Run Durban Runby Samora Chapman / 16.01.2010
It’s a tranquil Sunday arvy as I jump in my cabby and cruise out to the Um-hala-ganga ghettoes for a cool pool party and some social vitamins. A fresh breeze flows in through the window as my lady, Kat, and I slip through the green hills of seaside opulence. Thunderous beats gradually emerge out of the misty quiet.
I pull up my Daiwoo Cielo alongside a flock of sleek, shiny beasts – jags, rovers and a pair of Z3’s shivering and glistening on the hot black tar. A silver minibus is parked in the driveway branded RUN DBN. We hop out in our colourful attire as a posse of pigeons scatter into the nearby sky. We spot JR and Creepy Steve and make our way across the road to say, what’s up.
“Hey JR! Steve! This is Kat. How’s the party?” We unite with a clap and a handshake. Creepy Steve’s eye-balls bulge in their usual disturbing way and JR’s thighs bulge in his satin green hot pants.
“Let’s gander shall we?” Says JR and kicks down with a porn star swagger.
We stroll through the mansion and soak in the atmosphere. Upon the terrace pose the cream of Durban’s hip hop style-masters and socialites. The alcohol is gourmet. The men and women are beautiful. We’re heading into the midst now as the glorious R&B Rap tickles my heartbeat and the base shakes me to the bone.
I follow JR’s satin green hot pants to the pool side and meet the RUN DBN cats who are hosting the party. I sit down and slap hands with the crew… “what’s up guys, I’m Joegz… tell me about this RUN DBN shit!” Siya the serious takes the floor: “Yo word man welcome, welcome. Well, basically we wanna put Durban Hip Hop on the map you know. We’re just a group of creative cats; dj’s, rappers, fashion designers, producers and entrepreneurs doing our thing.”
I survey the pool-side parade of Nike high tops and gold toothed twinkles as another member of the crew, Sanele the fashionista, takes over the convo. I can’t help admiring his leopard print vest.
“Yeah we’ve thrown 39 gigs over the festive season. Showcasing our talent you know. We also bring celebs like the guys from Skwatta Kamp up to party in Durban. We’re fundamentally Hip Hop, but we’re branching off into house and all sorts of other genres you know. Viank, a smooth R&B cat continues the thought pattern. “I think everything is like fusing; hip hop, R&B, house, electro. All these genres are borrowing from each other and evolving. Is eclectic the word?”
“Ja,” I reply, “eclectic, like made up of different styles.” Hmmm cool… my mind drifts for a while as I turn to voyeurism and chew my pencil. Creepy Steve tears off his clothes and swan dives magnificently into the pool, splashing a group of holy socialites. I watch the ripples around the goldfish. A few gasps echo around the pool.
I continue; ‘You guys are fundamentally hip hop. Hip hop began with the DJ, so tell me a bit about your DJ crew.”
Siya responds: “Well, we’ve got P Cutter whose Durban’s tightest Hip Hop DJ (also known as paper-cut) and Tea Bag and Abu who are definitely two of the best up and coming DJ’s. We also have DJ Mario and DJ Slice.”
“Ok cool, so are they turntableists and producers? Do they play vinyl at all?” I ask hiding my inner demon the cynic.
“No, they’re C-DJ’s…except P cutter who’s a turntableist…. we’re working with the producer UV-Ray from Skyrock… he’s doing all the production for our group Silverback.”
Kat is optimistically chatting to a group of ladies nearby.
“So um… are you guys gonna swim?” She says.
“No honey,” comes the reply. “The party happens around the pool. Not in the pool!” At that moment JR is emancipated from his Jacob Zuma T-shirt and jogs towards the pool. His beautiful dark skin shimmers as he leaps, pauses in mid air – elegant and proud- and finally penetrates the water like a wild, beastly seal. He takes full advantage of the attention, kicking his arms and legs awkwardly in every direction like a strangely beautiful dyslexic mermaid. The water droplets shimmer in his perm as he grins at the audience. A condom escapes a pocket and swims with the luminous pool noodles.
“Ok guys much respect man, it’s cool to meet cats that are so dedicated to building their scene. I wish you guys all the best for 2010.”
With that said I whip off my clothes and fling myself into the pool in hope of drowning out Beyonce’s wailing on the loud-speaker. It’s making me dangerous.
As I drive back to the west-side burbs later in the evening, I scratch around in my tape collection and dust off the cobwebs of an old classic. “Raising Hell by Run DMC”. I need to mainline some old school raps over live drums with a dash of tickling keyboards. Long live Jam Master Jay!