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KGB - not the Russian Secret Service - Meet Neesie and Nam from KGB

2006-03-29 10:54

M-Web: Is hip hop in SA different to other kinds of music? How?
Nam: Well, if you look at Hip Hop as a genre then obviously it's different, because every music genre has unique features. If you look at it in terms of public perception than South African Hip Hop has just started to get noticed. Even the South African music industry has only recognised Hip Hop as a genre this year by including it as a SAMA (SA Music Awards) category.
Neesie Nees: It is a bit strange that Hip Hop is the biggest selling music genre all over the world but in South Africa there were only two Hip Hop CD releases in the last 12 months by South African artists - and that includes our album. So I think we have a lot of catching up to do.

M-Web: I have some idea from listening to your CD of the role you see hip hop playing in the community. Can you sum that up for me?
Nam: You have to express yourself somehow. Some people talk, some people steal, some people act, some people kill. We rap. So I'd like to think that our album gives a voice to what our community feels, what they're unhappy about, what frustrates them, what gives them hope, because that's what we feel and we are part of the community. So the CD is a reflection of the lives of our community in the new South Africa.

M-Web: Who are your favourite SA acts. Why? Do you know them personally?
Neesie Nees: It would obviously have to be BVK, Ready D, Mr Phat. Those guys we also know personally. They have paved the way. But also a lot of cats, especially on the Cape Flats who have all that talent but are prevented from presenting it to a large audience. They keep the fire burning.

M-Web: International acts: who are your favourites?
Neesie Nees: Tupac, Eminem, Dr Dre, 50 Cents, Blacklicious, Wu Tan Clan, Dead Prez - the list is endless!

M-Web: Who would you say defines hip hop as you'd like to see it develop. Who'd you most like to meet. What would you say to them?
Nam: Wow, those are a lot of questions. Ok, first I don't think there is anybody in particular. Hip Hop is a movement, a life style from the people for the people. Anybody and everybody has a right to express themselves. Same with meeting somebody. I'd like to meet as many people in South Africa and internationally as possible, listen, learn, share. So I would probably say to them: tell me about yourself, your life and your music.

M-Web: Why does hip hop have such a terrible reputation for being sexist, racist, violent, in the US?
Nam: Has it? I think this is mainly a marketing ploy, exploited by the media. Sex and violence sells. Look at the movie industry. The fact that some rappers were in prison and now make their money by making music should actually show the positive influence of Hip Hop.

M-Web: If KGB were a full time thing, do you think you'd be corrupted by fame?
Nam: I hope not.

M-Web: What makes you laugh?
Neesie Nees: Funny interviews. No seriously: our daughter Nuhaa is lots of fun.

M-Web: What makes you saddest?
Neesie Nees: Hypocrisy.
Nam: Yeah, this is the root for so much evil. Preaching the one thing and doing something else. People should walk their talk.

Neesie Nees and Nam are a new force in the groundswell of positive hip hop from the Cape Flats.

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