14 June 2011

Second cities and their songs

Birmingham by night

It feels good to see people from places I’ve lived in to do well. In my case that’d be mainly places like Birmingham and Cape Town, but of course I have interest for other towns and cities as well and there’s a few cities I’ve lived in that rarely have any examples of people making it in the fields I’d be interested in. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

I think it must have been many many years ago when MySpace was the form of communication that I got a friend request from a young Capetonian rapper called Kanyi. My profile which I have now deleted was for a radio show I did on a local community radio and when I checked the songs from this rappers profile I realised that she was no ordinary one. By herself without a big posse on her background she was spitting the spaza rhymes I couldn’t understand but it did sound great. That was a long time ago. After that she has performed at Hip Hop Connected and more recently – and famously – stolen the show in the Driemanskap’s break through anthem S’phum’eGugs. I say she stole the show and it sounds a bit like the other guys were not on point; they very much were and the song has been one of my favourites from the album it’s from since the day one, but Kanyi; she was definitely reaching some very high levels there. Now she’s about to have her album released by Cape Town based Mo Fire Music. The album is titled Intombizifikile which means the girl has arrived. She has. This is the first single from that album and it’s available as a free download from the downwards arrow in the player.


Besides the Cape Town scene, I think very fondly of South African Hip-Hop. Well, you know I am very selective, but I love nothing more than to hear good music from those parts. South Africa is my second home country in many ways and even though I lived in Cape Town which is in the province of Western Cape, I also identify strongly with its neighbouring Eastern Cape. Eastern Cape is home of my wife and my son was born in there. It also is a home for Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Walter Sisulu, Robert Sobukwe, Oliver Tambo and others like that. Hishaam is from Eastern Cape and he’s part of Rushay’s (everyone knows Rushay for some reason) True Sight Music label. This is a cool track from Hishaam and it’s called Collecting the Grabage and it can also be downloaded from the player.


I often miss Birmingham even if I quite honestly thought I wouldn’t. Before spending four years in South Africa I spent four years in Birmingham. There’s been something about these second cities that have drawn me towards them, because before Birmingham I lived in Cork, Ireland for a year. But I am talking about Brum town now. There’s been many artists popping up from there since I left. RoxXxan for many, like me, was first heard as part of the Game Over - Female Takeover, but she’s got a mixtape on its way and a new video. Song is poppish and no doubt there’s been more substance in many lyrics, but I like this song. It’s catchy. Life doesn’t always have to be about politics and such. 


Another lady from Birmingham who was also featured on that Game Over - Female Takeover is Lady Leshurr who has released quite a few mixtapes already. Here’s another one called Friggin L. It's brand new and she’s very talented as well so go and get that.

A few other links are still coming in a next few days I am sure, but let’s get started with these ones.

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