30 July 2006

The Long Arm of the Law

Me and my friend Shaqir went to see a film yesterday evening at the documentary festival. Coming back, when he took me to where I am staying, we kept on chatting in the car for a long while in front of my place. We always tend to do that anyway but this time the situation took a different and, for me, brand new turn. Police passed us once and Shaqir payed attention to that, as a part of his South African and struggle intuition immediately and commented that they may be coming back soon which they did after some minutes and then he said that soon they are coming to search us. For me this sounded like an assumption that was a bit far out but then within the next minutes exactly what he had told me happened. First they asked him to leave the car with his hands on top of his head. I remained in the car until it was being announced that the person on the passenger seat, which was me, must put the hands where the police can see them after which I saw a man with the gun pointing at me, which he by the way denied afterwards, asking me to step out of the car with my hands on top of my head. I walked out where I saw Shaqir on his knees in front of the policeman. I suppose I should mention that all the police were white which explains why I was not asked to get on my knees although I kept on asking them why are they bothering us for and what have we done to deserve this awful treatment and why are they harassing us for but a man with a rifle told me that they are going to explain it soon. I said I rather heard it now than soon as the situation was what it was and quite frankly I do not think they expected to get a white person in the car anyway and Shaqir kept on saying that he is a foreigner.

Finally when nothing was found they said that the corner shop had been robbed several times and this was a routine search, which Shaqir’s friend who is a police officer himself confirmed not to be true shortly after the incident. I asked them are they not going to apologise to us but they felt that there was nothing to be apologised for.

I do not know what to think but after spending some time in South Africa I have been harassed by the police and not the robbers. I am not saying that the crime does not exist but all I am saying is one for the cops, zero for the bad guys. Simple statistic and conclude what you want. I hate to be prejudiced but I must say that this incident did not change my opinion about the policemen or the white South Africans. Many people from both groups are nice people but majority of my experiences with both have been more on the negative side. I suppose that is also some kind of a statistic by itself although I have not got any actual figures for it.

So maybe they were just doing their job protecting the area and maybe we just happened to be in an unfortunate role of suspect. Who knows but where I come from, and trust me the service is appalling back home, even when a cleaner must hoover the floor and you are standing on his/her way, they do not just come and push you from your place because they are just doing their job. They say, "sorry, can you move a bit". So if even they would say "sorry", because they must ask you to step aside and all they are doing is their job, then why are these policemen refusing to apologise for pointing the gun at me?

29 July 2006

Fruits of our labour

Last night me and my friend Shaqir went to see a really cool documentary about Tsietsi Mashinini a student leader and organiser of June 16th demonstrations in 1976. It is the South African Documentary Festival time here and on the roster there are many good films I wanted to see but not time for any of them. That is unfortunate. In the film something very interesting was said about the events thirty years ago. When people talk about it everyone mentions Hector Petersen, a thirteen year old school boy who was the first to die to the bullets of oppressor but he was just a victim. He become the face and the symbol even so that now the museum in Soweto, Johannesburg is named after him but the leaders of the demonstrations never get any credit. They did not belong into any major political movements but their influence, or the influence of this demonstration they organised has been praised as the starting point to the final part of the struggle.

Also the design work for the Kingdom of the Next CD for ENDZ starts to be finished. Few more text things and tomorrow, Monday, we can hopefully finish that completely. Here is the actual front cover without the rest of it.

Few more fotos...

Last week I could not get all the photos up that I wanted so few more here.


Table Mountain and the Waterfront harbour with its ships from the shore

Shipwreck at Robben Island and Cape Town and Table Mountain in the horizon

Mr Mandela's old cell window

Robben Island maximum security prison yard

28 July 2006

Solution, but to a different problem

I bought few different things today including a new kind of pasta sauce (was so so at best), a second hand book about different African contemporary music styles (well contemporary yes, but book was written 1985) and some Finnish licorice that they sell in a shop nearby. Oh and of course the flight tickets to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania for the next Tuesday.

I am quite exited about going as for some reason Tanzania has always been a country I have wanted to visit but I have always gone somewhere else. Now I am getting ready to fix that. It is only for two weeks but I do not even worry about that.

When I got my tickets I noticed something rather disturbing though which actually raises a very interesting question. My departure is from the Cape Town airport which I always thought was just called Cape Town International Airport but the itinerary says D F Malan Airport instead. If that is not enough my layover is at Jan Smuts Airport (Johannesburg), which I thought was already called Oliver Tambo International Airport. If you have not got an idea what I am talking about then let me explain that Malan was the first prime minister from the National Party (NP) at 1948 when apartheid was established. Before that, the system was hardly equal and dominated by the people of British origin but after -48 elections under the blessing of Dr. Malan things started to get worse from the already bad. Jan Smuts was the prime minister a bit earlier and although more moderate in the big picture still not exactly a best mate material.

Now the question that this raises, as I said it would do, is that how important it is to use money for changing the names of the places, streets, airports, schools, squares, cities and practically everything possible that are named after the people who were involved with the country’s bleak past when there is so many things were the money could be used in order to balance the system? How important is the pride of the change? To have a Malan Airport is like to have Göring Strasse in Berlin, or rather in Warsaw. I am not even attempting to answer this dilemma although seeing these names make me sick in my stomach but I also acknowledge that for instance changing the name of Pretoria into Tshwane took a lot of money and in this country ever second street name should be changed and then one must think is the housing more important than a street name? Is the name of the airport more important than to fix the education system which is still very much struggling with the legacy of apartheid and its ridiculously unjust way of teaching children different things depending of their background (and with the logic of the system, also their future). Surely the education is important but what if the school is on a Botha street, then is the message not a bit confusing?

As I said I have not got an answer to this one. If I did I would print a T-shirt about it, compose a song and declare myself the greatest philosopher of modern times.

Although the dilemma remains I must actually to check whether these are still the actual names of the airports because I have not heard them being used before. If the travel agency is running twelve years late with their database then I must write them a very angry letter, but for now I must assume that they were correct. As I said it is not only about the airports but all sorts of street names. It was just them that brought this thing in my mind.

Back to the starting point. It feels good to get back on the road tip like back in the days. Sometimes in life the plans change but one must never stay and lie in the crossfire. That may just be the only lesson that I have from my military service and even that I only use metaphorically (probably I would lie in an actual crossfire, but I hope I will never find out). Another thing I do not mind actually is to leave the winter weather of Cape Town for a while as it reminds me of the English winter with its rains although it is much warmer. It still is nothing very special. I am looking forward writing more experiences next week and hopefully get some photos up as well.

26 July 2006

Design work

One of the things on the agenda for this trip in Cape Town was to help out with few weblogs and MySpace sites for my friends here. So far few blogs have been opened and one is already up and few times updated. I hope that soon enough I can link few more but for the time being you can go and check the original Hip Hop show of Bush Radio, Headwarmaz new blog which is done with the same layout as mine.

As I mentioned, few more on their way but for now I am busy with something more demanding. I have been entertaining this idea of starting to do more graphic design as so far it has just been a hobby and only for a very short while. My friend Endzi asked me to design her album cover and I must say that doing the mock ones or something out of your own creative idea is much easier and stress free than to actually try and capture someone else’s idea – especially when it is a complicated one. Well I have few versions ready now of Kingdom of the Next and I quite like one of them but for me to design a cover it takes a fraction of the time than it does to record an album. So it must be very good and most of all it must be just about what the artist hoped for.

I must keep on working with this project. Last thing I want is for the artist to be happy with music but not with the look of the record and as I wrote before in my tips for independent artist – the product must look good.

For now nothing else to write home about. The next few weeks may see
something quite exiting though.
This photo has got nothing to do with the cover but is of Endzi. I will post the end produt when it is done.

My Pilgrimage

Usually I am rubbish when it comes to going through the tourist spots of any city and even in my own home, I struggle coming up with the ideas of where to take the visitors. It has been a bit like that here in Cape Town as well. I have not been to too many of the hotspots for a lot of reasons. I suppose one is that I am mostly very busy here working and secondly I hate to be reminded that I am a tourist but it always happens when I see other tourists. It is like a look in the mirror when you have gained a lot of weight – makes life easier when you skip it.

Since I came here for the first time some years ago I though that I will go to the Robben Island eventually but I have never been in a hurry, because I have known that I will have time and that time will come. I have also been a bit afraid of how it would feel to go there to the scene of so many incidents that I have been reading about for the past some years. The ones who knows me can probably testify that this was nothing short of a pilgrimage for me.

Finally this week I made my way to the ferry and travelled approximately an hour on the sea to the infamous island which has given “home” to South African leaders from of the Khoisan people and later on most of the political prisoners of ANC, PAC and Black Consciousness Movement.

I must say that after hearing that the tour itself is not that good, I was very positively surprised. Once arriving on the Robben Island harbour we took a guided bus ride which took us around the island to the different places such as Robert Sobukwe’s small prison, Lime quarry where lot of the South African future was talked about when political prisoners such as Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki (President’s father) and others where doing hard labour as a part of their unjust punishment and finally we were dropped at the maximum security prison. The place that was home to some of the greatest people of our time for decades. The bus tour was okay, not quite what it could have been as we could not leave the bus and if you were not sitting by the window, like I was not, the view was far from very good. I do understand why the tour was like that because the amount of tourist that come to the island and the size of the place would really create a problem if people could freely wander around as long as they wanted. It is unfortunate but I do understand that the whole tour must be very organised and structured which does not make it the most interesting to me but then again, it is not always about me, is it.

The lime quarry of Robben Island - the dust from here is a major reason for illnesses that lot of the former political prisoners are having.

The maximum security prison was the most emotional part of the journey for me. To look into the small cells behind the bars where some of my heroes slept for years. That tour was guided by an ex-political prisoner who had been living at those conditions for five years starting from his seventeenth birthday. His stories about his torture, both physical and psychological were hectic and I believe it speaks volumes that he had such a passion while talking considering that he gives several tours everyday.

I could have spend much more time at the prison that we did. It was almost spiritual to be on the door of Mandela’s cell but at the same time I never found out which was Sisulu’s one. Not that it would be that important but it was very much build around Mandela’s character when so many people were contributing to the same events.

Mr. Mandela's cell

That also is understandable for many reasons. One of them is that it was actually Walter Sisulu, if I remember correctly, who made the decision that ANC should start campaigning for Mandela’s release from inside as he knew that releasing one would very likely mean releasing all the rest of them but people, especially in the “west”, like to have a face for everything. So Mandela became the face of freedom and that makes sense and when almost all the visitors to the island seemed to be foreigners from the “west” and quite frankly not everyone seemed to have any idea where they were, it is the best bet to just concentrate on the more simple things.

It was sad not to see many local people who the leaders where fighting for at the trip. That by no means is the fault of the locals but the price which was 150 Rands (approximately €15) so quite frankly I could not really expect many to be able to pay that whilst unemployment is a major problem in the society and especially in the townships. I can only wish that the ones in charge would adapt the same system as in Zimbabwe where tourist pay the full price but locals rather nominal amount if anything. Looking at how many tourist were there I doubt that it would even affect very much on the economics but it would give people a chance to see what they and their leaders were facing during the struggle. It is to them that this place belong to and it is them who should be able to visit Robben Island.

15 July 2006

Few tips for local and independent artists

Doing the show as I do at Bush Radio gives me a prime spot to see how many things happen within local music industry/culture. I also feel that having followed these music and radio things in few different countries gives me just enough authority to write down few tips for the artist trying to get their music heard. You may disagree with me and you have got the democratic right to do so but this is how I see it.

1. Funnily enough my lecturer made a similar list for the students in university and his list started with "show up in time". That is the most important thing. I had people coming to my show to promote their event and they never came and never informed me about it. I hate to sound like too important media person, but it may be pointless to complain about not getting support from radio if you can afford a no-show without informing the station or the producer. Do you think I am making arrangements with you again? I know I come from the northern European background where one is taught to be five minutes early instead of being in time but in radio the time is very important. My show starts at certain time and ends at certain time and news are every full hour. If you come one hour late and five minutes before my show is over I cannot take you on air because my show ends. Next show starts and life continues – you missed your chance I am afraid.

2. Think about different ways of getting your music noticed. World is full of artists and songs and major stations and shops are likely to support the corporate friendly mainstream music. It is industry and not a cultural activity so you need to find different platforms. If you cannot get a gig then try to organise one yourself. Promote it and try to make it an event. The first one may not be but if you keep on doing this at some point someone will notice that you are worth their time and money – that is if you are worth their time and money.

3. Get online and do not be afraid of people getting your music for free. It is called promotion. How can anyone, except your mum, buy a record they have never heard of from the artist they know nothing about. MySpace is naff, I know, but it is the best available. Try that and start networking with people who can benefit you. Maybe the ones who you can organise an event with.

4. Try to make your product, whether it is website, blog, CD or a flyer look professional. If it is demo and even when it is not, make sure that the name of the group and the songs are clear enough. Sometimes I see Hip Hop crews bringing in burned CD’s with cryptic tag style marker scribbling which may or may not be the artist or the song or neither. It is hard to support a track that you cannot name. Also make sure that your contact details are available. It would be silly to send a demo to a record company if they could not contact you back.

5. It is tough business. You must keep on trying and approach people you need to contact or find another way of doing things. I personally think music industry is evil and that is the reason I am not trying to make money out of it. People are arrogant and especially many, who work for bigger companies are rather full of themselves because they feel that free VIP parties are actually making them VIP. I recommend finding another ways of getting your stuff out. Read about the business and learn as much as you can about it. Don't wait to be found from your living room while you are watching eMpTVy.

6. Studying radio stuff I meet several people who feel that in order to be a radio presenter/DJ/journalist you don’t need to know your way around the technology. I try to avoid working with people with that attitude and as a musician, unless you have the money to get sound engineers and professional studios, you must also learn to be creative with the equipment. Use mattresses and whatever you can find to create mic booth and beware of the mic popping and resonating vocals. Sound quality of your song is possibly more important than the song itself if you want it to be played in radio. Don’t screw your chances just because you didn’t want to learn how to record properly.

7. Support other local artists. This one should be obvious – how can you expect anyone buy your record if you don’t buy their records or other local records. If you religiously go and buy the flavor of the month R&B CD then why would anyone else think differently. Behavioral change needs to happen and you must be in its first wave as a role model.

8. I am sure that there are millions of other things to consider but I will keep mine in eight. If you feel that things that I have mentioned are out of your reach or capabilities, don’t lose your hope. Just find someone who can help you out with these. You don’t have to know about all these things but network and find people who can design CD covers and mix tracks and record good quality. Being an independent (note not unsigned) artist or a band is great but hard work if you have to do everything alone.

If you are keener on just doing art, which I find just as great, then you do not necessarily have to worry too much over these things. I recommend you to, and let’s face it, why to record poor quality just because you want to make art. Not many of these thoughts, actually none of them are something that I have invented and that is why I am not trying to take credit on them but all of them are common sense. Feel free to take these as your thoughts and tell them to the next people.

11 July 2006

Photos from along the way.

I have taken quite a few fotos from Cape Town this time and some of them are online now as well. Go and check them out here.
Peace, Mikko

Racism in Football

The general question regarding the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa is, is the country ready to organise them and will all the necessary structures be in place for the deadlines. Quite frankly to me it seems like something that quite easily will get done if there is a will and surely there must be as the tournament is arriving to the mother continent for the first time. For me the real question is actually completely different – will the football be ready for South Africa and 2010?

In the World Cup Final last Sunday night the French captain Zinedine Zidane was given a red card in the match against Italy for a knocking an Italian player with his head. At this point I must say in the name of honesty that I was on the French side and I wished them the victory and a small part of my anger in this topic is about the fact that I don’t like the way the Italians play football – fall down crying when someone breathes towards them on the pitch. Why Zidane did what he did is not quite clear yet. He was being provoked verbally by Italian player and what was being said is not quite sure yet, but it seems that it has either being something racist or something offending the family and possibly it has been a calling Zidane a terrorist. Italian player, Marco Materazzi, says that he definitely did not use the word terrorist as he doesn’t even know what it means. It is not that he is struggling with the different definitions of the term or the notion "one’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter" but he actually admits being ignorant just in general.

Due to the fact that I don’t know exactly what was said I can’t really say what is what but if, and it is still a big if (yet something that would not surprise me at all) something like I mentioned was being said he is the one who should have been kicked out of the pitch. It does not justify a physical violence but it still is unacceptable.

The trouble with football and sports in general is that even when they spend so much time analysing the game from various different aspects, they often ignore the most obvious to me. It is the moral one. Football is already struggling with the monkey noise incident in Spain when Spanish fans greeted some English players who where from the Afro-Caribbean community with monkey noises and threw bananas on the pitch. If now, arguably, the greatest player of his generation, Zidane left the game with some, in his own words, ignorant Italian being racist then it really is a shame on the whole sport. If football wants to kick the racism out of it, they must start with the racists. Offer them counselling or take some other action. In any case something definitely needs to be done and quickly.

We cannot be hypocrite and tolerate this from people just because they may be some sport stars. I do not think they are very good role models for the kids if they as adults are celebrating openly their ignorance and see nothing particularly wrong in that. I wish no kid will leave the school saying I am not going to study because I want to be like Materazzi, win World Cup and be celebrated.

So football needs to do a lot of self-examination before it is ready to come to South Africa. There is four years time and I am not for a second doubting that facilities would not be ready for twenty-ten but the actual sport – I am afraid I must be more cynical with it.

Interesting interviews

I could not be much happier with the way my shows are going at Bush Radio. I have been lucky enough to get some really cool people visiting me for a chat and this Saturday was not exception. Far from that actually. Emile from the legendary Black Noise came through with Jamayka Poston from Angola to talk about their new record the Conquering Lions. Quite frankly I wish we would have had much more time as I had many things left we did not have time for. I should start doing a talk show where I could just talk to interesting people. What a great characters they both were and very intelligent. They are kind of people who talk about things you are interested in, but you probably never knew that before they mentioned it so I was happy to just listen a lot.

Emile on right and Jamayka on left at Bush Radio and Welfare State of Mind radio show last week.

I also read Emile’s book, My Hip Hop is African and Proud, and it was good read. He has been working a lot in Sweden so it was fascinating to read how he, as a person from South African culture and society just like so many of my friends, experienced the Scandinavian culture where I was brought up in. I must let all my friends here to read it so they can understand why I am walking so fast and why I am avoiding eye-contact with people on the street. Back home I would be considered as a crazy person who possibly is about to murder you if I did look someone in the eyes – or asked a time from a person I do not know.

The book is not only about things like that though. It is a collection of poetry (song lyrics), letters to the press, opinions, history, explanations to many problems and other healthy things. It is about self-love and knowledge of self.
Next week in the show I will be having Rushay from the Africa’s Gateway website talking about Hip Hop in Eastern Cape and especially in Port Elisabeth.

This country can confuse an outsider.

There was a strong rumour last week going on in South Africa that the 2010 football World Cup has been moved to Australia or that there is a back up plan for it if and when the organizers fail. It was enough to make the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter to shout ”MAMMA MIA” in his speech wondering how can this come from the organizing country itself. Apparently the rumour was just circling here and nowhere else.

The trouble in South Africa is, the way I see it as an outsider, that there is a group of people who want to sabotage everything that someone is trying to achieve. I have a suspicion what and who this group is consisted of but due to the lack of concrete evidence I do not wish to speculate about it that much here. Nelson Mandela said long ago that it is the media in the country that has set the new nation to fail.

Last Saturday on my way to work I saw a tabloid saying something like “The Logo for 2010 – Does It Work?”. Someone in this country want to make people to doubt everything. Common nominator to all this rumours and questions in the media and such is that they do not offer anything constructive. If not this then what? It is just finger pointing and trying to make the citizens of South Africa to feel that something is all the times about to go horribly wrong. That tourist should not com here because it is too dangerous and in its essence – the government has failed.

I was actually reading a website which tells tourist if you do this, you will die and if you do that you will die when I have done all the things in the lists and had fun and learned so much while doing them.

My opinion, and once again I emphasise it is the one of an outsider, while the government may have not been perfect (if someone can tell me a country with a perfect government please email it to me - I would like to learn all about it) they are definitely alone with very little support. These so-called western countries are hoping them to denounce the African in them and be a good free market western country while their NGO’s are concerned with some individuals who have been corrupted in their jobs. I work at the Community Station and when I mentioned that how about a bit of a positive news every day I got a response “there is no positive news in Cape Town”. That is quite mad, when I see them all the time just by taking a taxi (minibus) to work. There are but because no one has ever bothered to mention them they are only considered as “not bad news”.
The transition that this country has gone through is amazing to me. It is not perfect, again what is perfect – I definitely know it is not Europe, but it is getting somewhere even when “everyone” wants it to fail. I am an outsider in this country and certainly not a specialist but I wish that the true African unity and philosophy of Ubuntu will find its way to these suspicious ones so that they could start contributing positively on people’s, both South African and foreign, opinions about the future prospects of the country and also to the actual future of the country.

5 July 2006

More on swearing.

Doing a daytime Hip Hop show in radio tends to put me in the danger zone with profanity and general offensive language as I wrote earlier. I spend a lot of time editing swear words out of songs that I want to play as they rarely come as singles with the already existing radio edits. That means that I have also spend some time thinking about what is offensive and what I personally would not mind hearing on air.

The rules are straight forward. There are certain words that cannot be said in the song and there is no space for negotiation. If I accidentally play song with swearing, and I do believe it has happened few times, I do not get fired, fined or anything for that matter but in the long run surely there would be some actions to be taken.

While not necessarily encouraging the swearing I also think it is not quite as simple as every F-word is offensive. I believe that there is a difference when one is saying f*** the system that’s racist, to saying for instance f*** the so and so cos I don’t like him/her, if you get what I mean. But rules are rules.

But the rules are working against the Hip Hop music. I do acknowledge that the style of music is completely carried away with stupid and hateful remarks that could be lost but it also holds certain anger and some words are part of that expression. In Heavy Metal one can have quite a grim message from the dark side of the things which does not do any favours to the teenagers growing up and trying find their ways in the world. Take that from me because I grew up with people who only listened to that type of music and some of the things that I saw are nothing that I wished anyone to do.

Of course there is a responsibility with the parents but one must also remember that not in every country can the parents understand what these rappers or rockers say and it would be a bit hard for them to tell kids not to listen to anything that they cannot understand. World does not work like that.

Within the Hip Hop industry there is also great conflicts of message. It is obvious that to say sick things one does not need to use the f- word or any others that are prohibited. You can disrespect the women, the gays, glorify violence, ignorance and all sorts of things and still be “radio friendly”.

This is not something that I think will change in the near future and yes I can keep on reversing the swearing in the songs that I support although in my view they would not always be harmful but rather powerful. It is all hypocrisy anyway just like showing a middle finger in TV, then blurring it and sincerely thinking that we do not know which finger is being showed under the pixels. Or the way I edit the swearwords in my blog. But what the f*** are you going to do about it.

4 July 2006

Radio Unfriendly Music

During all of my previous travels in and to the African continent I have always been filled with different ideas to write about. The things that I have seen and experienced have always given me the inspiration for various creative rushes, which has always been very positive experience. This time has been slightly different As I have not had much time to read or write. I have been occupied by the research that I am doing. It is very interesting and I have got a feeling that it will turn out to be fine. Which is good because I will be doing it for the next almost a year.

Only now after few weeks have I started reading more again and now it is about the time to update my blog as well.

Cape Town looks much like it did last time around and the weather seems to be the only major change. My boss was talking in the staff meeting about how people in South Africa spend so much energy being careful and avoiding the crime that it actually is energy away from other things. This thought makes sense to me although personally I usually get the energy boost from the environment here. Not the danger side of it but the social and economical injustice which causes it angers me quite a lot and anger is a force in my life that gets me to do the most things that I do.

Sometimes the general atmosphere can also get one down. Few days ago I was buying food in Kenilworth shopping centre and the a white skinned male superior was treating a black lady working on the isle like she was dog and things like that happen all the time. It is unacceptable. People who do them like to always explain them by saying that it is the culture and so much of it is still happening and change will take long time. That is like explaining murder by saying it is the culture, it does happen often here, 55 people out of every 100 000 are murdered to be precise and that the change will take long time. Would that be a reason enough to murder someone – just because things like that happen.

On the Hip Hop side of things, and it is quite funny how I become more of a Hip Hop activist here, things are looking very vibrant. The reason for me to consider myself more of an activist here than anywhere else is because here it is a norm. In Finland one tries to stay out of the so called Hip Hop circles because they are about everything that I disagree with in the artform.

I have had some fascinating interviews so far in my
show, Welfare State of Mind, and more of them are booked for the future. This week I have agreed with Emile from the Legendary Black Noise arriving for a chat and hopefully for a live performance as well.

Strange thing happened in my show last Saturday. Or strange is a wrong word but an unfortunate rather. I had Jackal Pack, group of young Capetonian rappers in the interview and they performed a freestyle as well. Generally they were very talented and I have been following these guys for a while as they are looked after by my friend Shaqir and they are getting better song by song. I must have mentioned quite a few times to them to keep it clean and radio friendly as some of their songs had offensive lyrics which I did not agree with but I did not want to shoot them down just for that. After all of that one of the guys went on saying “motherf***in homo fa***t” in his freestyle. I was quite disappointed by that as it is exactly one of the things that I dislike within the culture but even more so I was shocked that this was something that the person in question did not see as not suitable for radio. It is quite amazing really.
That is what the big record companies feed us. This is the kind of rap music radio supports – and only this kind of music. Teenagers fail to find anything offensive in the most offensive stuff. I think we should do everything in our power to try to support positivity in music. Even if the negative message would be upfront people should still be able to understand the difference of constructive and destructive and then choose whatever they wish to choose.

It is easy to be stupid and hard to be intelligent and that is the rule of thumb in life and it goes to Hip Hop as well.

I hope the rapper in question learned his lesson and thinks about his options as an artist and a performer. Besides this two seconds of the show I enjoyed it tremendously. I do hope all the best to Jackal Pack and try to support them in my show as I can.