INNOVATION comes from the music producer. Period. They sit there, fiddling with their gadgets and witness an idea become an actuality that stirs up ingoma inside an artist.
The process of making a beat may seem simple from the outside looking in but a lot goes into music production. A listener with a good ear, might know that something’s off with a particular track but not comprehend why- it could be that the sampling is atrocious, the mixing terribly done or just badly mastered.
These are things which some artists don’t completely understand too, hence workshops such as the Beat Makers Market (BMM), are important in educating listeners and those who interact with music on a professional level. “The event is an innovative networking event geared towards artists and music producers to build successful business relationships,” says event founder Enzo Slaghuis.
The BMM will be a gathering of people who wear various hats in the music business such as independent artists, movie supervisors, A&Rs, music executives and songwriters. “The concept was launched in 2017 at Slaghuis Studios in Diepkloof. The purpose of the last event was to launch the idea to beat makers and consult with the artists on how and what they would want from the Beat Makers Market event,” says Enzo.
This is the same man responsible for the legendary Slaghuis Hip Hop movement that gave the world guys likes of Pro (Kid), Pitch Black Afro and Siya Shezi among the long list of lyrical beasts from the South Western Township.
The event will have a panel discussion with some of South Africa’s celebrated Hip Hop producers. It will feature Dome, PH, Battlekat and Omen where they’ll explain, among other things, the recipe of a hit song and how the model for producers has been redefined. While the day’s beat maker competition will have the winner walk away with prizes comprising of M-Audio studio equipment, SAE Institution Music Business short course, AKAI MPK Mini, Monkey Banana Studio Monitors and a case of Redbull Energy.
At the time of writing this, there were 147 beat makers who had already entered the anticipated rivalry. Nyambz, Omen and Dome will have adjudicating responsibilities on the day. “We are also hosting the 30 minute beat challenge where interested beat makers will be challenged to create a beat on the spot using provided sound packs and a sample,” Enzo tells me.
The event takes place on the first Sunday of November at Newtown’s Good Luck Bar in Johannesburg. There will also be live performances by rappers Rouge, TLT, Makwa Beats, drummer J Star, Jed Nery and Morgan the Beat boxer.
BORN under unusual circumstances, Benjamin Button springs into being as an elderly man in New Orleans and ages in reverse.
That’s the summarised plot of the Brad Pitt movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The 2008 film’s narrative regurgitated in my mind as I listened to Stogie T’s latest project, Honey & Pain.
As a mark of growth, artists tend switch from their alter ego monikers to being known by their I.D names on stage. Just this week, on Tha Bravado I wrote a piece about Selema Writes not going by the names Sledge Lee and Dice Mak anymore but embracing the name he was given at birth.
Artists who are genuine about this, will have their art as witness to this change. When Stogie T announced he doesn’t want to be referred to as Tumi anymore in 2016, the veteran rapper wasn’t taken serious. But his music has shown that there’s definitely been alternations.
Don’t get me twisted, Stogie T’s raps are of Tumi’s quality. Stogie has more bravado and doesn’t seem concerned about what his bars do to the environment. In the intro of Rapture where he features Jay Claude, Stogie raps:
The verse Kodak, decoded that
See it through the eyes of those
Living where there ain’t no hope at
Dealt a better card, I wasn’t
Made up like a joker
Add my legacy to the ledger
I won’t be broke Jack
Stogie’s patterns and rhyme schemes are an amusement park for a genuine Hip Hop lover. That’s why Tumi And The Volume will forever be etched on the memory of South African Hip Hop because Stogie is a superb emcee who was in a band with great musicians, creating timeless songs.
The music on Honey & Pain doesn’t have replay value, except a few songs, this is mainly due to the things he raps about. On Big Boy Raps he’s on his remember raps, in the last verse sounding like a petty OG talking about cars he drove, juxtaposing himself to rappers who are currently in the forefront of the Hip Hop.
It’s when listening to such, which makes me comprehend Andre 3000’s reason for his retirement from Hip Hop because it’s a young man’s game, especially the braggadocio side of things. Listening to some of the songs, you get a feeling Stogie’s tryna prove that he’s also got swag. You’ve got it bro, you need not prove anything.
Stogie T the storyteller is what he needs to give us more of, which he did on the track Numbers Game. The joint has YoungstaCPT on the hook and surprisingly he doesn’t have a verse on the song. I found the song quite timely considering the scrutiny that has been on the coloured community and the prevalence of gangsterism there. Stogie tells the story of one who grows up in the coloured area and the adversity they face on daily because of the barrage of social ills.
On the 14 minute long God’s Eye he went hard on a number of beats (about eight) dropping verses not accompanied by any chorus. It reminded me of his project, The Powa Mixtape in how he talked to important issues such as the pursuit of a better life by immigrants from war-torn countries.
It was good hearing Maggz on the project’s single, Pretty Flower and the new kid J Molley. The latter served his purpose on that hook. Stogie T has a good ear for talent, which guides his choice of features. Rouge is the equivalent of a Kevin De Bruyne on Side Chick, her hook holds the song together plus she raps, while Ayanda Jiya’s gentle voice gives the song that tenderness to counter Stogie’s patriarchal stances on the verses. It’s a good song which I imagine should do well on radio.
I appreciate Joharzardousburg for the vibrant beat, its length and of course the raps. I haven’t heard anyone do a song about Joburg, painting a picture of the complex and colourful city-it’s such a rapper’s rapper thing to do. It also sells Johannesburg to those who’ve never been here.
Stogie has the rare condition of the Button disease, in musical terms at least. He came in the game making music way ahead of his time and beyond his wisdom-ironic that Button was born in New Orleans and Tumi’s music had strong jazz elements in his early days.
Now I believe he’s at his adolescence juncture, enjoying music and ripping the mic, just for the sake of it. The longer he goes though, his sound may become primitive in the name of being a young person who’s having fun.