Music & Me
Music is me.
I've heard that sentence from many a artists and my heart cosigns.
I have always been fond of music. From an early age, my parents would play George Benson, Cindy Lauper, Yvonne Chaka Chaka & Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I'll flail my hands like I'm doing some dope choreography.
One of my childhood pics is of me topless, vinyl in hand, drool all over me, on top of a vinyl player. I lowkey love-hate that picture because it serves as reminder that music been a part of me since I was young & it serves as jokes for my family when they look at photo albums.
Ever since then, I never anticipated how much impact music would have in my life. Even when I vaguely realized it's influence, I started writing rhymes in high school under the moniker Illit, I still couldn't grasp what proportions music would serve as an important aspect to my life.
Adolescence was rigged with depression, mental health issues, puberty woes and music. I had a Sony Walkman & at the rate I played that, Duracell made a fortune off me buying batteries. Music was my escape. Music was my solace. I'm a loner and my only company is my earphones.
I listened to my uncle's scratched Sankomota CD, my dad's jazz collection but music was just a solace until I found a uniquely South African genre called kwaito. Then, music became my life.
Kwaito was derived from segregated blacks only townships when shebeens were the turn up area. The infamous Sophiatown can be attributed to a lot of kwaito artists first taste of music. Kwaito spoke my language, literally the slang we slung in corners was kwaito lyrics. It's infusion with house made it catchy and easy to dance to but I relate to your Mashamplani, Crowded Crew, Arthur Mafokate & my favorites, TKzee.
Unbeknown to me at the time, TKZee was a local carbon copy of US hip hop. The swag, the rhyming style, the flows; TKZee was my first taste of hip hop.
When I had to live with my uncle, my cousin who I regard as a brother, played me Nas feat The Firm - Affirmative Action. I remember the cover vividly, it was blue with a picture of Nas, AZ, Cormega and Foxy Brown.
Hip hop captured me.
I've seen glimpses of hip hop & liked it. The back to front clothes by Kriss Kross, Puffy Daddy's dancing, the Thug Life tattoo on Pac, the heavy breathing by Biggie. I have seen & liked that.
It's a long, painful, joyous and amazing story of how from then on I wanted to know everything about hip hop. I analyzed every little bit of info I got, I listened carefully to lyrics and even though I didn't understand the rhyme schemes and metaphors, I was enthralled.
To date, I do my bit for SA hip hop artists. I speak to & about them. I go out and support them. I don't stop there, I analyze their moves and rhymes. I applaud their wins and inexplicable way with words. I criticize freely and honestly as much as I encourage motivate and praise. I am an integral part of SA hip hop.
I'm now one of the top SA hip hop commentators.
I blog a lot about SA hip hop as I believe we have talent that can wow the world. The story telling is uniquely South African. It tells of the grime of the townships and can be flipped around to call for celebrations in the North.
I have become invested in hip hop whole heartedly. I am a writer that is aligned with all that's SA hip hop. I'm the go to guy for matters concerning SA hip hop.
My love for music got me here. I still listen to jazz to pick the samples in my favorite hip hop songs. My iPhone battery is taking a beating from all the music I play on it. I'm still a loner with earphones and hip hop is my company.
Hip hop is me.
You can follow me on twitter: @SDotJR_