Afrikaans rap is really coming of age

2011-02-10 08:58
To us old folkies, rap isn’t something that comes naturally. I come from the generation of toddlers that grew up thinking Jeremy Taylor and Robin Auld were cool. And of course they were/still are. In my teenage years, if you wanted to go more radical than folk, you listened to AC/DC or Guns ‘n Roses.

The first time I really took notice of rap, was when someone force-fed me Eminem. I was knocked out. To me, it was a new style. Didn’t even know there were black ous out there who could do it even better. I immediately went out and bought the album.

But alas, it still doesn’t come naturally. At the age of 56, I can’t tell the difference between rap and hip-hop (is there a difference?).

When I first met Brasse van die Kaap, backstage in Potchefstroom, I was astonished at their dedication. To them, the medium was more than a joke, it was something dead serious. It was physical.

They proved it by standing on their heads and spinning in circles right in front of my eyes. And then they started ripping off Bles Bridges tunes. “Ruik ek nog ‘n windjie, was dit jy?”

I almost literally shat myself, these guys were so totally awesome, so totally funny, so totally original, and of course so totally different from us bunch of boring washed-out old Voëlvry has-beens with our lingering grudges, our lingering drug habits and our lingering angst. (Oh, and they could also do astonishing things with old vinyl records and their fingers.)

Definitive local sound
For a couple of years now, I have had long and countless conversations with David Kramer, in e-mails, backstage at shows and at polite Cape Town dinner parties. "What would be the first definitive local sound?" was the question we often asked ourselves.

With his ventures into old District Six idioms and into the archetypal styles of the Karoo, he was certainly closer to such a thing, if it existed, than I was. But could those styles appeal to young people?

We dreamed of the day that young South Africans would invent an exciting new idiom that would put us on the international map the way grunge put Seattle on the map. I’m not sure if one should compare a big country like South Africa with a crappy little town like Seattle, but you know what I mean.

We never dreamt the first salvo would be fired from the crappy little town of Bellville. But Jack Parow was love at first sight! There was something there that begged to get noticed, explored, taken a few steps further.

Now, entering the fray once again from left field, finally, we have the new Mitchell's Plain sound.

I beg you, I entreat you, I DARE you to listen to this track. It’s a rough take, not recorded in a studio, of Churchil Naude’s new band (I’m not even sure if they have a name yet).

The song is called “Wie kan die Lus Kee’”. It takes me way back to Brasse van die Kaap and Kallitz. It’s like die Klopse on steroids. I think it’s the next big thing. I know it. These guys got a rave reception at the Suidoosterfees and rumour has it they’ll be at the KKNK, so keep your eyes glued to the information highway for more news of them and others like them.

To quote Phil Collins, I can smell something in the air tonight. Something much bigger than Voëlvry. Which is wonderful, especially for me, for it means I can finally go into glorious retirement and spend the rest of my Goue Jare looking out over the sea and drinking rooibostee with Robin Auld. Pure bliss!   

Listen to Churchill Naude's Wie kannie Lus Kee'

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