Media Lies

The media is dumbing us down and making us hail the wrong ‘celebrities.’

African people have this unnerving quality of thinking what white people say, is the gospel truth. If a white person says something…..it renders it a fact. A lot of these ‘facts’ are now keeping our local entertainment industry in a cycle of mediocrity which does not feed nor inspire our society.

Ideally, the appropriate people/voices should be occupying the appropriate spaces in the media. We should be using our tv, radio and print in a manner that can educate and empower Africans.

I don’t know if anybody has noticed but there are no conscious voices being given Prime Time slots.

Whoever owns the media knows that, giving the right platforms to the right people will only empower African people….the media cannot afford to empower African people because it feeds off our weakness.

This white owned media has chosen for us who our heroes are. Quite conveniently, the heroes it has chosen are not political, black conscious or necessarily smart.

The heroes they have chosen are ‘bodies’ which have been adorned in ‘glitz and glam’ to create the illusion that they are ‘different’ to the rest of us.

These ‘bodies’ they choose do not have voices to speak out against any injustice because ‘they have bills to pay.’

These bodies they have chosen are faces they have repeatedly splashed across media platforms. So much so that we have gotten used to these faces. However these faces don’t necessarily own THEMSELVES, or the product.

Every good marketer know that repetition works….but hey, let’s call it ‘success.’

We have music competitions on tv where none of the judges have excelled in the field of music.

The white owned media will just host auditions and choose the black the sucks up the best; or the one they think will bring audience ratings.

As a result, most of these show lack credibility and very few of the winners are really taken seriously enough to flourish independently in the music industry.

The tv show puts up a lot of capital behind the winner for a year and gives off the ‘shiny’ impression that this is a ‘star.’

The tv show then makes use of all the other media platforms (since the media is owned by the same people.)

The illusion of ‘success’ is thus created by the media.

When the year is over, they move onto the next idol and the previous winner falls off the music industry.

These music shows are not about longevity and the craft….they are about hype and a making a quick buck.

The thing about white capital is that it can take a rural girl/boy and turn her into whatever they want….as long as that body plays nice.

White media loves an African who keeps quiet when other Africans are mocked. White media loves an African that makes up an identity which emulates whiteness. White media loves the smiling African who is always ready to please.

The reality of the situation is that, if we have bimbos (males included) hosting talk shows…it means bimbos are shaping the intellectual thought process of our whole nation.

If we have ‘celebrity faces’ as dj personalities we are dumbing down our every day conversations. There are many voices in our society who have something to say, conversations which will build us as a people. If we do not use these platforms wisely, they can work against us.

If people who are not musically gifted are judging music talent shows, then there is an insincere conflict staring us in the face.

We as Africans know ourselves and we know amongst ourselves who is good at what……why are we listening to euro-Africans to tell us who our ‘IT’ boys and girls are? We cannot trust Drum, Move and Truelove covers to tell us who our heroes are. They are all run by the same people and are part of the agenda to promote these ‘bodies with no voices.’

My biggest concern is that none of these IT boys and girls ever have brain cells. Here we are saying to the African child…..’Be Ignorant.’

We are not America. We do not have to follow their model. In Africa, music and oral tradition is our way of educating ourselves and passing on information.

What is separating us from our own greatness is not creating our own media platforms where we can choose our own heroes……coz these magazines, radios and tvs are selling us manga  manga business!

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Dear Brothers in SA Hip Hop

Dear Brothers in SA Hip Hop

This letter is long overdue.

I write this letter as one of the women in Hip Hop. You have conveniently told SA that we don’t exist. Truth is….we do exist and there are MANY of us……some of us are even doper than our male counterparts and you know it.

I want to alert you of your sickness of hating, objectifying and not acknowledging the female spirit which has helped in the building of South African Hip Hop.

Owing to the fact that we intimidate you, you have boxed ‘women in Hip Hop’ as your back up vocalists or twerkers…….you do not see women as your equals. The female emcess whom you are willing to ‘co-sign’ tend to be the ones who are tomboys, crude or overly sexual. The tomboy makes you feel comfortable because she is ‘one of the boys.’(Because she is trying emulate you) The crude or overtly sexual one is about satisfying your own needs and has nothing to do with what she is saying as an emcee.

King Flabba just died and yet again I am faced with the Hip Hop community I grew up with; and got groomed by……and I feel sick.

I feel sick because we all know each other and grew Hip Hop together. We the women in Hip Hop walked a long and tiresome journey WITH you.

We were there when Hip Hop wasn’t taken seriously and we ended up hosting Hip Hop sessions in the kasis just to feed the talent.

I have hosted Splash Jam, Black Sunday, 1808, Streetpop and many other sessions which were instrumental in the development of YOUR journey Mrapper.

I have seen MANY female emcees perform at these sessions besides the hostility, who STILL managed to kill it.

BACK TO THE CITY, the biggest Hip Hop festival, in South Africa was created by a woman, Domenique Soma. Don’t you think you should give credit to the woman who created this platform which now services the whole country?

Of my generation, at least 80% of you have worked with Nothende. When does she qualify to be a woman in Hip Hop? Or is she only there for your ‘hooks?’ lol! The self importance is actually quite funny. Some of you now have day jobs and her ‘hooks’ are still sustaining her…..funny.

Most of you know that, given the same support and hype, Qba can out-rap what you have labelled as Hip Hop royalty in this country. Funny that Qba hasn’t been a hip hop IT girl when her voice and style is so unique. Most of you can’t feature her because she’ll expose that she’s the stronger rapper.

Skwatta Kamp denied Relo was a member (they kept insisting that she was a feature.) This is despite the fact that the only songs that sold were there ones ‘featuring Relo.’

I was happy when Relo left and her solo album blew up…..meanwhile their work without Relo bummed out.

The same happened with uRongo. uRongo is originally a Hip Hop track. When it came out there was a buzz about ‘are we neglecting female emcees?’- ‘Then there was silence. At which point, House producers did a remix and it ended up being the biggest selling song that year.

This was also the point where I gave you an excuse to denounce me from Hip Hop…because I had ‘sold out.’ Funny, some of your favourite rappers followed my lead (of playing with other genres) but retained their rapper/lyricist title.

I know many female rappers/lyricists which have never been given the same platform; and ‘co-sign’ you give to one another.

Kwaito was HUGE in this country. It’s not that they made better music than you…..it’s that Kwaito knew how to recognise and put forward their females. There was always a woman in the forefront.

The Kwaito performance had a balance of male and female energy-making it easier for the audience to connect. As things stand, SA Hip Hop is VERY masculine….. It is a special feeling for the boys.

All these years when you saw us at gigs, it’s not because we were your groupies. It’s because we loved Hip Hop so much that even being denied the microphone, we would come to the gigs anyways. You are artists, you know the trauma of being denied the stage. The pain of being denied something you adore…..your rhymes. Since we’ve been pushing this whole rap and flow game…..we have carried that feeling with us for over a decade.

I noticed at the last awards where Hip Hop was VERY well represented……1stly, you made no impact. 2ndly the new skul didn’t give you credit.

Do you know where they learnt that style from? That style of not giving due credit. That thing where you act like you arrived with no wind behind you….. They learnt that thing from YOU. Because you never recognised your female counterparts who helped build this SA Hip Hop.

I think that most women in Hip Hop have reached a point where they don’t give AF anymore. We no longer need to be affirmed by you to know that we are the Sistas in Hip Hop.

I was just writing you a letter to let you know that Hip Hop will never blow up without its female counterparts being acknowledged. And I guess I just wanted to bring attention to your sickness…..basically you hate women. You are misogynists.

Women in Hip Hop contributed SIGNIFICANTLY to this movement. Be it on the MIC (Qba, Khanyi Mavi, WidomTeeth, Phoenix, Nthabi, Miss Supa, Goddessa; or ORGANISING hip hop gigs (Dom, Nosisi Xoliswa, Heds on the Rise sistaz, streetqueen;) FASHION, women have contributed significantly to street fashion (Sista Thandeka.) We have female hip hop djs SistaMatic, Miss Cosmos. Hell we even had a female beatboxer, NIKKI, who used to kill all the boys

There are many other names I will never know because you bullied us into believing we were never good enough to be called Hip Hop….so some retreated to spoken word while others walked away.

We are the women behind HHP,Amu. Prokid, Skwatta Kamp, Mr Selwyn, Hidden Force, Pitch Black Afro, Morafe and many more who came after. We were there when cats were building hip hop and we were there building WITH you.

Our Hip Hop industry has manifested into something that cannot be respected because IT shows no respect for women.

Kind regards,

A sister who speaks for the silenced voices of the MANY women in SA Hip Hop