it has been extremely challenging. I have school and I do not always have the motivation to put myself out there. Coming from a smaller country such as Lesotho or eSwatini will also have its own challenges. It is not easy to gain access to the global market and really find your niche or rather your target market. It is also not easy to find a large audience that can commit to the content I’m creating. At the moment I cannot say I have overcome these challenges but I’m hoping that as long as I keep creating hopefully doors will eventually open. Even if it takes years. This is something I love doing and I will keep doing it.
What can we expect from the channel in the near future?
Growth. The channel keeps growing and I keep growing as a content creator. As long as I have breath in my lungs I’ll keep on creating. Do not expect the same kind of content though. I’m constantly changing and that will inevitably be translated in the content I create.
Cannabis consumption in hip hop is something you cannot ignore, disregard or pass off as a fad that comes and goes. Throughout the history of hip hop, custodians and participators of the culture have championed cannabis culture, and this is not a surprise as some of the founding fathers of the culture such as DJ Kool Herc had their roots in Jamaica – a country where cannabis consumption, culture and lifestyle formed part of the themes of the music made by the youth at the time.
As the culture grew and became a serious disruptor of mainstream music (beating out rock as the most popular genre in the world), rappers have undoubtedly shaped the perceptions, created lifestyles and ideas centered around weed; and most importantly promoted healthy views about consumption dispelling negative perceptions which society and the powers that be hold. In the 90s, rap groups such as Cypress Hill, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and artists such as Snoop Dogg, Redman and Devin The Dude unapologetically positioned themselves as weed consumers and this formed part of their identities in music. In the 2000s, weed or stoner rap quickly rose to prominence with the assistance of the internet. The sub-genre is no longer underground but a powerful mainstay in the culture that is reflective of the time we’re in – conservative views on alternative lifestyle are being frowned upon.
Legalization and decriminalization of weed is something that is being widely discussed and addressed; with many countries relaxing prohibition laws, allowing citizens to consume and grow and creating new industries through which government institutions are deriving a lot of value in the form of tax dollars. South Africa is no different from these countries as the state is relaxing its harsh stance on cannabis for its medicinal, agricultural and industrial potential. This shift in the political and societal view of cannabis presents an interesting case as it directly affects local hip hop culture as it does beyond South African borders.
In a landmark ruling in 2018, the private use of weed was decriminalized and many rejoiced and celebrated this new freedom. Now, what does decriminalization mean for South African hip hop? As much as we don’t have full legalization of the plant, decriminalization serves as a normalization and somewhat of a co-sign of something hip hop has always embraced, championed and celebrated – recreational consumption and business. Decriminalization means that all the negative perceptions linked to cannabis culture as a result of decades of propaganda will slowly be eradicated, and what better way to do that than use hip hop as a mouthpiece, unifier and cultural vehicle.
Hip hop’s power of the creating the ‘cool’ is a feat that should not be slept on, and the alcohol brands already know this as they have collaborated with the culture to move product and boost ROI. Decriminalization presents a lot of opportunities for young South Africans in hip hop to venture into an industry that is untapped, moving themselves from consumers to business owners. While the current laws do not allow for distribution, there is a space for innovation in the lifestyle space of cannabis culture. There is a huge opportunity for content platforms dedicated to showcasing the intersection cannabis culture and hip hop culture are needed. Some creatives and hip hop heads have already jumped at the opportunity to craft content pieces that speak to this.
Content producer and YouTuber, Anarchadium, in partnership with Konsider Kush have developed a web series called Roll Models where they feature active creatives in hip hop. It comes as no surprise that the show leans more towards hip hop as one of the members of Konsider Kush is Mothipa, one of the most respected and highly skilled MC’s in South Africa. Roll Models is a discussion-focused interview show where the featured creative takes center stage as they have a casual conversation about how they started consuming cannabis, the role cannabis plays in their professional and creatives and questions centered around who they are as a person. Roll Models is a step in the right direction for the culture and the fact that young people who are passionate about hip hop are at the forefront.
Once we have full legalization of cannabis in South Africa, the opportunities for young people are going to endless for ownership, innovation and cultural progression.
It is without doubt that when speaking about South African hip hop in the contexts of regions that produce some of the country’s deadliest MCs, you cannot not mention the East Rand – a region appropriately named the Beast Rand by hip hop heads. This fact is confirmed by Vosloorus based rapper and Clubz Gang founder, Sir Abster, who recently released a bar-filled posse cut featuring some of the East’s most skilled, up and coming spitters with an appetite to eat everything placed in front of them; be it other rappers or opportunities presented to them.
Conceptually, the song sees Sir Abster question God about his life, his past, present, his future and the power vested in him to change the world with his words. He opens the track with a fiery-bars rooted in gratitude where relays messages of the importance of trusting the process, the protection and blessing he receives while on the hustle and the prospects of a success that is looming in his life. Sir Abster’s performance on the Bluucheese produced record is a grand display of prayer packaged in the form of gritty raps. Now with Sir Abster strong introduction on the song, an equally impressive performance from Boksburg based wordsmith, Thomas Hazey, who ushers in a different type of energy on the track and wields his lyricisms in a spectacular display of prose. Coming through with a deep-voiced verse where he gives the listener a pathway to his thoughts where he details how his moves are likely to deliver returns in the form of cream, his status as a young rap king and how he intends to take over the game this year.
The third rapper on track is Spruitview based rapper and graphic designer, Danger Power Ranger, who starts off his verse with melody-driven approach bringing a more playful yet potent energy to the song. He hooks you with his approach drawing your attention and like a thief-in-the-night, he cracks the whip with some heavy bars where he digs deep within himself for some honest introspection. His sincerity and bravery is so strong and gripping that it can easily pass off as a self-help motivational sermon with Danger positioned on a pulpit delivering his truths to those that need guidance and direction.
Danger Power Ranger wraps up his verse with a gentlemen’s class, laying up the final spitter to give us a piece of his mind and close the song off in style. That spitter is none other than Fireman R5, a respected musician from Vosloorus whose influence in his hood is undeniable. He is unapologetic in his performance, rapping braggartly in IsiZulu. “I’gama uFireman for abo baby nabo A&R”, he raps as he kicks off his verse – a perfect invitation into his world and his thoughts – setting the mood for what proves to be an impressive verse. As he raps on further, he mentions that he has been rapping for over nine years and he has earned his stripes in the game and dares any rapper to step to him. He does not shy away from mentioning that he wants paper as that would be an ideal situation for all of his efforts in elevating the local rap game.
On Behalf of The Gods is an infectious song that will surely get all of the heads that are hungry for great raps going crazy. With no chorus, the song in its composition grips you from beginning to end giving you unadulterated hip hop entertainment.
There is nothing more amazing than seeing an artist create from a place of familiarity; pulling directly from their surroundings and authentically reflecting themselves in the spaces they frequent. Perfectly capturing, without forcing genuineness, life as they know, see and experience it. Twenty-four year old hip hop artist, illRow, is a great example of an artist that authentically reflects his upbringing and surroundings in music; he does this using tools such as language, music and pure creativity.
Born and raised in Cape Town, illRow first burst into the local rap scene in the Mother City as high-schooler in 2012 and in true entrepreneurial fashion, he started Unite The Mic — a movement which burgeoned into a record label and publisher. With an excellent ability of depicting his observations in the world using rap as a medium, illRow has set himself apart from the rest with his unique approach.
His latest offering which has a music video, Main Road Taxi, is a grand display of his skill where he showcases his attentive nature as he authentically and unapologetically details the life of taxi commuting in Cape Town. He uses the power of lyricism with poetic devices such as worldplay and storytelling to give the listener a clear picture of the experience. He mixes English and Afrikaans slang commonly used in Cape Town to add more weight to the song which he wrote and produced all by himself.
Watch the Main Road Taxi music video bel0w.
It is without doubt that South Africa is a melting pot of culture, music and entertainment. Those three things intersect beautifully in Mzansi, creating truly something unique that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. The pleasures that we; consumers of culture, music and entertainment; enjoy did not come easy as many obstacles had to be defied to built a thriving scene that attracts the world to our country.
In 2019, the force that is South African dance music is undeniable, with high-flyers such as Black Coffee who are further driving the impact and influence of South Africa on electronic music in the global arena. But before we can speak about and/or exalt the likes of Black Coffee, we have to go back into time to investigate the foundations of the South African dance music scene as we know it. And for us to successfully derive value in our investigation, we have to make mention of the architects who created the blueprint for the culture. Critical moments in history give us insight into the birth of one of the most culturally significant scenes that help shape current popular culture. Red Bull took on the task of conducting this investigation into the makings of a powerful culture. Titled Rave & Resistance, the documentary seeks to pay tribute to South Africa’s club culture.
To provide an introspective view of the South Africa’s of the makings of dance music culture in South Africa, Red Bull revisits pivotal moments in the country’s musical history which helped formed the scene. They looked at the formation of genres and culture, artists and DJs that played a role in building the culture, and the general state of the nation of the time – the late 80s to mid 90s where Apartheid was coming to a close.
The documentary features views and insights provided by respected industry players such as Bob Mabena, Oskido, Lakuti, Vinny Da Vinci, DJ Christos, Trompies and G-Force, who detail their journeys in shaping dance music culture in South Africa.
Directed by talented Johannesburg based director, Zandi Tisani, who created a beautifully-shot piece which is driven by a narrative that all South Africans can relate to and also structured to educate those outside of our borders.
Watch the documentary below.
Alberton based rapper, Teddy Pleasure, has been steady on the rise in the last two years; releasing bangers on SoundCloud and getting love on the internet and the Gauteng streets.
Towards the end of 2018, Teddy pleasure released his ‘Confessions In A Tazz‘ EP, a nine-tracker which allowed Teddy create a buzz for himself in the streets and online. The project features some of his Dipopaai affiliates, Bringo and Trust B1 (who handled most, if not all, the production on the project.
One of the most popular songs on the project is a song titled ‘Never Take A L‘ which features internet sensations and well-respected content creators, Okay Wasabi and Dali Danger, as well as Trust B1. The song is packed with braggadocio which is common in rap music, however they add a comical twist to the song to create another brand of rap music that carries South African truths and language.
Never Take A L has a dope music video which sees the artists perform in their hoods. Watch it below.
Stream the Confessions In A Tazz EP here.
Swazi Jive Records means business and even in 2019 they continue their meteoric rise in the Southern African entertainment industry. With only two months into the year, they are already setting the tone in the game and are consistent in proving why they have been regarded as the best. Now they are back with world class visuals for Andrienne Foo’s treasure. The video is nothing short of remarkable, high quality with not a lot of special effects and a great concept. The song on its own is splendid coupled with stellar vocals from Foo and a wonderful heavy bass, plus well arranged chords — the video compliments the song very well. Having won best video at the 2017 MTN SWAMA Awards for her smash hit single ‘Dangerous‘, I can confidently say this video will scoop the award this year.
Watch the video below.
The first two weeks of January have been a blessing to the South African music industry with new music coming out from various artists — old and new. The stand out artists in 2019 so far are the new acts who are bringing a fresh new energy to game who also are gunning for glory, innovation and disruption. With all of this new music and content, we take a look four videos from four artists who have released videos at the top of the year and are set to change the game this year. Check them out!
Mx Blouse – No Match
Mx Blouse has arrived! Having officially broke out into the South African music industry in 2017, they have consistently focused on shifting culture, shaping the next South African sound and prioritizing unrestricted expression. 2018 served as a year where Mx Blouse cemented their brand in the local industry and this was seen in the success of Is’phukuphuku — a single co-produced by Stiff Pap’s Jakinda, Albany Lore and Thor Rixon. Over the years, Mx Blouse has fine tuned their sound and carved their own lane which allows them to craft unique sonic experiences. The new year sees Mx Blouse release a brand new single titled No Match, a kwaito influenced dance tune which sees Mx Blouse deliver bars which are centered around relationship failures caused by dysfunction and the acknowledgement of one’s mistakes which lead to the death of a relationship — friendship or romantic. The production was handled by Mx Blouse’s longtime collaborators, Albany Lore and Thor Rixon, and the music video was directed by Keitumetsi Qhali.
KaeB & Parley Wang – Crown
Crown is the result of a collaboration between Tembisa born artists, KaeB and Parley Wang, who are frequent collaborators who are focused on changing the status quo in the music game in Mzansi. Having released the song in early 2018 as a free SoundCloud release as part of a conceptual project curated by KaeB called My Neighbours Hate Me II, where he crafts new trap-focused sounds that are characterised by grit and progression. The song quickly caught steam on the internet which led to it being officially being released on all major streaming platforms on the 16th of November.
On this track, Parley Wang lets his raps shine on the hard-hitting KaeB produced banger, displaying grit in the delivery of the lyrics making for a truly exceptional performance. To match the song’s high energy and character, the video for the video for the song was shot in a way that completely captures the attitude that is evidently present on the song. The Cidefx Films directed and produced music video showcases the city that KaeB and Parley live in, with beautiful night shots of Johannesburg’s inner city youth hub, Braamfontein, and the artists also effortlessly embodying the energy of the song.
Southside Mahomed – Jump Out The Whip
The Innanetwav camp is nothing F with. Believe that. 2018 was phenomenal for the youth-led label and through their consistent releases, they have amassed an online cult following. Towards the end of 2018, they released Jump Out The Whip — a bouncy rap tune with a unique soundscape and impeccable bars — by Kempton Park based rapper, Southside Mahomed. The song quickly caught the attention of a lot of online rap heads and added weight to Southside Mahomed’s name.
On the 13th of January, the visuals of Jump Out The Whip dropped and they coincidence with the official launch of Clout Cassette — a new urban culture channel that is similar to America’s Lyrical Lemonade. Southside Mahomed makes his presence felt in the Morale Phala directed video by displaying confidence. The video gives you insight into the daily life, desires and view of the young rapper.
ASAP Shembe – Janyouworry
Now if you haven’t noticed by now, ASAP Shembe has been unleashing his creative prowess in and around Johannesburg — releasing hot single after hot single and amplifying his brand by giving people electrifying performances at gigs he rocks at! In 2018, he released Janyouworry — a dark trap-leaning banger where he offers commentary on his view on society and life in January after a great festive splurge. On the track, he positions himself as an evolving force which embraces change but is still grounded in its roots.
The video was shot in ASAP Shembe’s hood, Vosloorus, and it features beautiful shots of the community that raised him. His hood is depicted honestly and beautifully in this video. The release of the Janyouworry video marks the first big move of the year and it easily places the talented rapper in conversations of acts look out for in 2019.
Featured image by Mpumelelo Macu.
Many may argue and say that South African Hip Hop has grown out of its infancy stage and is fast producing talent that can stand their own in the global arena; in impact, skill level and although this may seem as a stretch, in sales as well. The beauty of the South African Hip Hop scene is the variety, from the hardcore gritty underground where a rapper’s affinity to unleash thunderous and mind-boggling bars is viewed as a badge of honour, to the more mass appreciated sing-songy mainstream scene which equally has talented artists which have a cross-over mass appeal, the scene has blossomed into an industry that contributes immensely to South African culture, entertainment and creativity.
South Africa is a diverse country hence the diversity that South African Hip Hop carries, and you know what they say – art imitates life. Now within all of this diversity, you have acts that are primarily left-leaning and out-of-the-ordinary. You’ll barely hear them on traditional media platforms such as radio and TV, but they have, through the strength of their art, amassed large followings online and offline, locally and internationally. Pretoria-born rapper, DI$CO, is an example of such an act, a rap cat born out of the once thriving and cutthroat Cap City Rap City era of Pretoria Hip Hop. In his eleven years of rapping for sport and more importantly as a profession, he has offered up his artistry to show that South African Hip Hop can look, feel and move different. As one of the primary members of celebrated left-field acts in the country, such as PHFAT, Sedge Warbler and Oh! Dark Arrow.
Now with a career as storied and lengthy as his, he has gone through a few evolutions as an and person, and at some point, he took a short sabbatical which he emerged as DI$CO, a rapper that fits into no box, more experimental and incredibly dangerous with the pen. His debut project as DI$CO, $PELLZ, received much acclaim from critics and set the tone for what his new brand was to offer to his fans who were dying to get more music from him.
Towards the end of 2018, he released the extended version of $PELLZ and started releasing the visuals for the most loved singles from the project. Songs like 13wolf and Killer By Design, produced by frequent collaborator and former PHFAT group member Narch , got the visual treatment.
For 2019, DI$CO has set his sights on pushing his brand to greater heights, with a South African tour planned and a promise to release more music – his fans are in for a treat.