Saturday, 28 September 2013
Veteran Joburg MC, Jay Stash recently took to facebook to breakdown the tracks on his new album, We Keep Marching. Below is a compilation of his posts (copied and pasted and not edited).
I spent 4 years putting together the album independently .From having a J.O.B.I put in a bit of cash to work on the album, put out a few mixtapes. Met Turkish Nabz and he joined in on the journey & contributed immensely, we hustled, had sleepless nights putting work in. It was a whole lot of sweat and tears putting together this album....At some point I wanted to give up the music as a whole at times I would get frustrated, you take songs to radio and they get rejected then u feel like "But the song ya'll are playing now is too WEAK" It still happens today where radio gives u bullshit excuses why they can't playlist your music and then u hear tracks like "(Feel in)" here but see, that rejection made me tougher and smarter. I just upped my game....I thought "Aight so radio fcks with a lot of weak rappers" And at times that rejection from radio can BREAK u...if u let it. A lot of artists quit the music game because of frustrations of lack of airplay In this game you gotta be your OWN master......I did that. I took all that pain & rejection. Put it in a bottle, filled it up with water....So it didn't die out or rot. Just so I could look at it and find drive each day and push to get to where I wanted to head. Saw friends I had in the game turn into strangers...Saw love die amongst peeps I considered friends....I let that shit inspire me. Then I joined Twitter....Felt lost a bit. Like wtf is going on here....And I felt it really wasn't for me. Too many people tryna be stars here. I've always said to cats....If u tryna do u, spend less time on twitter or u hustle will be broken all because of other peoples tweets on your TL. See I tried not to let social media make me because that very same social media can break u.The fans here are heartless. Today they like u, tomorrow its another story. ...But enough with that shit...Let me take u into the album....I start with the 1st song....
Track 1.Just Like You (intro) Feat Thembeka Khumalo produced by Cristyle Peter ....We sampled 'For a reason' by Zhane...then Cristyle added beat boxing.I tell a bit of my upbringing and challenges I faced.Being bullied as a kid,always being the odd one out.Thembeka sings beautifully on the hook,the intro is broken down into speech in 3 verses,then 3 hooks.
Track 2. We Keep Marching Feat Kabomo Produced by Dome.The song is also the album title,I spit 2 verses that touch on life & its challenges,Kabomo sings on the hook,laces vocals on a verse and switches to a flow. Remarkably done,With Kage(Ex 985 member) doing backing vocals
Track 3.Auzwe Feat Skhokho Obviass Produced by Dome...The beat is kwaito/Hip Hop...I had to jump on this,we worked on concept of the song and painted a pic of what the video would be like....Now we had to find the right voice for the hook....On an odd day I went to studio & Skhokho happened to be there(I thought to myself "Hey that's that nigga from the lunch bar ad")...I asked Dome to play him the song and he killed it there and then
Track 4. 10 000 Skit.....I bet on my life there has never been a skit like this in SA music history...Its a story done by Lesiba Marokana & crew(The Generatorz crew)....Its almost 4min long.Well produced,even the acting(u can really picture what happens hear)
Track 5. 10 000 Produced by Dome...The beat of this song is heavenly sent,so atomic too.I heard the beat & I started writing a 16.....Dome caught me off guard and suggested that we flip the song and let rock people...Then he got in the booth,recorded himself on some "100...No...200...No.......1000 Yes...2000...Yes...10 000"...I was like "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat"
Track 6.I did it again Feat KayGizm(Morafe) Produced by Dome..I was in a bad space when writing this song but I tried by all means to make it fun.A little bit of word play and mockery then KayGee did what he does best,with Gomolemo Mokhine as backing vocals
Track 7.Oh Yeah...This was one of the 1st songs I recorded for the project.Produced by Dome.The song is a good feel,I'm about my day song
Track 8.Bricklayer Feat Teepee produced by Dome....I had actually canned the song from being on the album but due to #PopularDemand I decided against my decision not to include it on the album .I felt the song showed a naughty side of me that I cudnt say hardly exists no more.But in the world of entertainment and showing versatility I decided its best I listen to the fans and share the song....I open my verse with Biggies lines "I don't chase 'em,I replace 'em and if I'm caressing 'em I'm undressing 'em'(CLASSIC)....Song produced by Cristyle Peter
Track 9.Dance with my Lady Feat Nana Coyote Produced by Ruff.I was approached by the late Nana Coyotes son & he told me how he loves my work and my way of writing music.We have known each other for years so he has seen me grown musically and he proposed that I try something his his late father...He gave me the vocals and rights to use them and magic was created in the studio,I handed the producer the vocals and he created the beat...When I got into studio I was there to record a different song and I just felt the urge there and then to write and spit some sweet shit for the ladies...I had my lady in mind when I wrote this so it was all effortless.
Track 10. Game of Love Feat Brickz Mabrigado & Qhawekazi Produced by Dome....Now this is a classic,both Brickz & Qhawe killed it,the song speaks about the good and the bad in relationships,Qhawe sings about her tiredness of dealing with love and how she no longer what's a part of it...Myself and Brickz paint a picture of words.The chemistry amongst all 3 artists is amazing,great synergy
Track 11.Perfect Produced by Dome...With Gimboss on the chorus .This song is a special dedication to the special lady in my life.Sometimes the older u get,the more you start appreciating the most IMPORTANT of things,the beat is on steroids,something waaaaaaaAay different.Gimboss sings so rough but in a sweet captivating way.....The song was kept in studio and it was just for me
Track 12. 4 The Sistaz Feat Teepee & Ntsiki Mazwai Produced by Cristyle Peter I have to say,Cristyle style of production is so UNIQUE.I have never heard Teepee come out this strong,smooth and powerful on a song .Ntsiki delivers a sweet but realistic poem that paints a sad picture of the reality of what young women go through today and the challenges some of our mothers go through....I lace a verse speaking about the woman who used to be driven and inspired to achieve but now she drowns in her own sorrows of self hatred,hating the woman she's become,how she has compromised and lost herself all in the name of love...Hating her life,she dies a silent death of self hatred
Track 13.Love You Better Feat Shaun Soulo Produced by Shaun Soulo This is by far one of the most powerful SA Hip Hop songs of all time,if not the MOST.This song tackles issues dealing with poverty,child abuse,appreciating life,it also questions the act of rape,speaks on H.I.V Aids.....It opens with a line that says "We all need someone to love us,someone to love you better,to make it better"....Victims of Aids need love too,our sistas and mothers that have suffered from rape need to be loved too...But it all starts with us,we need to raise out kids right,teach them right from wrong but MOST importantly LOVE them better,love them enough so they can love the world better.
Track 14. Don't Mind 'Em Feat JoLondy and Kid Nemo Produced by Ruff. The beat and hook of this song are so WOW.The song speaks about how people will judge you and always have the first say about your life when they don't even know the half....I flipped it a bit by using the 1st verse to make it a bit personal of the things that drive and break a relationship,jealousy and envy being at play too....The second verse Bigs up the galz that give it up at the clubs,strippers,prostitutes,bo makhwapheni,independent women and all.....This verse is a big up on as fcked up as it may be some of this people do play efficient roles in keeping things in tact and regardless of that they have their own reasons what whatever they do so no matter how we can judge or talk them down....They shud walk proud and keep their heads up and never mind what people say.If a woman is selling her body just to feed her kids then why shud we judge her hustle? New boy,Kid Nemo closes it off with a nice mean verse
Track 15.Mama Le Papa Feat Anele & Prophet Month Produced by Ruff and SK (Originally produced by Side Effex...then Dome) Originally this song was a Stimela 'Take the child away' sample.I later found out that the same producer had given Jub Jub the same song,it put us in an awkward space as we been boyz but we hadn't seen each other in. A while next minute we caught in between whose gonna get to use song.I wasn't willing to budge and so wasn't he. On the song I talk to my Mom and Dad and thank them for the love they have given me,the wisdom they have shared.My dad shed tears when I played him the original(Stimela sample version).....The song did what I had planned for it to do..To make a grown man cry.I wrote a letter of motivation and a request to Ray Phiri asking for permission to use the sample....It was declined.It broke me,u can imagine after the Jub Jub thing.
Track 16.My Story Produced by Ruff I cud say this is one of the realest songs I have ever written in my life.On this song I talk about how I went from being this chubby kid with a low self esteem,the friends I've made and those that past on.The song is an ode to my childhood friends and family,it pays respect to the Le Club era,taking us back to the whole Rap Activity era but then gets more personal where I even holla back at Skwatta Kamp on that long squashed beef and I salute the SK homies......This song is some sad,deep shit all together.You will love it,its an honest song that most brothers and sisters out there tryna live with relate to.It epitomizes the spirit of not giving up,marching on....I share my story,in my eyes and experience.My man JoLondy comes through powerful on the hook.The song also thanks the fans and reflects on the love I've had,the life I've lived.
Track 17.Saba Le Summer Skit This is a funny skit done by the Generatorz crew...Another storyline which ends up making fun at Brickz.I played it to Brickz and he laughed at how they mock him on the skit.....Good work from Lesiba Marokana and his team
Track 18. Saba Le Summer Feat Brickz Produced by Dome Now this song has enjoyed airplay for just over a year where I put out 2 versions of the song.....This version is the one that made the cut for the album.Yall never heard it before except for the snippet on the album sampler mixed by Dj Papercutt.The climax and feel of this song puts one in a vibrant state.Again the amazing chemistry between myself and Brigado on a song.I got the legendary Bruce Sebitlo to mix the song...Yep the grootman engineered the song......This is the last song on the album.CHESA!
Breaking down the album sleeve: If u have been following my music career from the mixtapes u will notice a huge difference on the sleeve approach...This time I wanted simplicity and to paint a picture where I'm from.I didn't want none of that professional studio ish,fancy clothes and slick poses...I wanted to give yall that rawness,an artist who is also a music lover(Check my profile pic for album artwork). I refrained from having pics inside as I wanted to have shout out like I have always dreamed of.Growing up(All those that grew up buying cds) we all liked reading the artists shout out and reading the song credits....I did that,I credited everybody,even the backing vocalist.The shout outs were 7 pages long(A4 page)...We had to minimize the font just to fit in everything.For me I felt I need to use this plaform to thank as many people that have been involved in not just my journey in music but my life too. A lot of you are gonna enjoy reading the shout outs coz they real and honest...I point fingers here and there but it is what it is......We Keep Marching.CHESA!
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Thursday, 5 September 2013
Like most kasi shows the Clash of the Titans show started very late. As we were waiting for the show to start people were slowly coming in even though the overall attendance was not that good. The show started off with an open mic, Izulu LeSthathu, even though they didn't have their beats with them but their energetic performance got everyone bumping their heads. Alpachino and Rajea followed with a killer perfomance that got the crowed singing "Ngo". Some young talent from Delft got everyone entertained, they go by the name of "Golden Boys" and they all about "Ching Ching" (money).
Buntu Jobela did very well as a host, spitting bars in between performances and judging from the crowd's reaction they loved it. My advice to the DJ's though, if they don't practice there won't be perfection so if they won't practice they must not touch anything when an artist is performing because they nearly messed up some artist's performances with their late release of the beat while stopping it for the crowed to get the artist's bars without it.
One of the best performances on the day was One Movement, they got the crowed jumping and the sisters were screaming like crazy. Ndlulamthi, one the best lyricist you can ever find in Cape Town if not S.A. He came through and blessed everyone, we could all hear every word from him and if it was up to me he would've stayed longer on that stage. TNT Dance Crew, Wah-Li & DSO all gave in their best and I would be lying if I say I didn't enjoy their performances. Axo went in hard and got everyone lifting their feet up with "Carvela Music", I seriously think he should drop the dancing though lol. Password Crew jumped on stage, as they were performing "Home" by Dilaska sound went of and Buntu was addressing the crowd that its late and they are cutting the sound but funny enough one of the DJ's started touching the speakers and the sound was back on. The performance continued and we were blessed with "Home" followed by "I Wanna Be There", all the acts performed 4 tracks but Buntu was going on about time and wanted them to perform only two because Vegita and Madness were also waiting to perform. After begging and begging and Ncedisa joining in they were given a 3rd joint and Dilaska perfomed an unreleased track that is on his upcoming album, the track is featuring Ncedisa titled "Fire Burn" and damn it goes in still remember the hook. I didn't see Phoenix there, I didn't see Naked Myndz there, but nobody bothered to explain to us what happened to them, its only fair because I payed but yeah life goes on right?
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29th of August was my birthday. In general, I don't celebrate my birthday (pronounced 'I'm broke'). This year was poised to be nothing different. I was home all day, with nothing but wishes from peeps via facebook and twitter to make my day seem a bit different to any other regular day.
However I did have something to look forward to that evening. After attending a workshop held somewhere in Woodstock by veteran producer, Arsenic and MC, Youngsta to give an insight into DNA - the album they were working on, a week before the official launch, I knew I just couldn't miss the event. Well, clumsy me was late for the workshop but I managed to have some chats with both cats separately and got to learn a few things about the album. Having heard the two singles that were released on the same day, the 18th of August (if I'm not mistaken): I'm Broke and Good work with the latter featuring scratches by the legendary DJ Azuhl, I was really amped (for the lack of a better word) and anxious. Both singles leaned heavily towards the Boom Bap side of things. That shouldn't come as a surprise if you know Arsenic. The content, even though relevant, was still nothing that new from the hard-working rhyme-spitter - still Youngsta going on about his work ethic, the response from the fans and the daunting fact of being broke after all that.
So when I got the invite on facebook to the launch, I knew I had to make my way there whatever it took. And it did take quite a lot. But that is a story for my autobiography coming...never mind. So yeah, I made my way there. I got there really late (again). I was however lucky that I had missed none of the performances. I had however missed the DJ sets (and sadly DJ Azuhl's one as well). I was impressed by the turn out too, heads came in their numbers and I spotted a few "celebrities".
Apart from Youngsta, on the line-up was Bonzaya and Andy Mkosi (who are both working on albums with Arsenic and his Metaloid Lab label). The host of the night was Arsenic's partner and spouse, DJ Ruthy Pearl who did quite a great job - no bullshit, just hosting the event, introducing cats and giving an insight into who they were before they hit the stage. Arsenic was on the ones and twos with two turntables and a drum machine. Up first on stage was veteran MC Bonzaya. He did what he always does and that's rapping. I have respect for this cat but my criticism has always been his content-based approach. He pretty much just raps and adds nothing to his sets. His hooks are always rapped and quite wordy thus failing to get stuck on the audiences' heads. But he did say that his music appealed to those who are into lyrics and content which I'm sure it does. Don't get me wrong though, dude is a good MC and he held his own that night.
Right after him was half of MelloVizion, Andy Mkosi otherwise known as AndyLeigh to render her set. She held her own as usual. She also did a great deal of interacting with the audience. Somewhere along her set, she brought her buddy, MC, Supreme Soul to hype her up and dude did exactly just that. Overall she gave a laid back yet solid performance.
After Andy, was the man of the night, Mr 25 mixtapes and 6 EPs himself, and that's none other than Youngsta. I've seen dude perform a couple of times and in none of those times did he come close to giving a lackluster performance. I was really curious to see how him and Arsenic would blend - and blend they did. Arsenic was playing the beats live on a Roland Sp404 with an Akai MPD controller and Young'n kept the crowd captivated with his smooth and at the the same time 'hard' flows. What impressed me more was his lyrical content and his effortless delivery antics. I've always known dude to be cocky but there was not much of that on the night. He was spitting pure sense - a very rare feat in Hip Hop these days. He called out his pals, the Y?Generation to help him out on one joint. Honestly, they didn't bring any mind-blowing features to the set and so did a vocalist he invited to help him on one joint. But overall, dude's performance was worth the cover charge at the door.
In general, the event was a success and I really couldn't locate any flaws (and I tried really hard). The performances were on point, the sound was crisp, the lighting was stellar and the audience was very attentive and responsive. The event did achieve the aim which was to launch Metalloid Lab Productions and the artists they are working with.
All photos by Sarah Isaacs Photography
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Hip Hop Kaslam is an NPO and pioneering movement that provides a platform for young rappers to perform in languages indigenous to Africa.
Join us in our second annual Hip Hop Kaslam Spaza Awards, where we will celebrate a unique hip hop genre emerging from the streets of urban townships, Spaza Hip Hop. Rising talent ranging from Spaza emcees to beat makers to poets will be awarded during the celebration, for pushing this edgy strand of Hip Hop forward. Audiences are encouraged to come to the event; it promises to be a kaleidoscope of Cape Flats entertainment!
Best Spaza Album:
Emage Gaz' Lerhumusha – Muzik Bizness (Khayelitsha)
Gudfellaz – First Attack (Khayelitsha)
Ndlulamthi – Isbhilivane (New Cross)
Best Spaza Beatmaker:
Big Weazy's Classics (Phillipi)
The Ghost (Strand)
Best Spaza Group:
M4M Crew (Mfuleni, Delft, Phillipi)
Mic Killaz (Khayelitsha)
Real Hood Rappers (Dunoon)
Uzwi Kantu (Khayelitsha)
Best Spaza Lyricist:
Maboys (Eastern Cape)
Ndlulamthi (New Cross)
Noqhakancu (Eastern Cape)
Sibah Anne (Nyanga)
Best Spaza Male:
Emage Gaz’ Lerhumusha (Khayelitsha)
Maboyz (Eastern Cape)
Moxion Rox (Cape Town)
Polecat (Cape Town)
Sibah Anne (Nyanga)
Sphura EC (Delft)
Best Spaza Performer (people’s choice award):
Sphura EC (Delft)
Best Spaza Song (people’s choice award):
Cash Inc – Never Hurt (Mfuleni)
Cruiser – Mama no Tata (Cape Town)
Emage Gaz’ Lerhumusha – iCherry Yerhumusha (Khayelitsha)
Gudfellaz – Mthande Naye (Khayelitsha)
Lyrix – All my Life (Cape Town)
M4M Crew – Show Time (Mfuleni, Delft, Phillipi)
Maboyz – Buya (Eastern Cape)
Masta Myndz – Sneaker Sam Siskoni (Milnerton)
Mic Killaz – Jesus Piece (Khayelitsha)
Moxion Rox – So What? (Cape Town)
Polecat – Intsikelelo (Cape Town)
Pozi – Love Affair (Strand)
Real Hood Rappers – This is how we do (Dunoon)
Sibah Anne – My Life (Nyanga)
Sphura EC – Ndiyabulela (Delft)
Best Vernacular Poet: Black Chick (Phillipi)
Cya da Poet (Cape Town)
Mnqobi da Zulu Poet (KwaZulu Natal)
Noqhakancu (Eastern Cape)
Best Spaza Video:
Hip Hop Slavers - One Day (Kraaifontein)
Rivln Clique - Sondela Kubawo (Phillipi)
Sibah Anne - Ben10 (Nyanga)
Slippers – Ndivoteleni (Khayelitsha)
Snarks Ou - I'm in (Khayelitsha)
The nominees will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of judges which consists of hip hop industry professionals. They are required to vote based upon quality alone, and not sales, popularity or personal relationships. There are two people’s choice awards, Best Song and Best Performer, which will be voted by the audience on the night of the Awards and one award – Best Hip Hop Kaslam Supporter – which the founders of the movement, Dat and Lady P, will decide upon.
The Spaza Awards will be taking place on Saturday 14th of September 2013 and will run from 5pm till 8pm at Baxter Concert Hall in Rondebosch. The dress code is ‘blinged up’. Tickets are R50 and are available from Computicket, Shoprite or Checkers outlets. Block bookings of 10 or more pay only R40 a ticket. A bus will be available to pick up and drop off audiences in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Delft; the bus is sponsored courtesy of Solomons Bus Service.
For more information contact LadyP on 082 352 6490 or email email@example.com.
For interviews and picture requests please contact Lady P on 082 352 6490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links Twitter: www.twitter.com/HipHopKaslam
Facebook Awards Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/140452032760234/?ref=ts&fref=ts