There is something to be said about language. And even though one might speak of the Spaza movement as one that still smells of breast milk, it has fast grown and gained a lot of street credibility. Well of course it depends which streets we are talking about?
In recent years, the Cape Town Hip Hop underground scene has seen a growth of the Spaza movement. I first came across this popular genre in 2003, when nomadic park-jams were the order of the day, like chicken on Sundays. For those unfamiliar with Spaza, it is a genre developed in Cape Town through Hip Hop culture. A genre, that feeds of the historical vocalism and reactionary enunciation, of taking ownership and responsibility of native tongue language at the height of Western hegemonial culture in South Africa.
Battle of Gugulethu Vol. 2 is a ‘fresh’ second independent release by Digging Deep Productions. More inclusive then the previous, the 2nd album includes a larger variety of MC’s in Cape Towns underground including Archetypes, Bhubezi, Illeterate skills, Jaysphlewid, Rattex and Vikinduku. A large number of the album is in isiXhosa with the exception of a few songs in English and one in isiZulu by Vikinduku, Poetry.
DAT’s, Mayife Lenja’s punchy and unpretentious lyrics are sure to attract even those who are not in tune with the underground and Driemanskap’s Intwenje: “baZalwa Manje bafa Namhlanje, Intwani intwenje?” besides the pessimistic take on HIV is a stronger comeback of their socially conscious lyrics since Itsho Into.
Battle of Gugulethu Vol. 2 sadly flaunts the flaws of egotism, masculine projection and a shift from activism towards consumerist commercialism.
However, with all its flaws this is still one of the ‘dopest’ underground compilations in the Cape Town in a long time and it surely holds significance as a genre that promotes native tongue language. This is surely evidence enough that the Spaza genre is fast growing, strong and is here to stay like Driemanskap says it: S'fikile qha!. Artists of note (look out for) are DAT, Vikinduku and Dla aka The Last Born.
Dla who became a member of Driemanskap when Ridonndo was sentenced to prison (who has been recently released). Dla with his lyrical poetry and sophisticated and exceptional use of isiXhosa has confidently distressed the Spaza scene. I don't know whether it's the fact that he is The Last Born but he most def is the future of Spaza. And like DAT says, “Noba awuyi ntsanywa iHop Hop asoze ungaxozeki…!” both by Dla The Last Born and by this compilation. Ubontsi!!
By Ubontsi from the streets of Gugs.