At this point you’re likely to be convinced that Cassper Nyovest’s superpower is to create the otherwise believed to be impossible. And you might just be on to something.
The rapper has once again hosted another incredibly successful concert that we will be talking about for years to come — even if and when he does something else extraordinary.
We spoke about him making history in 2015, following his debut #FillUpTheDome campaign, where he filled TicketPro Dome with a capacity of 20 000 people — becoming the first local artist to achieve that with zero assistance from international acts. Only 3000 seats were empty out of the 20 000, that is the definition of victory.
He told eNCA, that he is willing to lose all his money to leave a mark in the music industry.
‘I was about to sell my cars as well, because for me it’s not about material stuff. I’ve invested in myself and I’m invested into the SA music industry and I want to leave it in a better place. People won’t remember me for the cars I drove but the impact I had on my people and industry.’
The hands-on approach that he has on his career and the risk-taking is pretty damn monumental.
This campaign is more than about just him alone, it’s about the industry as a whole. He brought out his industry peers, the likes of Nadia Nakai, Gemini Major, Tshego, Nasty C, A- Reece, Kwesta, Riky Rick and his mentor, HHP.
He even had various artists from other genres who are great musicians in their own right, Distruction Boyz, Babes Wodumo, legendary house producer, Dj Tira, Major League DJz (wait, when it’s the half is it just Major League DJ without the z?) and others.
Cassper Nyovest, who’s gained a new nickname ‘Mufasa’ walked on a road un-walked and we’re super proud of him.
First it was a story. Then a moment. Now, two months after women began to come forward in droves to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment and assault, it is a movement.
Time magazine has named ‘the silence breakers’ its person of the year for 2017, referring to those women, and the global conversation they have started.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, said in an interview on the Today show Wednesday that the #MeToo movement represented the ‘fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too.’
In a joint interview after the choice was announced, Tarana Burke, who created the Me Too mantra years ago, and actress Alyssa Milano, who helped promote it more recently, focused on what was still left to do.
‘I’ve been saying from the beginning that it’s not just a moment, it’s a movement,’ Burke said. ‘I think now the work really begins. The hashtag is a declaration. But now we’re poised to really stand up and do the work.’
Milano agreed, laying out her aspirations for the movement.
‘I want companies to take on a code of conduct, I want companies to hire more women, I want to teach our children better,’ she said. ‘These are all things that we have to set in motion, and as women we have to support each other and stand together and say that’s it, we’re done, no more.’
It is a testament to the size of the movement that the set of Today itself, where the announcement was made, had recently been the site of such a reckoning. Matt Lauer, one of NBC’s most well-known personalities for decades, was fired last week after an allegation of sexual harassment from a subordinate.
Time’s 2017 runner-up for person of the year, Donald Trump, was accused during his presidential campaign by more than 10 women of sexual misconduct.
His lyrical prowess is lekker kwaai (did you see him create a rhyme on shoelaces on the spot?), he has a distinct sound that allows his Cape Coloured accent to permeate smoothly through the intermixed Cape Afrikaans and English.
The Wittebome artist admits to starting out by imitating American music like everyone else but found it important to have his own unmissable identity in his rap.
Inspired by old school rap artists such as Xzibit, 2Pac, Mobb Deep, Nas and more. Although his music is not exactly politically driven, he does, (through his songs) assert himself as someone who is confidently aware of the socio-economic conditions affecting post-apartheid millennials living in the Wes-Kaap.
Roberts is spiritual and soulful in his reflection of his identity, culture, life and every other thing, which significantly sets him apart from other mcees.
Dropping singles like ‘Blame God’, ‘Let Me Be Great’ and ‘Hella’ among hit tracks such as ‘Wes-Kaap’ featuring Ganja Beatz, ‘Salutas’ and the recent ‘Yasis’. He also recreated ‘Bumb The Cheese Up’ which was a Johustleburg anthem that came out in 2013, giving it a Kaapstad spin.
We caught up with ‘Mr aweh’ (we call him that) at the Boiler Room event to talk about is music and the view he has on the local rap-scene.
What does Kaapstad mean to you?
If you look at Cape Town from an outside perspective, we have a lot to offer just in terms of the culture, the transport, the food, the scenery, the way we live and survive with less and make it look like we have more. Those kinds of things you only find in certain regions of the world. Even the way Capetonians do it is different to the way the rest of the world does it. So, if you come from a place that’s plagued with extreme poverty or just poverty and survived there and have done it in such a way that you’ve manoeuvred your way without getting trapped into the extremes of it then you’re living the lifestyle that I’m rapping about. From an author’sperspective there’s a lot to speak about, that is why I say my music is based on Cape Town and if you haven’t been here, you’ll feel like you’ve been.
How important was it for you to find a distinctive sound that was independent to the international sound which is essentially the prime influence in hip-hop?
I am influenced by the American culture still, for me it’s about taking the influence and not necessarily imitating it but interpret it and package it in such a way that is attached to my own identity.
You released ‘Salutas’ three years ago and it became sort of a Capetonian anthem. Where was your headspace when you created this song and how do you feel about its reception?
You used an important word, anthem and if you look at my songs you’ll see that it is a common trend. ‘Wes Kaap’ is an anthem, I dropped ‘Yasis’ yesterday and it’s going to become that too. I dropped ‘Bo-Kaap’ a while back and it’s another anthem. My formula is to make music, not for me but for the people. I’m not selfish when I’m writing, I’m not talking about how cool I am all the time — it’s about the people and Cape Town.
Like you said, you dropped ‘Yasis’ video yesterday, what exactly was the concept behind it?
It’s been a long work in progress, I pushed it back for about two years. Psyko Beats is an amazing producers and shot by Stanley John Films. Old collaborators and i’m just glad we produced it exactly the way I’d imagined.
You featured in Riky Rick’s ‘Buy It Out’ track from his recent Stay Shining EP, how did this come about?
It’s always good when your peers acknowledge your work and i’m just glad we didn’t make just a lip service of this song. We put a plan into action and we worked hard on it. Ricky spoke to me about it, he told me on a Wednesday he wanted the verse and on Thursday I went to the studio and made it. I’m a very efficient worker also that the Capetonians can see the bond between Cape Town and JHB. Initially there was always that gap and separate vibes but now we at least tried to get together and form the bond.
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What does this Boiler Room event mean to you?
I’ve performed with Boiler Room before, the first one with Riky Rick, Frank Casino, Distruction Boyz, Nadia and Ganja Beats, we did the whole Cape and Goodhope set. I like to do special songs and performances at events that I know are going to be broadcast further than South Africa because that means I’m speaking to a global market so I have to make it work for the entire audience.
You recently toured in Australia for the second time, how did that go?
We’re teaching them and making them dance. It’s not easy because when it comes to South Africa all they know black and white, then there’s me in the middle, so they’re like so who are you? Where do you come from? And before I perform songs, I give them explanations on how to pronounce some words of the song repeatedly. It’s different to other guys shows who go there and just perform because they’re already speaking a language that they understand. So, there’s that barrier that we have to break and cross every time we go overseas but I am proud that we went and done it.
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‘Essentially, I see myself as a performance artist using hip-hop as a medium. Not necessarily a rapper because I didn’t grow up in the traditional rap-hip-hop scene, where standing in corners, exchanging raps was a thing.’
She stepped into the international arena when the video for her 2015 single ‘Keep In Touch’ with producer and rapper, Angel-Ho was featured on Afropunk. She went on to release ‘Xxplosive’ featuring Jazaryn, ‘Real Talk’ and ‘Brown Bass’ singles, the same year.
Her latest mixtape, Reimagine was released in 2016. It’s a six-track album featuring Janeli on ‘Light of the Moon (Clair De Lune)’ and Andy Mkosi on ‘Brilliant, Arresting, Extravagant’. It also includes the intro, the outro and two other songs, ‘Spose 2b’ and ‘Romance And Realism’.
You started your career in the queer scene and the influence is apparent in your music. Can you elaborate on this?
I think I’m very performative as I’m very inspired by drag queens because they’re incredible performers. If you look at my performances, you’ll see that it’s multi-dimensional, from the rapping, to the outfits and the dancing. My music deals with a lot of political stuff but in a fun way. I think queer people have always been able to make light of tough situations. That’s essentially what I do with my music.
Reimagine was released last year. What song do you resonate with the most and why?
The outro because in it, I mentioned my mother. Funny thing is, I only just returned home when I produced Reimagine. And in the six months that it took me to produce it, I was spending time with her. But after it was done, literally two days after its release she passed away. So, it’s like I produced it for her. The whole body of work focused on stuff that she taught me. It’s very clean and about my story. I don’t feel sad about it, it’s like a beautiful send off. Being able to perform it was pretty cathartic.
It’s a self-produced body of work, what lessons did you take away from this?
The reason I produced my own work is because I wanted to be completely involved in the artistic process. I didn’t want to be just the face of a song, I wanted to create a complete work of art that has a narrative running through it. But I’ve found producers who I am willing to work with, going forward.
You’ve emphasised that it is an honest story-telling of your life and a way to address racial, socio-economical, gender and sexuality issues. Can you elaborate on that?
I studied politics and public policy in UCT, so I’ve always had a very deep interest in what makes up our society. Now I’m using all of the things I learnt and still learning in politics in my music.
SA is only slowly jumping on the queer culture conversation now, what are your thoughts on that?
Conversations about the queer culture have always been there but I think there are spaces where it’s more talked about now than before. Because internationally it has become trendy so now it’s like within certain spaces you can be queer and be viewed as cool.
In 2015, you sampled Erykah Badu’s ‘Bag Lady’. How much influence does she have on your overall sound and flow?
Definitely, Erykah Badu has had an incredible impact on me but as a whole individual outside of music. As a young woman, she was this black artist with an afrocentric approach in her music. It’s important that she exists for representation, for us to see what’s possible for us.
What does being part of this Boiler Room experience mean to you?
I feel like i’ve been recognised. I’ve been travelling a lot overseas and I never felt like here at home there was an appreciation for me as an artist, although this is an international brand that’s hosting this event but I do feel like my country and my city are taking notice of me.
You recently came back from your European tour. What did you learn from this experience?
White people overseas are lit. I really enjoyed performing there and of course, I like the euros but it was quite an experience for me because all my friends are these woke black women and then I go over there and people want to touch my hair and ask me why is my hair clean. Honestly, the subtle racism, micro-agression really shocked me. I realised that we just have to be happy with our struggles here because there really isn’t a big answer overseas. Romanticising the idea of going to another country and you realise that it actually isn’t as you had pictured can shock you.
Why do you think women in rap are put on such a high pedestal?
I think it’s women in general, in whatever field that they’re working in — they will always be scrutinised. It’s overall sexism but I’d say rap is heavily men dominated. Hence you find that women rappers are always pitied against each other. The world is communicating the message that great black women can’t exist at once.
The penultimate week of November saw one of the biggest underground music event, the Boiler Room x True Music Africa shake the African shores.
This event brought to the motherland by Boiler Room and Ballentine is a four-city tour titled True Music Africa.
The first show kick-started in Cape Town, South Africa, and is set to branch out to Cameroon, Nairobi, Kenya and back in Johannesburg, SA.
Boiler Room is an online platform that opens a window into the real world underground music and subcultures that are otherwise not readily accessible.
Boiler Room’s Steven Appleyard said the purpose behind these events is to showcase new talent and the more intimate music culture to a larger audience.
‘There’s a lot of platforms that exist for big major mainstream artists to get public attention but we wanted to create something that enables the emerging artists to reach a wider and global audience.’
Tom Elton of Ballantine said this is all possible because of a proper solid partnership between the two brands.
‘We were looking for a music platform, where we could showcase the most authentic, sound credible and passionate artists to the world. We, [as partners] share the same values and it’s all about working with these artists — no ego, and no commercial benefit as a motivation. That’s what the we stand for. We started four years ago and so far, we’ve done over 20 shows and it’s great.’
The debut show which took place three years go, came at the peak of house and electronic music, featured globally renowned acts such as Black Coffee, Culoe De Song, Black Motion and more.
The duo said the first thing that struck them when they came to the country was the complete lack of ego in dancing in comparison to London, where their headquarters are situated.
‘In London people try to act all cool and you think that they’re enjoying themselves but you can’t really tell because they’re all just standing there — whereas here, you’re seeing everyone embracing the music, actually dancing and having fun.’
This time around though, Boiler Room came to shine the spotlight on local hip-hop, gqom, house and techno sounds.
The line-up featured the most pivotal artists, who are also the realest and original self-starters, including Dope Saint Jude, Youngsta CPT, Aux Womdantso, K$ and DJ Lyle.
Hip-hop jockey, DJ Lyle said this is an exciting time for local hip-hop because it’s grown and is continuously growing. Events such as this are prime example of how the local music scene is being recognised internationally.
‘I am honoured to be part of this event to be honest, we had to do interviews, shoot documentaries and information exchange. So, it was an awesome journey to be part of.’
We are sure to see the event return to SA because according to the organisers, Mzansi has the passion for music, zest for life and a real DIY attitude, where people just do things their own way and make it work – precisely what they are also about.
In a simpler time, we knew exactly who our heroes were. There was just one Clark Kent who ducked into phone booths and emerged as Superman, one Bruce Wayne who slid down the Batpole to get suited up as Batman.
But times are no longer simple. As the DC comic book characters become more central to the ambitions of Warner Bros., they appear in more and more TV shows and movie franchises. Where it once took decades to arrive at a single film in which Batman and Superman finally threw down, now there are numerous fictional worlds that exist side by side — intersecting occasionally, or not at all — where these champions reside and do battle, and even multiple versions of the same characters across several properties. It can all be very confusing.
Is there a way to solve this crisis on infinite Earths? Probably not, but this guide to the DC media universe will help explain just how complicated it has become.
The ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Though not strictly speaking a part of the current DC motion picture universe, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films — with their somber mood and multibillion-dollar box office — had an enormous influence on the contemporary vogue for caped crusaders. The ‘Dark Knight’ series told the story of Bruce Wayne’s rise, fall and redemption, and then had the good sense to end.
DC Extended Universe
Man of Steel
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
This is the hub of the DC movie system, where new characters are introduced and occasionally reunited to fight each other. But wildly differing tones and mediocre reviews — save for the unqualified hit Wonder Woman — have resulted in a shaky foundation on which to build a film franchise, and the deflated reception for Justice League this month didn’t help.
Stand-alone ‘Batman’ and ‘Joker’ Movies
The Batman (starring Ben Affleck)
Joker (creative team unclear)
These in-the-works projects will focus on characters seen in DCEU films but may not be part of official franchise continuity. A Joker movie, possibly produced by Martin Scorsese, wouldn’t star Jared Leto, the Joker in Suicide Squad, while the Batman movie, intended for Ben Affleck, may or may not star Affleck at this rate.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
An ever-growing framework of interconnected shows on The CW network, starting with Arrow and all sharing the executive producer Greg Berlanti. Two new online shows, Constantine and Freedom Fighters: The Ray, will also take place in this universe, though a coming CW series, Black Lightning, based on that DC hero, will not (for now). Legends of Tomorrow recently revealed that its universe contains Themyscira, the secret island where Wonder Woman was born and raised. The Wonder Woman of the movies, you ask? No one’s answering.
Based on the adventures of Superman’s cousin, Supergirl — which started on CBS, then moved to CW — takes place in its own distinct reality and is only occasionally allowed to cross over to the Arrowverse under unique conditions. To make life interesting, this continuity has its own Superman, who isn’t the Superman of the DCEU movies.
Stand-alone Movies and TV Shows
The Lego Batman Movie
The Lego Batman Movie imagines a colourful, kid-friendly reality where heroes and villains alike are made from plastic building blocks. Meanwhile, on TV, Gotham is set in a gloomy era before Bruce Wayne became Batman and the members of his future rogues’ gallery had grown into their fully realised, homicidal selves. Needless to say, these worlds never intersect with each other.
When all this contemplation of shared narrative universes becomes too taxing on the old grey matter, it’s nice to think about past efforts like the Adam West Batman series of the 1960s or the Christopher Reeve Superman movies of the ‘70s and ‘80s. They told their stories in two hours or less, while inadvertently whetting our appetites for more complicated worlds to come.
You know him as that Chicago nigga that came and shifted the game, confusing a lot of fans. Yep, we’re talking about Chancellor Bennett. He graces our December/January issue like it was only created for him.
He went on to win three Grammys, making history as the first black independent artist to achieve this – without selling a single physical copy.
Before we knew him as the unrivalled artist of his calibre that we now know him as, he first started as a spoken word artist and also a member of hip-hop duo called ‘Instrumentality’ with his producer friend J-Emcee.
Together they created quality projects with tracks like ‘Dear Chicago Summer’, ‘Something About Us’ featuring Daftpunk from Good Enough album and ‘In The Pen Dance’ from the Back To School album, ‘Beddy Bye’ title track from eponymous album and more.
The always-cap-wearing artist debuted his solo mixtape, 10 Day, in 2012. This mixtape’s title was inspired by his 10-day suspension from school after he was caught with the herbs a.k.a weed.
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It was so good that it was nominated for a BET award. He’s gone to feature in singles and albums of industry’s top acts such as Macklemore, Pia Mia, James Blake, Dj Khaled, Big Sean, Mike WILL Made It, SZA, Childish Gambino, Kanye West and recently, John Legend.
Colouring Book was released in 2016 and it’s worth all the hype and the tissues you obviously need whilst listening to it.
It’s the same mixtape that got him seven Grammy nominations and three wins in the Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Album and Best New Artist categories.
Chance says Grammys are super important to music.
‘As a musician, I think It’s the same thing as an actor receiving an Oscar. Do I think that the Grammys are always fully representative of a person’s talent? No. Just like Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get an Oscar until this past year. And he’s been doing his fucking thing. but I think everybody wants validation, everybody wants to feel like they did right. And I think it’s my victory. you know?’
The 24-year-old frozen-yoghurt-loving lad is also a philanthropist with a passion, care and love for his community back in Chicago. He’s done so much to change the lives of the youngins in the area through his education non-profit organisation, Social Works.