Afrikaans rap has been evolving since bands like Brasse Vannie Kaap and Not My Dog hit the scene in the late 1990s. Contemporary artists such as Die Antwoord and Jack Parow are blazing the trail for zef Afrikaans rap, pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable language in a traditionally conservative Afrikaans culture.
Jack Parow returns after his platinum selling 2010 debut album, Jack Parow. His latest offering, Eksie Ou, showcases Parow’s mixture of boeremusiek, dubstep and rap. In Eksie Ou, Parow overwhelms listeners with an array of collaborations including Francois van Coke, Gazelle and South African music legend David Kramer.
On the album, Parow comments on the paranoia evident in the Afrikaans and South African culture. Many of the tracks have a light feel to them at first – something to bounce around to – but all of them contain serious social commentary. Parow sings about everything from racism to alcohol abuse, from consumerism to the tokolosh.
Eksie Ou laments superficiality in society and the supposed loss of masculinity.
The track “Biscuits & Biltong” features David Kramer, whose distinct guitar style gives the listener the urge to swing a poppie around the room in an impromptu langarm.
Playful songs such as “Laat Ons Suip” remind you of what it is to be South African at a braai with a beer in hand. The chorus embraces a feeling of old Afrikaans boeremusiek before twisting back into Parow’s signature beat.
With a poke at African mythology, “Hosh Tokolosh” is a cheeky collaboration with afro-techno group Gazelle.
“Hard Partytjie Hou” features Francois van Coke and comments on the state of South African music with lyrics such as: “Yo, as jy van die liedjie hou, p**s vir Nicholis Louw.”
“Spring Moederf*kker” features P.H.Fat and is a dangerous combination of commentary on sex and religion while boasting a dubstep base line.
The album is an interesting and successful combination of many styles of South African music, languages, cultural norms and mythologies. If you weren’t a fan of Jack Parow before, you will be after Eksie Ou.