I sometimes feel like artists deny themselves classic albums, for the sake of streaming numbers. I truly don’t see the purpose of an album exceeding 12 tracks, in this day in age. A 22-track album could have 10 songs that are adequate for a masterpiece.
These and many other things swirled in my head while listening to YoungstaCPT’s album, 3T. It’s a combination of laziness and also being economical with my time, which makes me shun long-ass projects. It’s for this and many other reasons that till this day, I haven’t bothered myself to listen to Drake’s Scorpion.
I forced myself to press play on the 3T album and was gripped by the seven minute intro, Pavement Special. The sound of Adhan coming from the mosque, hooting taxis and a vendor hustling on the streets, immediately put me on a sidewalk in Cape Town. Long as it is, the intro served its purpose in pulling me into Youngsta’s world.
I’ve played 3T countless times now, and with each listen I appreciate its length because the album takes you through the world of a young coloured man, learning about his origins, through conversations with his grandfather. I’ve often felt like media has denied people of truly knowing the average coloured person you would spot in Eersterust, Rabie Ridge or in the Cape flats.
Not to suggest that Shane Eagle, Stanton Fredericks or Pam Andrews are less coloured than YoungstaCPT. The rapper from the Mother City genuinely put a spotlight on what it truly is to be a coloured person, living in South Africa today.
The first track is titled VOC,Voice of the Cape, but it could be easily interpreted as Voice Of the Coloureds in how this album places him as a mouthpiece of that community.
I was pleasantly surprised by his beat selection, I expected a barrage of Boom-Bap sounds that would accompany Yougsta’s undemanding storytelling. The shit slaps.
Ignorance is bliss they say, and my heavy consumption of music made listening to 3T slightly uncomfortable at times due to the familiarity of some of the songs on Youngsta’s album. Yaatie, where Youngsta pushes himself with the flow on the bouncy beat, reminded me of Kendrick’s Humble. While Pallet Gun cringingly jogged my memory to AKA’s Dreamwork.
YVR made me wana see Youngsta perform the song live, in front of thousands of fans jumping up and down, shouting ‘Young Van Riebeeck’ under a downpour.
There is something Nipsey Hussle-esque about Youngsta. More than just the music, it’s about their strong connection to their neighbourhoods, their street credibility, their inquisitive nature and the desire to share knowledge with those around them. To Live and Die in CA has such a West Coast feel to it, you’d swear Youngsta is from L.A.
Youngsta’s hook game on this album probably has some pop artist envious. Had it not been for the significant conversations he has with his grandfather, you could just press play and let the album flow at a party. The Cape of Good Hope and Just Be Lekker are some of the tracks with a catchy hooks.
Tik Generation and 786 presented a nice Boom-Bap interval from the Trap sound which dominates the album. Youngsta’s oupa talks at the end of Tik Generation, where he likens the 70s crack epidemic in the US’ Negro communities, to the drug problem in the Cape flats today. The conversations between the grandson and his mkhulu are important to this album as Cole’s Note to self outro on 2014 F.H.L.D.
I would understand why some people might skip their dialogue, but the old man drops so many jewels of wisdom, it personally made me wana to sit down and chop it up with the old man about other things.
3T is one of the better albums to come of Mzansi in the last five years, but could’ve easily become a classic with the slashing of some joints. But it’s well worth the listen.
BACK from a brief self-imposed hiatus, Nasty C receives a handful of nominations for this year’s South African Hip Hop Awards.
After feeling unappreciated for his efforts in 2016, Nasty C boycotted last year’s SAHHA, this was during his time as a Mabala Noise artist. Now under Universal Music Group, real name David Junior Ngcobo, seems to have had a change of heart towards the awards. “There’s no one we actually have a problem with and speaking on the Nasty C issue, we’re still not aware why they chose not to send, but it’s always love. The awards are for the community,” founder and organiser Osmic Menoe says.
Nasty C has had an amazing year, avoiding any possible sophomore jitters, he released Strings and Bling this year and has managed to stay in conversation prior and post release.
He was recently part of BET’s SA cypher together with fellow current chief emcees A-Reece and Shane Eagle. Strings and Bling is nominated in the album of the category, where Nasty C will battle it out with Da Les’ High Life, Cebisa by Zakwe, Baby Brother ya Blaklez and K.O’s SR2.
For his pen game on Strings and Bling, he is nominated in the salivating Lyricist of The Year together with Zakwe, Stogie T, Ginger Breadman and PDotO. The Best Remix, Collab, Radio Show, Video, Song of the year and Best Male and Female categories will be voted for by the public. The awards take place at Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre for the seventh consecutive time on December 19. “We have made a home out of the venue, we appreciate the professionalism and love they always show to the awards,” says Osmic.
Nasty C is nominated twice in the Song of the Year category, for Send Me Away and his collaborative joint with A$AP Ferg, King. The same track is nominated as one of the best collabos of the year, together with Boity’s mystifying Wuz Dat. Nasty C is nominated eight times, or nine if the collab with Boity is included. Also in there is DJ Speedsta and OKMalumKoolKat in Combos Communicating, Riky Rick’s Stay Shinning with Cassper Nyovest, Professor and Major League DJs- among the list of 10 tracks nominated.
The ceremony will be broadcast on SABC 1, after being on e.TV and MTV Base in previous years. “We still with SABC 1 after the good numbers last year of 2 million viewers. We felt at home and appreciated the fact that they were willing to take a chance.”
Other artists who have a slew of nominations are Zakwe, Kwesta and Riky Rick.
I didn’t understand why Priddy Ugly joined Ambitious Entertainment, he was already getting traction without the backing of any record company.
He left the company in July this year, after having signed just a year ago. During his short stay at Ambitious, he released his debut album E.G.Y.P.T. But now having left the company, Priddy has repackaged the project and dropped a deluxe version a few weeks ago. The title is an acronym for Everything Godly Yearns Patience and Timing.
E.G.Y.P.T is very personal album which reveals a number of things about Priddy Ugly; his closeness to his family, his ambitions, his sense of spirituality and his fondness for cars. The latter is clearer on the song Karapao. At times, he worryingly sounds like AKA on the track though.
This deluxe version is missing tracks he did with former stable mates at Ambitious like Saudi and Emtee. Including the song he did with Shane Eagle. Ycee, who replaces Eagle on 02Hero is nice on this version but the first version had more weight with Eagle’s verse where he flexes about being a successful independent artist. Which made perfect sense, because Priddy Ugly came up as an independent artist too.
When the Karrots beat dropped, I immediately thought of Nasty C’s Do You Dig. The Naija-sounding Look Alike should be pushed as a single, it would be a favourite for a lot of South Africans who have this new found appreciation of modern Nigerian music. Priddy Ugly sings throughout the song.
Priddy probably hates himself for the decision to join Ambitious because it’s a really messy and confusing situation due to the missing songs. I think he should’ve rather released an EP with new tracks and a different title.
One of the new tracks for this deluxe version is, HO$h HO$h which features Wichi 1080 and Youngsta CPT. It is grimy as the track he did with the Cape rapper, Come To My Kasi a few years ago. Youngsta’s verse is purposefully dope, but I would like to hear him switch up his flow once in a while. But nice as the song is, I don’t think it fits into the E.G.Y.P.T concept of the album.
Bontle’s contribution into this album was a pleasant surprise. I liked the texture of her voice, especially on the title track, E.G.Y.P.T. I thought the poetry by Candice Modiselle at the end of Lucky’s Interlude should’ve been made an interlude on its own, not at the end of the track.
It’s a decent body of work, but I still concede that he should’ve rather put out new songs as an EP or mixtape. It’s the kinda project that’ll please those who like rap, but also not too heavy for someone looking for catchy joints.