Tag Archives: Mahala

Culture Is Not Your Friend


Since his career began in 1998, DJ Raiko has established himself as one of Mzansi’s top hip hop DJs. He’s also been producing on the low-key and has helped up-and-coming artists gain recognition through his events company, Kool Out Entertainment. We enlisted him to drop this week’s Mahala Friday Mix and he gave us a rundown of his career thus far. Stream or download the mix below while reading the important insights Raiko has to offer on the history of Mzansi hip hop culture.

MAHALA: What kind of vibe did you put together with this mix?

DJ RAIKO: Basically, just a hip hop mix. I had been doing soul mixes and so on for so long, thought I’d mix some tunes that been lying around. It’s pretty much just rap and beats.

Tell us the process you took to learning how to become a DJ and turntablist and how did you get your name out there?

Well, I started in the 90s. There used to be a Tuesday night hip hop throw down at Johannesburg’s 208 (the legendary 206’s side room). We used to go there round about the same time I started DJ’n. I used to practice while the barmen stocked the fridges. Then the gigs would start round 9pm and I’d just sit there and watch the DJs that played. I met Hamma round that time. He was doing BVK as a rapper, but was branching out into DJ’n and running his parties Boogie Down Knights. That enticed me to move back to Cape Town. I was a fucked up kid before then, off my head a bit, that Cape Town move got me grounded. I stopped drinking and everything else and sobered up, became an unofficial type roadie for BVK, so I got to tour a little with them and helping out Hamma with the running of Boogie Down parties. Those two years were spent just DJ’n and getting a better understanding of the music and the scene. I didn’t drink or even get laid for 2 years. Fuck, what a kak two years.

Anyway, round the same time I started getting some DJ gigs as an opener at Boogie Down and that led to me getting a name and more gigs. Hamma was a dope reference point to how to run gigs, which helped me later on, as well as being the key link to me learning how to play a decent set. Azuhl and Dre helped me realise that I didn’t have to just play hits. In fact, I think Dre had the biggest influence on me sound wise. The guy’s an encyclopaedia when it comes to hip hop. He made me want to find those dope songs and reveal that to people for the first time through my sets.

I first saw you DJing at The Lounge. Those were the best hip hop parties I’ve ever been to. What do you think made it such a dope vibe?

I think the timing was perfect. Cape Town was on the verge of its third generation of hip hop heads. The BASE being the first, then the younger kids from that era, now older, started being the most active on the scene and formed the second generation. I was one of the younger kids in that scene that were trying to build on top of an established movement. Boogie Down Knights introduced all the town kids to hip hop and built a great following with them. When Boogie Knights finished The Lounge just fell into place.

The crowd was a group of regulars that used the night to network and stay in touch with the scene. It was a perfect mix of everyone, complimented by all types of hip hop music. I played the independent rap vibe as an opener, Hamma then did the party set and anthems and Dre smashed the classics sets. It was also R5 to get in. Cape Town was starting to somewhat integrate a little more and I strongly feel The Lounge helped some kids find themselves especially through a musical standpoint. The active hip hop scene in Cape Town between 2000 and now came up through that party. It was a special place.


A lot of classics were played at The Lounge, but also a lot of us were going there to be put onto all the newest stuff coming out at the time. Nowadays most hip-hop parties mainly just focus on playing classic golden era joints. What are your thoughts on that? Are most heads just stuck in a time warp?

Those sets still only form a small part of the whole market. Also, only certain people get recognition for doing it justice. I think there is a large entity just bandwagoning the movement. I mean 90s era is just in at the moment, the clothes, the vibe, etc. I guess the music is brought along with that. I mean we were playing that vibe with the KOL parties and getting labeled as ‘DJs that can’t move on’. I even had new DJs tell me that ‘things have changed, you can’t play Illmatic in the club no more Raiko’. Now they 90s hip hop connoisseurs, preaching the gospel with Illmatic as their bible. These are the same cunts that jump through genres to stay relevant to hide the fact that they struggle with identity as a DJ. Personally I love that era’s music, so if I get to hear it when I’m out more than this new music, then all good, regardless if it’s some hypebeast rocking the Jodeci scuba suit and Givenchy snapback. I could give two fucks about being stuck in a time warp. That era is what shaped me and that will always resonate through my sets as much as I can.

You got your first break through Pioneer Unit as the touring DJ for Ben Sharpa. What was your first taste of performing internationally like? And are you still affiliated to P-Unit?

To be honest, I lost my mind on those tours. I had never been out the country before (ok I went to Lesotho once) so going overseas was exciting as fuck. Those tours upped my game by like 100%. The growing points of it were life-changing. Our first gig was in Reunion Island; I thought I was Rick James jumping on Eddie Murphy’s couch. After that we were lucky enough to do four more tours to France and then around Europe. I learned a whole lot about putting a live show together, studio sessions and just the tons of artists we met, from Bronx Hip hopheads to Austrian gypsy bands. The dynamic of it all and the open attitude is what stuck with me the most. Most South African music lovers are sheltered in their genre. I learnt to appreciate all types of music and the effort that goes into making each genre.

How did you become Khuli Chana’s full-time DJ and what does the job entail?

PH, the guy who produced ‘Tswa Daar’ asked me to come lace some cuts for him (the track ‘PINA’ on Khuli’s album). Khuli was there and I guess he liked what I put down. He asked if I’d be interested in doing another track, I agreed and that track became ‘Tswa Daar’. None of us guessed the success of that joint. A few months later Khuli’s manager hit me up to be part of his new band as the DJ. We did a few gigs last year. Then this year they offered me the full time slot. It’s been great, Khuli is at the top of his game and the shows speak for themselves. Basically it entails being on top of your game as well, I mean all eyes are on Khuli this year, so one has to adapt and make sure they make those eyes stay focused. I handle the edits of the shows like intros, breakdowns and re-workings of his music and then run the music on the shows accompanied by cuts and some effects. The schedule is nuts, my life has 360’d since joining. But I’m really enjoying the headspace it provides.

Was the goal always to become a live performance DJ rather than doing DJ sets?
Not really, there weren’t options like there are today. I’d DJ for acts that couldn’t even afford to pay me for any show, so it made more sense to just concentrate on the DJ sets side. Although I’ve been doing performance DJ’n since the early 2000’s with Abnormal Detail (Hymphatic Thabs + Gin Grimes), just bout every rapper CPT had back then too, and I did some shows with Zaki Ibrahim as well. At this stage of my life, I prefer the performance aspect of DJ’n. Firstly, there isn’t as many active DJ’s with live hip hop acts than the clubs and doing original music feels more appropriate. I feel old in clubs where twerking runs the night and button pushing DJ’s drop the same songs several times throughout the gig. I’m happy here, I nearly quit DJ’n last year and went and got a 9-5, so I’m grateful I’m able to still do it.

You did weekly soul mixes for the Phat Joe Show until you recently got booted. What happened there?

The whole Phat Joe thing is confusing to me. He called me out of the blue one day and asks to meet me. We met and he offered me the slot on the spot. I was very excited at first, there was a buzz around Joe coming back to radio and to be part of that was humbling. It allowed me to bring my vibe to a whole new audience, even if it was counter balanced with radio hits (something I’ve never been known for). The response was good and I never got hate for it from disgruntled heads, so I was at peace with it and enjoying it.

Then I got an email saying they were going to try new DJ’s. No reason or anything, with a hint that they might use me again sometime. It’s been a month, I haven’t heard from anyone and I see that he has a new “official” DJ – DJ Robben Island which I’m convinced is him. I did hear from a friend that Joe may or may not have mentioned that I didn’t grasp the radio thing or what he was trying to achieve, so maybe he felt I didn’t fit in their scheme of things, which is fair enough, I guess.

What’s your opinion on SA rappers with American accents?

I don’t mind it; sometimes it’s easier to listen to. Like some rock guys or pop artists, they sing with US accents then when they talk, they sound like Nataniel after a night out. I guess the same happens to the rappers.

If you were to record a posse cut who would you enlist?

Locally – I would grab some of those Scrambles for Money kids, seeing as cyphers are just about bars. Gin Grimes, Cerebro, Illite etc…

Internationally – Smoothe tha Hustler, Saafir, Jamal, Ras Kass and Vince Staples.

How do you deal with drunkards coming up to you with song requests while you’re playing?

I just act like I can’t hear them, or tell them to just hold a few while I ignore them for the next 3 songs. The pressure of standing up there looking like a fool gets them off eventually. Once, Angolan kids offered me R100 for every Tupac song I played, so I went through all the Pac I had and made a little more cash than that shithole could pay. I’ve been offered blowjobs by women and men (Cape Town tourists will try fuck anything) at Marvel for playing their songs. A German thought it would be cool to chop up a line of cocaine next to the turntables one night and offered me the rest while they threw his ass outside. Other than that the random white girls asking me “when you going to play some hip hop?” keep me entertained.

90% of hip hop coverage in this country is American cliché kak. How important do you think proper media coverage is in terms of creating our own identity of the scene rather than being sold some image shit?

I think that lies with the artists as well as the media. The media knew fuckall about hip hop just 7 years ago; now all of a sudden The You magazine is telling us “Do you know Afrika Bambaataa started this culture?” Fuck out of here! We’re to blame though, cause we let them jump on the wagon in exchange for a little spotlight. The scene is buzzing locally. The content, language from all regions and musicality, is more representative of South Africa than ever, both mainstream and independently.

Tell us about Kool Out Lounge. What’s the concept behind it? How do you go about choosing acts for shows?

KOL was running before I joined it four years ago. I aligned to it because it was the closest gig to the vibe I play, so it made perfect sense to join. Basically it started as a group of DJ’s and an MC that put on gigs to accommodate for them not getting gigs outside of KOL. Basically we provide a platform for up-and-coming artists and DJs. We give preference to those that support the movement through our gigs. We’ve grown a lot from a grassroots movement to a company that offers work to larger brands. We still do a free gig every month in Cape Town at the Waiting Room, as that’s were we started. We’re focusing on doing more production work with brands and next year developing KOL into a mature events company.

KOL throws parties in Cape Town and Jozi. Is there much difference between the two scenes?

There was at first. Cape Town was always closer to the culture and at some gigs you’ll still find all the elements gathered in one space. But these days the lure of popping bottles in the club and showing off designer threads is the main focus. KOL started 5 years ago, both in CPT and JHB, there wasn’t a regular night like that in either city. It’s a no frills party and we focus on the music.

The element of turntabilism doesn’t feature nearly as much in new hip hop tracks. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that element is beginning to be phased out or become even more niche?

Turntablism, I think, reached its pinnacle. It’s not ever going to go beyond what the greats like Q-Bert, have done with it. The sound of mainstream hip hop has changed so much, I don’t think there is a place for turntablism anymore. I still hear mad tracks with DJs on them though, they’re just not in plain sight anymore. DJs have also branched off in to becoming artists and producers themselves, so the need to align with an act as a DJ is not the only option anymore.

Your top 3 hip hop albums of all-time?

Dare iz a Dark side – Redman
Ras Kass – Soul on Ice
Saafir – Box Car Sessions

Who is being slept on at the moment? Anyone whose music we should be seeking out?

Locally, I stopped taking in new music as acts thought I had the power to break their careers, so I’m out of touch at the moment. I like a few independent acts like Zetina Mosia (she’s not hip hop, but is affiliated to Iapetus in JHB) and the JHB + CPT beat scene is nuts, especially the acts affiliated to *GRAVY*.

What is your long-term goal for your career? Anything you really want to achieve?

I really want to release music when I’m comfortable with it being out there and the quality is decent enough to be recognised. Other than that, maybe some development things to help future acts get to their dreams. I would love a complex that houses a live performance area, a studio to record and resource center to help package any music that come out of it.

Stream/download the mix here.

Check out the published version over at Mahala here.

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This week’s mixtape comes from Jumping Backslash, a foul mouthed, chain smoking dude who, if it weren’t for his limey accent, you would think grew up in a really rough part of Goodwood. He’s the progenitor of really hard music to describe which he likes to call ‘afrotronical space music’. We chat to him about his love of Mzansi house and kwaito and why, weirdly, South Africans don’t tend to support music that sounds like it comes from their own country. Plus you can listen to this special Mahala Friday mix while you’re reading.

I heard you got into 90s SA house and kwaito music while living in England. How did you get put onto it? What were you listening to at the time?

I didn’t really get properly into SA house and kwaito until I got here actually. I knew some kwaito when I was in the UK, the obvious stuff, Trompies, Chiskop but not much, it was a lot harder to find back then. I think when ‘Township Funk’ blew up in the UK a lot changed but I was already here when that happened.

Tell us about your musical background.

I was in a band called One Inch Punch when I was in my late teens, I think until my early twenties. We recorded an LP but before it got released another group with the same name released a tune via Virgin and fucked up our plans. For a couple of years after that we got caught up in legal issues with Virgin and it never got resolved. Shame really. So the band kinda fizzled out. After that I didn’t make music for a long time, I think I was a bit depressed about it. I had been fucking around with Cubase and samplers when I was in the band and that came back in my mid-twenties. After that, I was making odd electronica and all kinds of kak. It wasn’t til I came here that everything coalesced and the music I make now was born.

What ultimately made you decide to settle on house?

Don’t know. Just ended up that way. Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe my music as straight up house. I don’t know how I would describe it actually.

What styles/ sounds/genres are you experimenting with these days?
I’ve been fucking about with 160bpm vibes. I have a 12″ of that stuff coming out next year. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Gqom which I think has had an influence.

What sort of vibe did you go for with the mixtape?

Just a representation of my sound I guess. When I play out I only play out my own tunes. I suppose the mix is an idea of what a show of mine sounds like.

You’ve been gigging a lot recently. At clubs and festivals. Which gig was the highlight of the year so far?

I really enjoyed Oppikoppi. That was a good crowd and they were open to my stuff and into it. I managed to clear the area at Earthdance within three tunes which is also an achievement I think. It goes without saying that the EDM/Psy-Trance boytjies ain’t so keen on my vibes.

I played a Cold Turkey this year alongside my mates BIG FKN GUN when they were down here on tour and that gig was a lot of fun.

With Cape Town being so small and there being so many producers/djs it must be hard for a new DJ to get their slot and make a name for themselves out here. Did you find it hard at first to get your music heard out here?

Yeah, that’s interesting. For a long time the majority of interest in my music was coming from overseas. I think there is a weird reticence and ignorance from South Africans when it comes to local music that actually sounds like it comes from this country. Spoek, Yannick, John Wizards, Nozinja and others have all had the same issue. The local stuff that does well over here with the punters tends to sound international. It’s like you are rewarded for being an imitator. The irony is that those artists tend to have very little or no interest from the international media.

I didn’t really get much attention over here until Spoek had tweeted about a 12″ I did called Kwaai Sneakers and all of a sudden it all gained some traction.


Which musicians are inspiring you right now in Mzansi?

Rudeboyz, Roman Rodney, DJ Matsawu-Dlala, DJ Lag, Illumination Boys. A lot of Gqom producers. Gqom is a more broken, minimal and darkly deep SA sound. It’s almost like a South African techno. People should visit http://www.kasimp3.co.za and go listen to what is coming out the loxions and townships. It’s incredibly contemporary, very forward thinking and just like Kwaito, utterly unique to this country.

Whats more fulfilling? Creating the beats in your garage studio or playing them out?

There is nothing like that moment where you get a kwaai tune rolling. It’s just you and the tune and an all too brief moment of feeling that you are, regardless of what anyone could say about you, a fucking genius. After that it’s always downhill.

Watching a bunch of people vibe to my tunes is also befok, it’s a massive buzz but I reckon I have to go with the studio. Ultimately I make music for myself, if other people enjoy it too then it’s a bonus. If they don’t, I can’t say I give a fuck cos I don’t and I certainly wouldn’t change anything I do to make people like it more.

Is the party scene all that appealing to you? You don’t even drink.

The party scene doesn’t really appeal to me at all because I am a father now and I only tend to be out when I have a gig. I don’t drink or do class A stuff anymore mainly because I had a few issues with both of those things, particularly coke. I don’t feel moralistic about my abstinence, I understand why people do it and everyone is free to fuck their own body and brain up if they see fit. That said, I get gatvol with nonsensical conversations with gesuip/coked up cretins. At Rocking The Daisies a geezer came up to me, fucked out of his mind and said “I love your T-shirt but I hate everyone here. I’m sure you feel the same…” He then swatted at imaginary flies for a bit and fell over. I struggle to converse with such people.

Tell us about your group with Big Space, Manyoba Boy$. And what plans have you got for that?

Manyoba Boy$ is a live act ostensibly. We play live improvised techno/house sets with a heavy SA flavour. We have written a few tunes and are sitting on them for now. I do think however, that we work best as a live act.

Do you have any other affiliates?

I’m not part of a crew or anything like that. There’s a few vocalists I enjoy working with Spoek, Okmalumkoolkat, Eve Rakow. All cool people.

Did you record ‘Night Time Business’ with Spoek? You’ve remixed Okmalumkoolkat, Petite Noir, etc. Who would you like to collaborate with vocally?

‘Night Time Business’ is a tune on my next 12″. I produced the music and he created the words. We’ve done a few tunes together but it’s always via the internet. The odd time we stiek uit together we mostly smoke zol and talk bollocks. I’ve not remixed Smiso’s stuff by the way, I did however remix a tune we did together.

I’d like to work with Camagwini, Big Nuz, Jaak, Professor, the list could go on…

You’ve bootlegged a lot of RnB from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Mario et al. Are you a real fan of RnB, you’re not just being ironic?

I love RnB. Particularly the 90s era Dru Hill, En Vogue, SWV, TLC etc etc. RnB is often very forward thinking and progressive musically. Far more than people give it credit for.

I don’t subscribe to that ironic thing in music appreciation. I find it odd. If you like it then who gives a shit what anyone thinks.

What do you do other than producing and DJing?

I work in post production, mostly post supervision or management.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Not swearing around the kids. Not fucking easy.

Musically, I got some 12″s coming out next year on various labels. It should all be quite exciting.

Stream/download the mix here.
Check out the published version over at Mahala here.

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Word from the Chief


If you’re not already there, you’re probably packing the car and steeling yourself with nips of OBs. Yes, finally, Oppikoppi Bewilderbeast starts today. We caught up with the bosveld skop’s fearless leader, Carel Hoffmann to find out exactly what to expect from this year’s jol.

Mahala: It’s almost time now, you’re doing the final touches. How’re you feeling now that the festival is so close to kick off?

Carel Hoffmann: We’re super busy. Look, this is like launching an aeroplane, some sort of zeppelin or something. Today was a really, really busy day for everybody, actually the last three days, and everybody is running. So back to the feeling, this year actually feels a little bit more calm than last. Many of the logistical and organisational arrangements that we wanted to make after last year are working. We changed the structure of how we run these things and it looks like a lot of it is falling into place. At the moment it’s reasonably calm but the entire system is taking strain. The ticketing has been really busy the last few days, the gates, all the activations. The trick about a big festival like this is there’s nothing and all of a sudden there’s 20 000 people. But so far, so good.

And when do you get the chance to just kick back and enjoy the festivities?

Look, my own personal role is very small on the operational side of things. So for me there are times that I can do that, but the team that runs this just don’t stop now. So the last week is flat out. From now on it’s virtually a 24 hour operation. Security teams, fire brigades, it’s ongoing. It’s like an organism now, you know. From now there’s no rest. Everybody is in it to the hilt.

What new things have you done to make this year more special?

This year there was actually lots of big things that we changed. Last year it felt to us – it’s always dusty but – it was really dusty. It just felt to us a little overcrowded so we made some big structural changes, changing the flow, changing the audience entrances, the viewing decks, entertainment areas, all those things. We’ve also added fun things like the beer drone app and the gimmicks and tricks to try and entertain the crowds when you have them for three days.

What’s your main ingredient you put into getting such huge crowds coming to this harsh terrain every year?

The thing is it’s a festival so it’s part of the entertainment industry. So the implication then is you have to keep reinventing yourself and you have to bring new things and let’s not forget the magnificent line-up. I think the line-up every year is super solid. There’s a hundred odd artists appearing so it’s a big gig.

What sort of numbers are you expecting and how does it compare to last year?

We think it’s going to be reasonably similar. It looks to us like there’s going to be close to 20 000 people. We haven’t got the final figures. As I say the ticketing for these events is very active in the last few days.

What have you had to do to accommodate all the people?

We’ve made some changes to the entertainment area, to get the flow better and actually for the dust control we built many new dams and reservoirs, lots of reticulation. To get in, you’ll notice there’s a whole dust suppression regime. For the campsite itself, it’s pretty similar. The camping last year was still okay. We will stop the sales at 20 000 if it reaches that. However, what we have increased is all the tented hotel villages. We actually increased the beds there by 80%, but they’re actually sold out because there’s a huge demand for more and more of those things. So that keeps growing and there’s huge waiting lists again. We thought we’d cater for the demand, but it just seems insatiable at the moment. The thing is Oppikoppi has a very young audience, but there’s also a few guys who are slightly older but still want to be part of the whole thing and those hotels are a nice way to take a little bit of an edge off the event.

How far in advance are your guys here putting up all the infrastructure?

I’m sitting with notes already for next year. All of us keep notes on what we want to improve and change and tweak or whatever so the planning starts now. Because there was such big capital expenses this year to get the water reticulation changed those things started 9, 10 months ago. We knew at last year’s festival what we wanted to change. Those things started very long ago.

Those decks overlooking the two biggest stages are really good idea.

It’s fantastic. We were hoping that it would come out well, but it’s just magnificent. You virtually have a 360 degree view of the bushveld. Probably one of the prettiest spots in the world where stages are involved. You can already see what can become of this. As the festival starts and you have entertainment all around you. That’s something to look forward to.

What’s your criteria for choosing all the right acts? Other than Deftones some of the other international acts are relatively unknown here.

Yes. Whether it’s international or South African there’s two things. You must have a few big draw cards, there always has to be, but from inception Oppikoppi was always about discovery so there is a specific drive to find the esoteric or left-of-centre, undiscovered artists and that’s the same whether it’s international or local. And also we deliberately go out to find guys like Robert DeLong who is not a gigantic star but he’s got fantastic tunes or Manchester Orchestra, they’ve probably got nil radio play in this country, but there’s a subculture following that we’re aware of and we like the tunes. In the end a large part about Oppikoppi is that it was started by ourselves for ourselves, following our own noses and the thing is I think that something like a booking strategy for a festival must have some sort of definition otherwise all of them become the same. As soon as you start booking things for commercial reasons then it sort of falls flat. So we’re quite happy and, of course, we want a balance. We want lots of African, we want lots of rock n roll, we want lots of everything really.

What’s the ethos, behind this year’s Bewilderbeast theme?

I don’t think there’s really an ethos. It comes from a Badly Drawn Boy song off an album that I specifically really like. We just like the name and we thought it could work well and we’re very happy with the results. We came up with a nice campaign around it and it looked really pretty, you know. Coming back to your other question earlier, the festival expanded into many different communities so it’s not just a rock festival anymore. There’s poetry, there’s lots of different entertainment here. So back to the question around the theme, we look for a nice theme but also we’re very conscious of all the content we have to create and the marketing element from there. So we look for something that we’re enthusiastic about, that the fans will be enthusiastic about and also if it’s executable .

Apparently the weathers gonna be harsh this weekend, very cold and the possibility of lots of rain. What advice can you to people coming through?

The thing is it’s Oppikoppi, we’ve been through everything. Luckily conditions are so harsh that the most of the fans are used to it so they pack for the cold in the evenings and it’s hot in the day so they pack for both. This is like a freight train, a little weather isn’t going to stop it.

Thankfully, it doesn’t look to us like it’s huge amount of rain. The last report I saw it was like 12% so it’s not gigantic. So far the weather has been lekker, we’ll see.

Lastly, what can first timers expect?

Everything, so much. We just did the first trials for the beer drone. The naked marathons. The thing is these days I think it’s such an overload of experiences and crazy shit that you will see nowhere else. So for an unexpecting fan – lots of tunes, lots of crazy moments, lots of fun. For me one of the nice things about the festival is you’ll often see guys with smiles on their faces. And, of course, a party, the festival was built on hedonism. It doesn’t stop so once it starts running and long may that last.

Check out the published version over at Mahala here.

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Chuggy Basslines


Phat Jack is a DJ, producer, record store owner and events co-ordinator who has been involved in the Mzansi deep house scene since the early 90s. Since those early days in Jozi, he has earned the reputation of spinning the unpredictable, mixing up Nu Jazz, down tempo and soulful deep house in his own inimitable style and continues to push the envelope of the scene he helped create to this day. We caught up with him ahead of his set tonight at the Puma Social Club.

How did you get into music and at what point did you realise it was a viable option to pursue as a career?

Always been into music. When I had collected records to listen to as house music CD’s were impossible to find, producers didn’t really make albums only 12 inch singles or E.P’s. Plus no one was playing the music I liked, soulful deep house. So I had records and good taste in music and set my horrible mixing upon the world.

You were part of The Original Evergreens fronted by Waddy Jones in the 90s. What was it like working with him? What have you taken away from being in that group and how do you feel about Waddy’s subsequent success with Die Antwoord

Ha ha ha, um yeah Waddy is a creative parasite. Great that he can support his family on his art but people are going to get tired of the Marilyn Manson of pseudo shock Afrikaans rap. I enjoyed being in the band, I loved the feeling of improvisation, I definitely took that with me through to my DJ’ing.

How would you describe your sound?

Deep, techy chuggy bassline house music.

Who were your early influences that played a role in shaping your tastes?

Dave Togher, Tim White, Static P, G-force, 4th World.

Who should we be looking out for?

Check out Do It Now Records, just heat!!

Where, in your opinion, does house music get the best reception in the country?

Jozi & Pretoria. Pretoria are deep house snobs so you have to be on your game, if not they will let you know. In Jozi people know their tunes and are totally into the vibe.

Which event that you’ve played stands out in your memory and why?

Djing before Frankie Knuckles, just amazing and honoured to play with the legend that created this thing called House!

What are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to the new Ghostface Killah.

With the plethora of sub-genres coming out under the EDM banner, is it become increasingly tougher to win over new crowds to the house scene?

No, look house music will always be the underground little brother. Artists like Disclosure, Wolf & Lamb, Soul Clap are all exposing the EDM crowd to house and like GU said: “House Music will never Die”.

Do you find there is a big difference between deep house in Mzansi compared to the rest of the world?

Not really. Well there are loads of sub categories, once again, but in the deep soulful realm Mzansi house seems to be ruling the roost.

Who makes you want to up your game, whether locally or abroad?

Everyone, I always want have the best, latest tunes. I’m just competitive like that.

What excites you most about your job as a DJ?

BOOBS! Good sound systems, great responsive crowds.

What is your ultimate goal in your career?

Right now, working on an electronic music festival for 4500 people, with the acts we wanna see.

As a SA music industry veteran, what advice do you have for the next generation of DJs and producers who are looking to earn a living off their craft?

Be sincere, stop the bullshit, play music you love not what’s popular and do it cause you LOVE music, not the drugs, boobs and fame.

Can you fill us in on any future projects you’ve got coming out?

Just more Warm Up events with our favorite producers and DJs and working on that festival.

How do you feel about hitting up PSC this Friday? What can we expect?

I’m eggcited, gonna smash some deep chuggy basslines

Check out the full version over at Mahala here.

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Interviews For Mahala.co,za


Afrikaaps is an award-winning local theatre production that looks at the history behind the unique way in which Afrikaans is spoken innie Kaap. Tracing the formation of the language back to its roots, the play offers an alternative take on the evolution of Afrikaans and contests its all-white identity. Through a mish-mash of experimental performances featuring a group of talented musicians, poets and dancers called “argitekbekke” (architect mouths), the play shuns the negative connotation of Afrikaans as ‘the language of the oppressor’ and recasts it as a black African mother tongue. The live performance is also spliced with documentary footage which follows each artist on their historical journey to find their link to their Afrikaaps heritage. I caught up with Dylan Valley, the director of the Afrikaaps documentary…

Full Story: http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/black-afrikaans/

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Review: Lil Wayne Concert

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Lil Weezy Comes To Bellville

Telling my friends that I was covering the Lil Wayne concert was a touchy subject. “Fuck that. I wouldn’t even go if I got a free ticket. Any rapper with Lil or Young in their name is wack,” one of them told me. That’s a shame, because tonight’s opening act is Youngsta, a local mc from Wynberg who won an online voting contest to open up for Weezy. At 19 years-old, Youngsta boasts a 23 mixtape repertoire, has released a full-length album and rocked big boy stage shows all over Cape Town. He may catch flak for a put on American-tinged accent, but I think his determination and level-headed self-confidence, easily misconstrued as rapper egotism, places him deservedly up on that stage and he earned my vote.

I’m not really a fan of Lil Wayne, but before being quarantined to the hater section of this polarised real vs fake, east vs west, commercial vs underground subculture, I’d say it’s just not for me. From the little I have heard, his rhymes are punchline-driven PG 13 pop-gangsta-rap, but you’ve got to pay respect for the way his catchy lyrics have popularised puns with which he ends every second line. The purists will tell you that he’s not “conscious” enough and how he mercilessly flaunts his wealth, misogyny and senseless violence, which is true, but since I don’t take hip hop as seriously these days I’m actually kinda looking forward to a little rap ‘ignance’.

We arrive at the Bellville Velodrome to a swarm of people mainly in their young teens to early twenties. This is where you begin to understand the purists’ plight. The kids are a mirror-image of the rapper’s consumer-driven rhymes. This must be Lil Wayne’s “Young Money Militia”. Everywhere you look is a cap, t-shirt and sweatshirt boldly emblazoned with the letters YMCMB, which stands for the grossly redundant string of words that is Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money Cash Money Billionaires. Since tickets cost up to R 750 a pop I’m thinking Pocket Money best befits these young’uns. The high-end sneakers are squeaky clean. A popular garment worn by the girls to cover their nether regions are hoochie-style cut-off jeans that allow for just a little butt cheek to peek out the back. You can see the self-conscious ones trying to pull them up a little, realising it was a big mistake. We hang around the entrance till the floodgates open up and a rabble of stampeding teens whoop and cheer their way into the stadium.

It’s about an hour later that Youngsta steps out on stage. The crowd is filtering in steadily. Golden circle is half full and there’s a large grouping of people on the other side of the fence in general standing. This must be the largest audience Youngsta has ever faced, but he pulls it off seemingly without nerves. His rhymes are intelligible and engaging with throwback choruses to boot that incorporate even those who clearly haven’t heard him before and he freestyles about the YMCMB clothing people in front of the stage are wearing. One of the notable attributes of a Youngsta set is his choice to rock over a variety of beats that appeal to multiple audiences. Tonight’s pick is nu-skool, mostly commercial, and the odd 90s boom bap flavour that sits well with the audience.

There’s an overwhelming clamminess in the air, so after the set I decide to spend the next hour strolling outside for fresh air and getting toe-up while taking advantage of the free refreshments in the media room. Another hour goes by and I’m getting anxious, like if I don’t get back down immediately I’m going to miss something big. You can tell the crowd feels the same; even though the stadium is lit up bright and there’s only a Drake CD being pumped through the sound system, their eyes stay transfixed on the stage like Lil Wayne might pop up any second. I join the melée and do the same.


The lights are dimmed and the place resonates with thunderous bass. High pitched screams added to the mix make for ear-splitting decibel levels. Weezy has arrived with skateboard in hand. He starts rapping straight off the bat and gives us some high-energy showmanship, bouncing along to either ends of the stage. The feeling is infectious and the crowd is losing their shit well into the greetings after the song. Then he breaks off into “A Milli” and although his nasal tone struggles to break through the booming bass I’m more impressed that he is backed up by a 4-piece band and maintains the buckwild intensity of a bona fide rock star. Later on, during “Drop the World” he even grabs a guitar and strums along, albeit like an awkward kid playing Guitar Hero. One thing about Weezy is that he has hits for days. He churns them out one after the other. And almost everyone in that sold-out show could recite them word for word. To them he’s the greatest rapper in the world, but they can be forgiven because they have never heard the likes of Sean Price or Elzhi.

The great moment of rap ‘ignance’ arrives after the heart-rending “How to love”, a song about a girl-turned-stripper after being hardened by the ugly ways of the world. Weezy feigns holding back tears and gives us a shpiel about how the song gets him teary-eyed because he has a 13 year-old daughter. Then he fucks it all up by dedicating the next song to all the ladies who are each “the single most important thing in the world”. It’s” Every Girl” which has him air-humping and singing the mantra “I wish I could fuck every girl in the world, I wish I could fuck every girl in the world, I wish I could fuck every girl in the world.” That classic moment will remain in my memory for a very long time.

But Lil Wayne’s engaging stage presence and eccentric personality are enough to disarm even the staunchest hater and I enjoyed the entire hour and a half set. The crowd have their hands in the air up until the end of the encore as I edge toward the periphery and get ready to jog back to the car before they all pour out.

Link: http://www.mahala.co.za/music/lil-weezy-comes-to-bellville/

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