We sat down with Isaac Mutant, the no-holds-barred rapper/frontman of a groundbreaking collaborative hip hop crew called Dookoom who are dropping their self-titled debut album at Blitzkroeg in Harrington Street, Cape Town this evening.
Please explain what Dookoom means for those who don’t know and why did you choose that name for the album?
Dookoom is a ghetto thing, it’s a Cape Town thing basically. It’s not a coloured or a black thing or whatever, it’s a ghetto thing. It’s a myth and whatnot. It’s almost like the Tokoloshe. Everything negative is associated with dookoom. That’s kind of how I felt from Sideshow Freak (earlier album) like all the time, you know. I kind of felt like something similar to that, yet at the same time I’m doing something fucking magic and I don’t get credit for that kak and basically all of us, the whole Dookoom squad felt the same way. And we’re pissed. So that’s the bottom line. We’re going to fucking dookoom the fuck out of people.
Who do you want to dookoom?
Everybody. Why not? How can you be South African and be happy about anything. I don’t give a fuck about anyone in this country, bra. I do give a fuck about my daughter, though I don’t give a fuck about anybody, not even about me. I wanna dookoom everybody.
Could you run down who is all involved in the project?
It’s myself Isaac Mutant, DJ Roach, Spooky and Human waste (Dplanet). Yusif how do you say that?
Sayigh from The Great Apes.
Ja daai dude. We do a few features with him. ‘Strange Love’, somehow somebody leaked that track. I don’t know who the fuck that is? I’ll find that naai. And then ‘Elke Hol’, Yusif features on there as well and Jaak from Pioneer Unit features on Ak-47. Fucking genius, daai bra. And Pussyring. She’s sexy. I’m gonna get her phone number, dookoom the shit out of her ass. She gives me such vibes. It’s probably because she’s European, I don’t know. Bradley (from 2Bop) is drunk on’ Elke Hol’. I don’t know if he gets a credit for that. He fits us out though. Naai, 2Bop is broese.
‘Strange Love’ is a very different sound from what we’ve come to expect from Isaac Mutant. Going back to our first interview where you said you were tired of being expected to make boom bap, socially conscious rap and wanted to shake things up- is this the sound you had in mind?
Look, I just wanted to do something different. Dookoom actually turned out much fucking better than I imagined. But this is kind of what I had in mind. I was just jas with the industry. I haven’t changed yet, I will never change. I’m jas with the industry because everybody is then fokken dumb fokken tunnel vision in Cape Town. Every MC, fuck you. I’m not an MC. Put that in. I’m not an MC, I don’t give a fuck about rap.
Just to answer your question on ‘Strange Love’, Depeche Mode. That’s one of the tracks I always wanted to do. If you’re a coloured, my bru, and you grew up in the ghetto. You can be a punk rocker, you can be hip hop, you can be whatever, if that track comes up you have to do something, you just have to jol or something. It’s just automatic, I always wanted to do something with that. And the Pet Shop Boys.
Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode; do gangsters love that shit?
Human Waste lag sy poes pap nou die dag ek het hom daai vertel. He’s like ‘Whaaat’. I’m like ‘Ja, bru, it’s fucking classy shit’. But there’s some more kak that’s gonna fucking come out. I just had to fuck with Judy Boucher, I just had to fuck with her. I’m fucking with everybody. We’re fucking with Michael Jackson next.
How does it work when collaborating with Human Waste. Did you sit down and plan the overall sound or you just lace the beats he sends you?
Ja, he makes some kak ‘see what you can do with it’ and I come back with kak. There’s no planning on this we’re actually trying to create something for once emotionally, if you wanna say spiritually, with no planning, instinctively. Whatever emotion guides you. And then art without all that other dynamics bullshit – guidlines and rules. There’s no planning to it, just here’s a beat do with it what the fuck you wanna do with it. If it sounds gehard, then it’s gehard. That’s why I’m kak proud of this project. For the first time in my life I feel free. I can say what the fuck I wanna say, but now luckily I’m actually a dope artist so I can utilise all those other tools and shit. You know, the wordplay and concepts. The dude just gave me two cds full of beats and I was like okay this is actually nogal what I was looking for godamnit.
Dookoom shakes your brain around in your skull. But in a good way.
That is what hip hop did in the first place. To me it’s like everybody forgot about that kak. It was like “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” what the fuck is this? Yo this is dope shit. All this old school kak. “Whoop whoop, that’s the sound of the police!”, what the fuck is this? Everybody is all metaphorical and oracle. That’s why I don’t even fucking go to Long Street anymore. Fuck the Long Street hip hop, fuck Cape Town hip hop man. Quote that, I want that. Metaphorical bullshit. Is hulle jas?
Do you forsee Dookoom to become a crew or is it a once-off project?
No, we’re a crew.
Oh, so we will be hearing more?
Definitely, Dookoom is not going anywhere, I promise you that one. The bra (Human Waste) fucking floods me with beats and it’s exciting. It’s something new for me, mos. We’re a bunch of fucking pissed off motherfuckers that don’t give a fuck. So we’re going there, that’s basically what we touch on. There are brasse, I’m not gonna mention their names because it’s all about Dookoom in this interview, that have touched on those things. Naai, Die Antwoord, I have to give credit to the broese. They introduced this kind of feel to South African hip hop I think.
So would you say it’s largely influenced by Die Antwoord?
Naai I wouldn’t nogal lie about it. Lyrically Ninja taught me a lot my bru. Like rounding off shit and stylising punchlines, attitude. Basically he taught me ‘be yourself’ bra and Human Waste just came and ripped out the fuck who I am. It’s cool to be an angry motherfucker. So in all honesty it’s a moerse influence by Die Antwoord. And if it hadn’t been for Scally (Scallywag), me and Scally have been talking about this kak for probably like 10 years or some kak. We were just pissed at what the Cape Town sound is.
Why isn’t Scally rapping on it?
Because Scally got a job and he’s a grey ass, fucking dreadlock, fucking alcoholic motherfucker, working at CTV. But he’s still my bru. Me and him was gonna do Dookoom. That was initially the idea and we were drunk at that time when we were talking and then we got sober. Scally is always gonna be there and Bai Kuruption is a KAK (Koloured Ass Krooks) member. They’re always gonna be there. Everybody is just doing their thing right now and I’m doing my thing right now.
As I was saying, Dookoom is really different stuff. Did you have a different audience in mind when you went into this project?
Ja, I actually did. People with money and angry people. I’m tired of being tight and broke. Why can’t I make music that everybody digs and be progressive about kak? It’s a difficult question actually. But my first and foremost is: Aim for these rich motherfuckers. Piss them off and make them give you their money. They must just like it. The rich motherfuckers are fucking business people they just gonna have to invest in this kak because it’s too jits, but at home they’re gonna curse the shit out of this fucking coloured from the Cape Flats.
Has there been talk about you signing to Pioneer Unit?
That’s a bit personal. I don’t wanna answer that. The conversation me and Dplanet had is personal.
Also going back to our first interview, you said you were going to dumb down your lyrics as a way of getting across to more people. Your track ‘Kak Sturvy’ its quite catchy and it’s like kak talk in a way. Is that what you’re doing there? No disrespect intended, if I’m wrong.
No doubt, that’s kind of what I was aiming at, but it’s kak difficult to answer. Technical people will hear the technicalities on the album. Layered is a better word. ‘Kak Sturvy’ has double, triple meanings, but it sounds easy on the ear though. This is the most skilful I’ve ever been in my life. If you can make a bra from the street understand and get jiggy to what you just said…
You’ve just shot a video for ‘Kak Sturvy’ in Heinz Park, Mitchells Plein. What’s the significance of choosing that location?
Heinz Park is the most honest fucking place that I know. That I know of personally, it’s not the ultimate truth. That place is kak small and there’s like 8 gangs living there. These naaiers gang fight and then they live in peace as well. There has to be an equilibrium. There’s blacks, whites, coloureds. I know about a white couple that moved in there. That’s like the Cape Flats compressed, bra. Ironically, the leader of The Americans fucking pushed me to go record. It’s because of that bra. People are not who you think they are in Heinz Park. There’s no time to be depressed. You just have to be on a pluk the whole time. There’s food to be eaten, bru and a button when you need to calm the fuck down as well. That’s the one spot that’s a fucking jol. People don’t know about this kak. People got nothing there, it’s just like a wasteland and they just had to make that spot work. You can survive for a whole day with R10 for food bra, cheaper than that even. That place has a bunch of McGuyvers. The system don’t give a fuck about us. No one give a fuck about us. We skill ourselves. There’s mechanics. Scrapyards are a fucking industry in Heinz Park. That’s the shit that keeps Heinz Park alive. How can you not? It’s so rich with kak, how can you not take note of that kak? People need to know about this shit. And that’s just one out of the million fucking spots in South Africa that’s actually funky. It’s kak dookoom. Plus in the ghetto, usually the lowest ones on the ladder, usually looks after you. It’s just out of you being human. Go back to them and share the spoils or whatever. Nobody really puts the gutter on the map or make it look funky. You don’t have to make it look anything, just show the world what the fuck is up here. Nobody does that. Everybody is just ‘I’m gonna get outta the ghetto, I’m gonna get out of the ghetto’. Then nobody comes back and show the world what the fuck this is about.
Do you get a lot of love from the ghetto? Are people following your shit a lot there?
I grew up in Mitchells Plain. I lived there 27 years. Now Heinz Park is just over the bridge, like 20 steps from Mitchell’s Plain. Those people kept me alive and for me that’s the safest place to walk, I can walk 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock. Those people are proud of me. When I come from Lyrical Warfare and all these battles and whatnot I need to go to these broese. And the 28s stand there, and the 26s stand there and they like ‘Salute Mutant!’. Ok, obviously it’s ‘give a R5, give a R10, give a entjie.’ I would give, they’re broese. They’re on their hustle as I’m on my hustle.
When we first met, you were frustrated, your shit wasn’t going anywhere in terms of putting out material like music, photography, videos. That’s all starting to happen now? Are you happy? Do you feel like you’ve got momentum now?
For me personally I just understand ‘work hard’ better. If you want something go for it bra, fucking just work. I just understand it better now than I did then. I’ve still got fokol. It’s mos the age old thing. What you reap is mos what you sow, man. It’s cool to be at the bottom of the barrel, bra, because you really got nowhere else to go. And it’s cool to also go through all this personal kak, there’s a reason for that kak. I’m really just fighting for something kak personal. I’ve got no other fucking avenue, I just have to fucking blow the fuck up, I just have to.
You got some shit you need to sort out with money?
Money is gonna be a key. I’m not gonna mention what it is, because it’s kak personal. Look, this is South Africa, we’re musicians, the government don’t give a fuck about musicians. So, look, we don’t have a pension fund and shit. We can’t fucking hustle another 25 years. We’ve got vocal chords and we’ve got our bodies to look after so basically now is the time to fucking do something. I wanna work with Nataniel my bru. That would be fucking interesting. I’m gonna get that naai, I wanna do something with him. Just imagine that kak.
Name me some guys you would enlist for your next album.
I would definitely like to work wth Judy Boucher. Rerig, godse waarheid, I want to work with her. It’s like she understands the ghetto. I don’t know how I get to that. And Nataniel, you have to be a fucking gangster to be him. You know how much balls you must have to be him in Sout Africa, in this tight ass fucking country. It would be kak interesting to work with him, I really wanna work with him. I really wanna work with Steve Hofmeyer just to fuck with everybody. I really want to work with Scally. Scally is one of the most talented mense in the world ever, he don’t even know it. Who else would I really like to work with? I’d like to do something with Malema, I don’t know how far-fetched that is. Even if it’s just him saying some shit. That would be kak interesting. I don’t have time for boring anymore. Boring is so fucking boring. I wanna work with people that have balls.
Do you get excited by the Cape Town scene anymore?
No, that’s exactly the motivation for this thing. I don’t know, Cape Town hip hop has become boring as fuck. Everybody is metaphorical, if you’re not metaphorical then you’re bling or you try to be me.
Why do you think it’s so kak?
I really think a lot of Cape Town hip hoppers don’t have balls. They’re too afraid to try something new so they’re just followers, you know. They’re too afraid to say ‘yo, I like rock music’ or ‘yo, I dig fat chicks’ or ‘I wank a lot’. Anybody fucking wanks. If you’re a man, you’ve got a dick, you’ve got a hand, how can you not want to wank. Nobody has got balls, they’re like what is my crew gonna think? Fuck you crew, bra. Why don’t you just be a man and say what the fuck you want to say. That’s personally what I think about Cape Town hip hop.
So the shows going down on Friday (tonight), what can we expect and how do you feel about it?
The details is 103 A Harrington Street in town. It’s called Blitzkroeg. It’s from 7-10. We’re gonna be on stage from 8-9. It’s a private party, bring your own booze. It’s for free. We will be selling CDs, R50. There will be strippers, live tjappies and gangsters, definitely. And there will be blood.
Check out the published version over at Mahala.