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Soweto Hipster Hop

by Montle Moorosi, images Andy Davis / 14.03.2011

Why does everyone think Soweto is the epitome of “real”?

Ok, so the Soweto uprising was here, but then again Stompie Seipei’s ass was also beat to shit in Soweto by two dudes named Ninja and Slash. Symbolically Soweto is considered as the root of South African blackness, the birth place of the struggle, the home of Hector Peterson and Mandoza. In 1994 we all ran away to places like Kelvin and Kew when Mandela put a few green backs in our parents’ palms. And now that theres not much else to fight for except a plate of sushi served on the inside of a white woman’s thigh. But many suburban blacks can still be found hob-nobbing amongst the acrid but pleasant smell of dust and burnt meat in places like Mofolo and Rockville. Oliver Tambo, Jub Jub, Desmond Tutu, Credo Mutwa, David Selepe, Dr Motlana… Romantic old Soweto.

“Jussis boet, you know we’re going to deep Soweto… Mofolo, you can’t wear that chain there bru”. My editor was trying to joke around, but I could see by the ring of sweat and fire on his bald head that he had some serious concerns about the luxurious size of my jewels.
“Dude, I’ve slept with homeless women before, a little dust and some Zulu doesn’t scare me. I’m Northern suburbs bitch!”

Thesis Social Jam

I’d never been to a Thesis Social Jam before because of the social geographic politics of Johannesburg. People never visit me or party in the North because they say its too far, even shit bags that live in Melville complain about driving to the North, so eventually I just told myself fuck it, my borders are the inner city limits and, besides, I never liked dusty places anyway. Plus I almost got beat up by half of Soweto’s legendary MSE graffiti crew at Fire on The Mountain in 2004, it was a 2 hour long tirade about how horrible I was and how Soweto guys are so much “realer” and more “hardcore”.
“Yaw niggard fuck, we fucking crawl into manholes and spray fucking trains, you aren’t firkin repping jozi dawg, for real yo!” I remember one of them saying.

I was expecting some of that Soweto hardcore hip hop flava.
“Ahh dawg, that’s where the real hip-hop is at dawg.”
And I still can’t believe I went to a hip hop party and no one asked me ridiculous questions like: “do you battle?” or “can you do a cartwheel with your butt cheeks?” but little do most people know, as much as I find these questions disturbing and disgusting, I really do love them, because it seems that retards and purists are the only ones that make sense to me these days. Even if they do start every sentence with “yo check it”.

But then Thesis Social is not exactly a hip hop event, I was just misinformed by a balding jewish man who made us arrive 3 hours early. It’s more like hipster hop. When we got there I saw an ensemble of like 10 keyboardists and bassists and three girls on the mic, I knew it was going to be a night of drawstring cotton pants, incense sticks, Azania chants, communist rants and of course some spoken word poetry about woman pride or being afraid of circumcision. The epitome of “real” blackness, this where we come to reaffirm the melanin inside their history and Cheap Monday jeans, this is where we fornicate with djembes and transcend ignoramuses with “elevated conscious thought” and backing sounds by Impande Core.

Thesis Social Jam

I went onto the Thesis blog and saw pictures of matt black nail polish, a picture of a Chinese girl called “Little Dragon” playing the drums, street art (not graffiti) and a paper sculpture of Andy Warhol. I also didn’t see any mention of “hoes”, “guns”, “crack” and “jacking fools”. But then again who wants to look at pictures of dead cats on my blog.

So I’m back in this world of rhetoric, bitches and motherfuckers. Chronic floating through my brain and a case of beers dancing a slow filthy broken samba with my veins as the paint in my marker jots downs the names of friends, girls, Satan, dead dogs and a couple of fuck you’s to whoever may need one. The streets are still covered in dust but now the clouds of dust storms are made by the tyres of BMW 325i’s doing doughnuts, they’re loud and vivacious but not exactly the grumble of a street infested by marching and toyi-toying students baying for cracker blood. And here I was, back in Soweto with a balding cracker, he had replaced his shotgun and rubber bullets for a Leica camera and the piccanins all wanted to give him a hug and the native women all wanted to fuck him and cook some pap and spinach for him afterwards.

The DJs were okay, but all they played was that organic instrumental 1994 sounding type of shit, it didn’t suck but I guess I just can’t go through a whole day without hearing someone throwing a tirade of abuse at someone. We saw a skinny black kid that looks like OKMalume dressed like a gay Spartan in Lederhosen. Soweto sure has changed. They have super clean porta loos at Thesis Social Jam. I was disappointed that I couldn’t even get an easy gag fix for my vomiting fixation. I think people in Mofolo need to eat more fibre and pork.

Thesis Social Jam

The only thing that was really hip hop about the party was the dire lack of women. Father’s day came a little early this year, soap on a rope and a cock drinking a cream soda float. The few girls that were there however definitely deserve to become pregnant with my yellow seed, I’ll give that to Soweto. It does have Johannesburg’s finest looking women. And almost every black person in Johannesburg can trace their roots somewhere to Soweto.

So if the inner city is now run by David Tlale and Mika Stefanis and the heralded realness of Soweto has been usurped by the quasi organic art fags and weed smoking conscious rhyme spewing hipsters, then where the fuck am I supposed to go? Alberton?

Gentrification is a muthafucker.

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

Thesis Social Jam

*Images © Andy Davis.

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