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Don’t kill my vibe


“I don’t think you will like it much.” In a most authoritative voice I told him, “Just do it!”

Kendrick Lamar. Picture: Bang Showbiz

NOT many people know this about me, but I am a massive hip hop fan. From Eminem to Kanye West, Jay-Z and even the Heuwels Fantastiek. But, my ultimate rapper is Kendrik Lamar – now that’s my jam.

Now you are probably wondering what the hell is this geriatric old lady thinking? This can seriously not be her vibe. She should be listening to something “old” like Sade, Gloria Gaynor, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and the likes. Yes, I dig these artists but for me it’s all about the lyrics.

To me pop singers and even R&B singers sing about a lot of bubblegum, make-believe crap – with the exception of Ms Gaynor and Franklin of course. It’s all about a catchy little tune that teenagers are going to rave about. Granted, I guess a lot of them are just in it for the money.

One of the main reasons I like my hip hop is that you will find that they rap about a lot of social issues.

My first exposure to Kendrick was around 2012. I was working in Cape Town and we had this surfer dude photographer who was always jamming with his headphones on. He just looked so cool and I figured that he must be listening to some great tunes. So I asked him one Sunday to put some of his music on a stick for me.

Nicholas demurely obliged muttering, “I don’t think you will like it much.” In a most authoritative voice I told him, “Just do it!”

When I managed to get the chance to put on my earphones, the dulcet sounds of, “Gather round. I’m glad everybody came out tonight. As we stand on our neighbourhood corner, know that this fire that’s burning represents the passion you have. Listen Keisha, Tammy, come up front. I recognise all of you, every creed and colour. With that being said, f**k your ethnicity.” I was hooked.

For those of you who don’t know, this is the opening lyrics and song to his 2011 album Section 80.

All the songs on this album touch on some or other social issues faced by many Americans at the time.

The only thing that really gets me about hip hop is all the expletives but be that as it may

For me, no matter what people say about this genre, it is poetry in motion and Kendrick can testify to this as he won a Pulitzer prize for his music for his album “Damn.” in 2018.

It was the first win for a non-classical or jazz musician since the awards began including music some 75 years ago.

The Pulitzer board deemed the album “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” Not some bubblegum pop song.

But, speaking of Mr Lamar, one of his songs really hit home this week. I don’t know how many of you know his song, “B**ch don’t kill my vibe?” Some of the lyrics go something like this, “I am a sinner who’s probably going to sin again. Lord forgive me the things I don’t understand.”

And that’s my message to the Sol Plaatje Municipality. “Yes, I took your water when it came on. Yes, I needed to take a bath or shower or something to wash off the dirt after you deprived me of water for more time than you promised. Yes I had to wash the dank smell out of my clothes as I probably can’t afford a wardrobe like some and yes, I will probably do it again. Please forgive me.”

Seriously, Sol Plaatje, what did you expect? However, don’t just be ready to point a finger as it is the easy way out when your own inadequacies are shining brighter than a diamond. If you don’t or can’t answer the residents, just say so. Yes we will be mad, but don’t just play the blame game.

It’s time for a Kendrick Lamar to rise out of the ashes in our own dusty town and start rapping about all the social issues facing Kimberley residents.