• AUTHOR
Vus
VUS.ISM: 80'S BABIES - MUSIC AND LIFE I
11H17 FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014
  • SHARE
  • STORY

8380smusic.jpg

I recently read an exceptional piece of writing by The Roots’ ?uestlove on “How Hip Hop Failed Black America”. I think anyone who has any type of interest in music has a duty to read this series of essays.

While reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder how music had contributed in shaping us into the adults we are today as 80’s babies. Obviously, we cannot talk about the history of hip hop in South African black society in the same vein as Black America, our scene in infantile in comparison. However, we did have something that was more than an equivalent; Kwaito. I say ‘did’ because, as it stands, kwaito is currently not even a shadow of the musical juggernaut that it once was, yet we owe so much of who and what we are now to what was once called ‘Sgubhu’.

I was born in 1984, which means that I was not entirely ‘conscious’ of the political strife that the country went through. My memory wasn’t fully developed to capture the pain and turmoil indelibly. My earliest memory of music were struggle songs or ‘songs of umzabalazo” as they were called. Ancient African rhythms that were now infused with political vex, chanted by amaComrades as they prepared to stand up to an unjust system. I remember my brother teaching me “kill the boer, kill the farmer” in the late 80’s like it was a nursery rhyme.

In terms of recorded music, Bubblegum as a music genre was slowly but surely losing its grip. It was a music of generation that was now growing old and beyond hype. Chicco Twala, Dan Tshanda and the likes had peaked. Brenda Fassie had cracked open the old guards' façade of jovial folk music and she had made pop music a veritable wrecking ball against the architecture of apartheid. She got the old and young dancing while still reminding them that we still needed a black president.

There could not have been a better time for it. In the early 90’s South Africa was on a knife’s edge. On one side, we could implode into yet another African country consumed by war. On the other side, we could become a socio-political miracle the likes of which had never been witnessed.

Arthur Mafokate dropped “Don’t call me kaffir” and we knew that either way, at least musically, we were not going to apartheid. To be honest, when that joint dropped, it was not that serious for me and my peers, in fact it was a funny song. Which is what good music manages to do, I suppose, it offers respite in the toughest times without being ignorant.

In the midst of the political tension, Don Laka, the legendary jazz phenom, was about to pull off a move so inexplicable that it would change and dominate the South African music scene to this very day. He did what visionaries do, he saw; one part, the trajectory with which we were hurtling towards a new world and one part, that the youth were growing restless with what was currently on the airwaves. Together with Oscar Mdlongwa and Christos Katsaitis he formed Kalawa Records.

“It’s About Time”, said Boom Shaka. They unleashed this track and things were never the same. Kwaito was becoming undeniable force in the most inappropriate way possible. Theo on that androgynous flow, Junior on that Shaba Ranks tip and...moment of silence...Thembi and Lebo, dressed in some plastic leather briefs, dripping with sexual innuendos, gyrating their bare midriffs, pierced noses, box braids and thick thighs into our living rooms. It was so wrong, it had be right. Kwaito had moved out of obscurity and it seemed the youth finally had their own voice.

Part II |

8380smusic.jpgI recently read an exceptional piece of writing by The Roots’ ?uestlove on “How Hip Hop Failed Black America”. I think anyone who has any type of interest in music has a duty to read this series of essays.While reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder how music had contributed in shaping us into the adults we are today as 80’s babies. Obviously, we cannot talk about the history of hip hop in South African black society in the same vein as Black America, our scene in infantile in comparison. However, we did have something that was more than an equivalent; Kwaito. I say ‘did’ because, as it stands, kwaito is currently not even a shadow of the musical juggernaut that it once was, yet we owe so much of who and what we are now to what was once called ‘Sgubhu’.I was born in 1984, which means that I was not entirely ‘conscious’ of the political strife that the country went through. My memory wasn’t fully developed to capture the pain and turmoil indelibly. My earliest memory of music were struggle songs or ‘songs of umzabalazo” as they were called. Ancient African rhythms that were now infused with political vex, chanted by amaComrades as they prepared to stand up to an unjust system. I remember my brother teaching me “kill the boer, kill the farmer” in the late 80’s like it was a nursery rhyme.In terms of recorded music, Bubblegum as a music genre was slowly but surely losing its grip. It was a music of generation that was now growing old and beyond hype. Chicco Twala, Dan Tshanda and the likes had peaked. Brenda Fassie had cracked open the old guards' façade of jovial folk music and she had made pop music a veritable wrecking ball against the architecture of apartheid. She got the old and young dancing while still reminding them that we still needed a black president.There could not have been a better time for it. In the early 90’s South Africa was on a knife’s edge. On one side, we could implode into yet another African country consumed by war. On the other side, we could become a socio-political miracle the likes of which had never been witnessed.Arthur Mafokate dropped “Don’t call me kaffir” and we knew that either way, at least musically, we were not going to apartheid. To be honest, when that joint dropped, it was not that serious for me and my peers, in fact it was a funny song. Which is what good music manages to do, I suppose, it offers respite in the toughest times without being ignorant.In the midst of the political tension, Don Laka, the legendary jazz phenom, was about to pull off a move so inexplicable that it would change and dominate the South African music scene to this very day. He did what visionaries do, he saw; one part, the trajectory with which we were hurtling towards a new world and one part, that the youth were growing restless with what was currently on the airwaves. Together with Oscar Mdlongwa and Christos Katsaitis he formed Kalawa Records.“It’s About Time”, said Boom Shaka. They unleashed this track and things were never the same. Kwaito was becoming undeniable force in the most inappropriate way possible. Theo on that androgynous flow, Junior on that Shaba Ranks tip and...moment of silence...Thembi and Lebo, dressed in some plastic leather briefs, dripping with sexual innuendos, gyrating their bare midriffs, pierced noses, box braids and thick thighs into our living rooms. It was so wrong, it had be right. Kwaito had moved out of obscurity and it seemed the youth finally had their own voice.Part II | Part III | Part IV
Words & Illustration: Vus (@JustVus)

| Part IV


Words & Illustration: Vus (@JustVus)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • CONVERSATION
07 Comments  
  1. +
    Tebogo101
    4 YEARS AGO

    I remember the start of kwaito -- there was something entirely self-affirming and vibrant about it. Although some of the lyrical content at times hit the wrong spot, the call of that drum hit you at your primal core; you had to pay attention!

  2. Play GTA6 online
    get GTA6 cheat codes online
    GTA6 for XBox
    GTA6 wiki
    GTA6 images
    GTA6 releasedate
    Play GTA online
    GTA6 trailer
    GTA6 videos
    GTA6 for andriod
    GTA

  3. +
    Surtikart
    18 MONTHS AGO

    sarees
    shopping
    fashion
    clothes shops
    shopathome
    bridal surat
    clothing
    Women in saree
    clothes shop
    Indian Sarees
    pants
    saari
    surtikart
    surti sarees
    sari
    dress material
    Cash on delivery
    Sarees available Cash on delivery in India
    Dress material avaliable Cash on delivery in Surat
    sarees online
    sarees images
    online shopping
    online shopping sarees
    sarees collection
    sarees design
    buy saree online in Surat
    buy saree online in India
    how to wear saree
    online shopping store in Surat
    online shopping website in Surat
    buy sari online
    buy designer saree online
    buy designer sari online
    buy latest designer saree online
    online shopping store
    online shopping website
    best designer sarees online shopping website
    buy silk sarees online in india
    buy cotton sarees online in india
    buy traditional sarees online in india
    which is the best online shopping womens fashion website in india
    which is the best online shopping website in surat

    lehenga choli online shopping store
    lehenga choli online shopping website
    lehenga choli
    buy lehenga choli online
    buy designer lehenga choli online in India
    Buy bridal lehenga choli online in India
    bridesmaid dresses
    Buy weddding lehenega choli online in India
    wedding lehenga choli

    cotton sarees
    cotton silk sarees
    online cotton sarees

    buy salwar suits online
    buy designer suits online
    buy designer salwar suits online
    buy simple salwar suits online
    buy kurtis online
    buy kurtis online at low price
    buy long and short kurtis online at low price
    bollywood shalwar kameez online shopping
    buy bollywood suits online
    buy celebrity suits online
    buy bollywood salwar kameez online shopping store

    best dresses for women
    latest women's dresses
    best prom dresses
    best maxi dresses

    tee
    shirts
    best tee store in India
    best shirts store in India

  4. +
    friendshipday
    18 MONTHS AGO

    friendship sms
    friendship quotes
    friendship messages
    old friendship day sms
    best friendship day sms
    best friendship day quotes
    best friendship day messages
    quotes about friendship
    quotes for friends
    friendship quotes
    true friendship quotes
    about friendship
    quotes friendship
    good friend quotes
    happy friendship day
    friendship day sms
    loved sms
    best friendship sms of 2016
    what is friendship day?
    when is friendship day celebrated?
    7th aug 2016 sunday
    latest friendship sms
    latest freindship quotes
    whatsapp messages for friendship
    whatsapp images for friendship
    images of friendship
    friendship day images
    friendship cards
    friendship cards with images
    Rakshabandhan
    Rakshabandhan 2016
    when is raksha bandhan
    history of raksha bandhan
    best raksha bandhan messages for brothers
    best raksha bandhan messages for sisters
    raksha bandhan quotes
    raksha bandhan sms
    raksha bandhan messages
    bandhan

  5. +
    Radio City
    18 MONTHS AGO

    counter strike
    CS download
    cs go
    download
    free
    cheat
    counter strike 1.6
    CSS
    Counter Strike global offensive
    counter strike 1.6 download
    counter strike online
    cs 1.6 servers
    download cs 1.6
    Shooting game
    cs servers
    conter strike
    counter strike download
    counter strike game
    counter strike condition zero
    download counter strike
    cs source
    counter strike 1.6 free download
    counterstrike
    counter strike 1.6 online
    cs 16
    global offensive
    csgo betting
    C
    CS
    cs go
    counter strike 1.6 download
    csu
    counter strike online
    download cs 1.6
    1.6
    cs servers
    cs 16
    global offensive
    server cs
    download cs
    cs condition zero

    counter strike
    cs go
    counter strike 1.6
    CS portable
    counter strike global offensive
    counter strike 1.6 download
    counter strike online
    conter strike
    cs servers
    counter strike download
    cs go update
    counter strike game
    counter strike condition zero
    download counter strike
    cs source
    cs go servers
    counterstrike
    cs 16
    cs go
    csgo reddit
    csgo ranks
    reddit csgo
    cs go download
    cs go update
    cs go case
    cs go steam
    r csgo
    cs go servers
    csgo update
    go online
    download cs go
    go global
    global offensive
    csgo teams
    cs go free download
    cs free
    cs wiki
    cs go online
    cs go download free
    cs go gameplay
    cs go news

    http://goo.gl/kfzzau

    iPhone
    apple
    apple iPhone
    iPhone Apple
    iphone7 apple
    i phone 7
    apple iphone 7
    iPhone 7
    iPhone 8
    iPhone 7s
    iPhone 7s Plus
    Apple iPhone 7
    Apple iPhone 7 price
    Apple iPhone 7 in india
    Apple iPhone 7 release date in india
    Apple iPhone 7s
    iPhone 7 Price
    iPhone 7 apple
    iPhone 7 specs
    iPhone 7 Specification
    iPhone 7 features
    iPhone 7 video
    iPhone 7 images
    iPhone 7 ringtone
    iPhone 7 camera
    iPhone 7 battery
    iPhone 7 rumors
    iPhone 7 news
    iPhone 7 cases
    iPhone 7 Updated news
    iPhone 7 phone covers
    iPhone 7 offers
    iPhone 7 release date
    iPhone 7 release date in india
    iPhone 7 launch date in india
    when does the iphone 7 come out
    when does iphone 7 come out
    what is iphone 7 specifications
    iPhone 7 lock
    iPhone 7 color
    iPhone 7 black color
    iPhone 7 white color
    iPhone 7 gold color
    iPhone 7 updates news
    iPhone 7 phone case
    apple iphone mobile
    mobile iphone
    mobile

    iPhone deal
    iPhone 7 deal
    iPhone offers
    iPhone 7 offers
    when is iphone 7 releasing
    iPhone 7 best deals
    iPhone 7 best offers
    iPhone 7 camera features
    iPhone 7 mobile battery
    iMac
    MacBook
    MacBook Pro
    MacBook Air
    iPad Pro
    iPad Air 2
    iPad mini 4
    iPhone 6
    iPhone 6 Plus
    iPhone 6s
    iPhone 6s Plus
    Apple Store
    iPhone 5
    iPhone 5s
    iPhone 4
    iPhone 4s
    mobile phone

  6. +
    Diwaligreetingsmessages2016
    16 MONTHS AGO

    diwali
    happy diwali
    diwali greetings
    diwali wishes
    diwali messages
    happy diwali wishes
    diwali greetings messages
    diwali wishes in english
    diwali cards
    deepavali wishes
    deepavali
    diwali quotes
    happy diwali messages
    happy diwali greetings
    happy deepavali wishes
    diwali photos
    deepavali greetings
    happy diwali messages
    diwali wishes in hindi
    diwali diya
    diwali wishes sms
    diwali greeting cards pictures
    diwali drawing
    diwali cards for kids to make
    diwali invitation
    greeting cards on diwali
    best diwali wishes
    diwali greetings in marathi
    poem on diwali
    diwali lights
    diwali decoration
    diwali greetings messages english
    greeting card making for diwali
    greeting cards diwali design
    diwali lamp
    greeting cards diwali design
    diwali pictures
    shubh diwali
    diwali greetings images
    diwali sweets
    diwali games
    diwali video
    diwali images
    diwali wishes 2016
    diwali cards 2016
    diwali greetings 2016
    diwali cards 2016
    happy diwali wishes 2016
    happy diwali greetings 2016
    happy diwali quotes for relatives
    happy diwali quotes for brothers and sisters
    happy diwali messages for brothers and sisters
    happy diwali messages for family
    happy diwali cards for family
    happy diwali cards for cousins
    diwali greetings for friends and family
    diwali greetings for cousins and family
    diwali wishes for family
    diwali wishes for cousins

  7. +
    Homebethe
    11 MONTHS AGO

    php development services in surat,
    php development service in surat,
    online php development services in surat,
    best php development service provider in surat,
    php development services in adajan,
    mobile development services in surat,
    mobile development company services in surat,
    mobile development service in surat,
    online mobile development services in surat,
    android mobile development services in surat,
    Ios mobile development in Surat,
    Windows mobile development services in surat,
    ecommerce development services in surat,
    ecommerce development service in surat,
    online ecommerce development services in surat,
    ecommerce development services website in surat,
    ecommerce development in Surat,
    ecommerce development services in India,
    ecommerce development services in Gujarat,

Hello, there!

You have to be logged in or registered to comment.

We of the mind that, as valuable your opinion is, you are willing to stand by it?

Nó?

we (at) studio83.co.za
  • RSS