Who is Isaac Mutant?by Rob Cokcroft / 24.08.2011
He may not be well known in the Mzansi hip hop scene, but that does not mean Isaac Mutant’s a slacker. Coming up in the late 80s, he’s been part of essential Kaapse crews such as Parliament and Plain Madnizz. Now he’s collaborating like hell with all the players in a burgeoning Afrikaans rap scene, unofficially pigeonholed as ‘Rymklets’, which spreads from Paarl to Pretoria and further. After 24 years in the game,he still hates the maphuza (cops) as much as he likes to tell ghetto tales in gutter slang. Meet Isaac Mutant.
“Aaaw cock-craft! At least you know your craft,my bru!” And so begins an hour of smack talk with one of Cape Town’s illest MCs about working with his brasse, Die Antwoord, changing with the times and his favourite poison.
Mahala: You’ve been into this for a long time. Tell us where it all began and what some of the highlights have been?
Isaac: We used to be like rockers back in the day, 24 or 26 years ago, my bru, and then a paar brasse came from overseas and smuggled in some hip hop albums. From that rock era I went into this b-boy era. I saw Kurtis Blow and Afrika Bambaataa music videos and I thought naai that’s where the money is at so fuck I’m gonna do rap my bru. It’s was kakpraat but okay, haha, anyway I’ve been an MC since then.
Highlight of my career: Public enemy last year, definitely. That’s the fucking highlight of my whole fucking career. And definitely working with Die Antwoord. Ek moet big-ups gee vir daai mense.
Die Antwoord’s style has been heavily influenced by Cape Flats’ artists such as yourself, now they’re making loads of cash with it overseas. Are you cool with that? I know you’ve worked with them in the past. What’s your relationship like now. Do you get paid royalties ? Are there any collabs you guys are talking about in the foreseeable future?
Hahaha jurre that’s the question that everyone wanna fucken know. Me and Die Antwoord are brasse. My take on them blowing up and making money: Look they fucken deserve it. I big up people that make money, that’s number one, you know. I’ve been that angry MC like, “Ja hulle maak geld. Hoe kan ons nie geld maakie?” Look man, I grew up since then. I’ve slept at Ninja’s house, I saw how he fokken works. That bra wakes up at 4 in the morning and that naai works his poes pap. Even Jack Parow, that guy’s obsessed with working my bru. Ninja’s been in the game since god knows when and personally I think he deserves this break.
Where royalties are concerned, we did get paid, nogal loads of fucking cash. Ek het my in my poes gesuip daai week, bought me three phones and shit. Garlic Brown and Scallywag got royalties as well. I don’t know about Jaak, I haven’t seen him.
Where projects are concerned, we talked about an album, me and Ninja, but that one is a surprise. That’s gonna be a fucking shocker for South Africa straight up. Either you gonna hate Isaac Mutant or fucken love Isaac Mutant for that one. This is not the last time you’ve heard of Isaac Mutant and Die Antwoord, thats my brasse. I only run with kings and queens, all my brasse are family for life, I don’t hang with peeps for ten minutes til the next dop.
Afrikaans pop and rock is the highest selling music in our country. Now hip hop is right up there in the best sellers with Die Antwoord and Jack Parow. But why do you think coloured peoples’ music, Cape Flats music in particular, is so under-represented in the music industry?
That’s a political question basically… sugarcoated. Um, let me put it to you like this, there’s no other way for me to answer it except from a coloured boy’s perspective who’s been doing this kak long. To be fairly honest with you white people understand the market better than us brasse, us brasse only understand the ghetto, you know. The first international-based Afrikaans crew that I ran with and saw what it’s about, market place and label-wise, was Die Antwoord, my bru. My last big gig with them was in December in Stellenbosch. Fucking 20 000 whites rocking my fucking verse. I’m like what the fuck my bru? Before that I hated whites. Afterwards I’m like, shit I have to rethink everything else now. The more vulgar the more these naaiers like this kak, not even just whites, the ghetto likes this kak. But it’s about stylising, it’s about packaging. Us brasse from the ghetto want to be too complicated, we want to brag the metaphors and brag the fokking lettergrepe and the people on the streets can’t understand that kak. Basically like Eminem said rap for dumb people bru, I’m not even trying to be insulting but it’s like that. Eminem used to be a fucking technician bra, he had to reinvent himself. I think that’s what Jack Parow and Die Antwoord realise and what we need to realise. Ill skillz and Driemanskap realised the same kak and they’re starting to sell better now too.
Do you think Cape Flats rap is too real-life, whereas cats who are selling lots of CDs are using gimmicks?
Look to throw a concert type show, it’s just a fact, you gonna have to incorporate some sort of gimmick, sugarcoat it, sit vrilletjies aan, you can’t just have six brasse standing on stage for 45 minutes busting verses. At the same time, though, the lyrics that us ghetto brasse bust are fucking aggressive my bru and I think there is an appeal for that kak, but it just needs to be more stylised. Look it’s like Barbie with different clothes on, it’s the same fucken doll. We need to pimp our shit like these naaiers overseas will say. I’m even more aggressive right now my bru, maphuza se ma se maphuza. Naaiers say I flip my lid but I like it. That’s always been the appeal. I don’t know if Will Smith is selling anymore, but you know Birdman sells ‘cos he’s talking about guns and shit, Eminem sells and he’s a mal naai.
In your raps you’re gun clapping, getting fucked up on drink and drugs, basically a menace to society. What is the real Isaac Mutant like? How much of that is reality and how much of it is just for fun? What’s your poison?
Isaac Mutant is an emotional motherfucker my bru, a very impulsive naai from the ghetto. I cry when a chick dumps me, then I get pissed when maphuza fucking looks at me fucking skew. Isaac Mutant is a loose cannon. Nobody controls Isaac Mutant, I don’t give a fuck my bru, Isaac Mutant is not one scared motherfucker I do what the fuck I want to do when I wanna fucking do it. If I wanna smoke a button now then I’m gonna do it. I don’t have parents, I don’t have a wife so I don’t give a fuck my bru. I buy me a fucking zip gun right now because it shoots better than a 38. And I’m quite educated so I can make my own bullets. That’s Isaac Mutant.
What my poison is? Anything, everthing, anytime, anywhere, whatever I can afford. I’ve got two lungs, two kidneys, I’m gonna use that kak to the fullest my bru. I’m gonna go out with a bang. That’s Isaac Mutant.
How does it work with you in terms of collaborations? Do you hold a certain sound sacred, or are you open to collaborations over different musical lines, or genres, etc?
In fact, I’m looking at breaking into other markets. I kind of grew a while back, I don’t think in terms of MCing anymore, I’d like to be like Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and them. These naaiers were musicians my bru. Me and Francois of Van Coke Cartel/Fokofpolisiekar spoke at KKNK about a collabo. I’m thinking of working with dubstep producers, I’m thinking of even going into this whole hip house thing. You cant keep it in a box man.
Is that hip hop house?
I don’t know what you want to call it. I’m just gonna do my thing on house beats. Some naai is probably gonna put a label on that kak and call me ‘not real’ I don’t give a fuck. Look, this whole underground kak is a bit boring. I’m probably gonna get hated for that statement, but it’s cool that’s what I do. I’m looking at high energy shit right now, all kinds of genres. I’m moving towards forty so fuck being boring my bru. Fuck that shit. And I think us Cape Town artists, especially ghetto Afrikaans MCs, need to look at other genres. Jitsvinger did that kak my bru, Teba too. We need to expand the way we think and shit. You never know my bru it might be just be a fucking masterpiece. We need to invent. Stop being a follower.
I’ve been picking up stompies. What’s this I hear about you going to Denmark?
I’d rather have my connections speak about that kak, but basically there’s a few investors that want to run an exchange program between South Africa and Denmark MCs but first two MCs need to set the platform basically to show the naaiers in Denmark what the fuck we about. So I was chosen. I’m definitely gonna represent Cape Town / South Africa. I’m gonna check out how cheap the prostitutes are, definitely. I’m gonna smuggle some papsakke over there ‘cos they got no fucking shebeens. Smokkelhuise motherfuckers, fuck pubs my bru! No basically I’m just gonna go see if I can really blow that Cape Town Afrikaans kak the fuck up over there because in my opinion no one has fucking represented Cape Town like really ghetto my bru. Everybody’s so vokken la-di-da when they go over there. But I’m not going to mention names you naaiers know who the fuck you are. I’m just going to represent us MCs to the best of my ability without being fake.