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.

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