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c-live mixtape

Tastes like a Waste

by Dave Durbach / 22.03.2011

Despite influencing international charts for two decades, hip hop has only recently entered the mainstream here in Mzansi. Better late than never, mix “tapes” have lately become all the rage for local hip hoppers hoping to cash in. Look no further than DJ C-Live, who has just dropped The Taste Maker Mixtape with the help of sponsorship from Levi’s.

The CD rounds up a host of top up-and-coming artists on a bumper 20-track disc. Evidently, the problem with local hip hop remains that most aspiring rappers think they need to impersonate their two-bit American idols. Instead of dealing with real social issues like good hip hop always has, these wannabe American gangstas harp on about pimps, hos and big rims (AKA’s “Ladies is Pimps too”), expensive sneakers (C-Live’s “Clap” and Ill Skillz’ “Coolest in the City”), booty calls (C-Live’s “Wake up”) and bling (Hydro’s “I Got Swag”). Best of these l’American tracks, AB Crazy’s “Man of the Moment” draws heavily on new school R&B acts like Rihanna and Drake, yet still claims to be “representin” Mpumalanga. Nice track, perhaps, but as for “keeping it real”? Yeah right.

Despite these misguided aspirations, however, this “tape” does tap into some of Mzansi’s biggest names, including Bongani Fassie, who produced Maggs’ “Don’t Believe Everything” and features on C-Live’s “Wake Up”. Thankfully, after listening to a dozen dirty tracks, just when all hope is lost, some decent hip-hop finally kicks in on the final third of the album. In one fell swoop, Tumi’s “Asinamali” chops the wannabes down at the knees and shows why Mahala recently called the guy “one of our most wildly original, authentic and relevant hip hop acts.” Quoting John Lennon, he reminds hip hop fans that “a working class hero is something to be” – something his bling-obsessed compatriots would do well to consider.

Tumi’s track is followed by Nadine’s “Falling Away”, one of only two chances to listen to a female rapper on the album, albeit in a British accent a la Ms Dynamite, Lady Sovereign or MIA. Nadi Nakai’s “Wildest Dreams” is also guilty of drawing from the usual American soundscape, but she pulls it off with a suitably sexy attitude, and the novelty of a female rapper in this sausage-fest still scores some points.

Also towards the end of the disc, Whosane favours smart, conscious lyrics over the yankee yawn on “Mamela”. Wrapping things up are two of the brightest new stars of Mzansi hip hop, Dirty Paraffin (“A-ha”) and Spazashop Boys (“Bobby Brown”) are the only ones smart enough to look beyond standard and generic Western hip hop formulas and draw on electro, dubstep and drum ’n bass influences.

Unfortunately, just when the album seems to have redeemed itself, C-Live steals the last laugh when he feels the need to advertise his Facebook and Twitter over the final track, Les B’s “How can I”. Surely the point of promoting Facebook at all is to get people to listen to your music. So when they’re already listening to your songs, spelling out your Twitter profile reeks of amateur desperation. It’s this that makes The Taste Maker Mixtape a mediocre one, instead of a fair reflection of the best, smartest, “realest” Mzansi hip hop.

If you’re already a fan of nu skool local hip hop, this might just keep you satisfied. For those who are new to it, however, this is unlikely to win over any fresh disciples. That’s if a pompous name like the “Taste Maker” didn’t set your bullshit detectors off from the outset, given what others have had to say on the subject:

“Good taste is the first refuge of the non creative. It is the last ditch stand of the artist.” – Marshall Mcluhan.

“It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning.” – Salvador Dali

“Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.” – Pablo Picasso

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RESPONSES (30)
  1. www.askjuju.co.za says:

    Hey wena, having those white tendencies that you do means you automatically are thinking that ‘taste” is in that fancy European fussy pointy-nose-in-the-air way. You are too removed from the African reality to know that taste means like the flava that you are having in the mouth after you are eating something nice. These white tendencies are meaning that silly people are always trying to make everything mean something more fancy than what is very obvious. That man from the Public Enemy is called the Flava Flav and the local hip hop is a tasty taste.

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  2. Andy says:

    um ja… thought so.

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  3. Marx the Spot says:

    We need C-Live or someone from Levis up in this joint trying to defend this shit!? The silence is deafening… You can almost hear the PR cockroaches scurrying backstage:
    “keep quiet and it’ll blow over!”

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  4. Mapule says:

    This is not a reveiew. Its a personal attack on C-Live and SA Hip hop. Can u give this CD to someone who can be objective because this is not how reviews are done.

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  5. c-live says:

    We put in the work, money, time, experience & passion. You hide behind big words and quotes, you have no fucking idea what you’re talking about! You gain off trashing someone elses work on a personal level, tell me, WHAT have you done to earn the right to critisize The Taste Maker? Give your opinion on beginner djs work go see Tbo Touch or somebody, the experience I’m stacking renders your views useless. Its pen pushers like you that have no place in society and hip hop, you’re a nuisance, you are also the reason for the constant bitching and lack of unity in hip hop. Every head thinks they’re opinion matters. If you took the time to get your head out your ass for a minute you wouldve been real impressed by “Ladies is pimps too” by AKA, you wouldve appreciated the young man wordplay, lyrics and metaphors, instead you’re stuck in on the TATV sound that you think everything else is wack! Ps: “Ladies is pimps too” is not about rims and pimps! I don’t want dwell on song content debate with you, I’ve earned my stripes. Ask your favorite rapper uhm, matter of fact ask Tumi when you manage to get his dick out your mouth.If this was a straight forward/honest review, we’d be cool, but you’ve trashed every aspect of the music and got personal with me. Stop hiding behing the pen and man-up, if you’re a woman, grow some… Your writing is very immature, offensive, pathetic & personal, you’re piece sounds like you were sent to distract this movements goals. Don’t let me pull rank and show you my stripes, asshole! If you still feel like going on, I suggest you step up and get at me personally 0765182715 call me sometime!

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  6. Swish says:

    This aint no fucken review as mentioned before its a personal attack.fact is hip hop is an american genre/culture so i dont get it when dis mofo surprised when they are elements of american hip hop whether its the beat or concept etc. .all these rappers are the truth,that put mad work into their craft.you prob one of those old school heads that doesn understand every genre evolves anyway stop hating and subjective in yo reviews.

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  7. Lucky says:

    Who Eva wrote dis must go Fly a Kite! Nxi!

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  8. LemZ says:

    This is not a review, the writing is barely mature or constructive. Whoever wrote this piece of shit just took a crap on C-live’s work, whom for me is one of the best DJ’s in this country. It it due to his efforts, along with many other artists, writers, bloggers, producers, record labels etc that South African Hip-Hop is progressing and has the ability to compete internationally. FUCK your shitty ass review!

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  9. B.O.G~JEMONE says:

    Dats nt up C~Live he is real nd motherland who ever wrote dat mst take short left 2 crap house.

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  10. BankPop says:

    Wow this is some interesting site,why were we never made aware of its existence, I look forward to some tantalizing reviews and BEEfs please, throw them around please!!!

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  11. Jay da future says:

    Fuck these raps who think they a great then us under ground and this think abt vanik vs english fuck that let have unite . Neggaz when i come it b a judgement day raps

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  12. Banques says:

    I’d like to think the dumbass that wrote such crap must have really wanted to seek attention, which I believe he/she actually did by putting time to compose such bullsh*t.
    First of all I honestly think this writing is very immature, childish, pathetic and lack of music knowledge based on hip hop.
    “The Taste Maker” has raised the bar higher for SA Hip Hop, every rapper, producer and etc… On the mixtape gave it all they best!! You could hear by the beauty that comes from every single track on the mixtape.

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  13. Andy says:

    Ha ha… calling names is not the same as engaging in a debate, Banques. If you think the review is bullshit, argue with the points the writer makes. You just sound like one of the MCs who got dissed in the review…

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  14. SpokenPriestess says:

    This review is irresponsibly written shem…ayikho le. How unfactual are all your points dear “ghost writer”…it doesn’t even sound like you actually listened to the mixtape to begin with. It is sad when people who are supposed to be “gate-keepers” are self imposed experts that spit on people’s efforts without consideration. Why you so angry anyways?? You need to let lose dearest. Need a hug?? *dials assist-a-writer*

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  15. Andy says:

    C-live it seems you fail to grasp the function of a cultural magazine like Mahala… which is to interrogate culture. You ask what gives Dave the right to criticise The Taste Maker Mixtape CD? You did! When you printed a thousand copies, stuck it out into the public domain and called it culture. Your response to this valid crit (yes I think it’s valid, I published it) is steeped in arrogance and veiled threats – “I earned my stripes” and “Don’t let me pull rank”. What do you think this is, boarding school? You get judged on your cultural production solely. Dave thought your disc was KAK. He justified it in the piece and explained his point of view. That’s his right. Nowhere does he get personal. But you do, saying shit like “your writing is very immature, offensive, pathetic & personal” without backing it up – but that actually says more about your response than this piece of journalism.

    You also suggest that this piece was “sent to distract this movements goals” which kind of sounds like a neat conspiracy theory, ne?! Dude, think about this, maybe you’re distracting your own movement by producing and amplifying kak hip hop vibes about bootie-chasing and rank consumerism.

    Be the light!

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  16. fan like dammmmn! says:

    Mr C”” bbay party was ace n im HUGELY feelin laaydy Naine…shame mic was low yo she is quite a talent n represented u n urs nnnnn nicely…mor frm yhe brit broad i say HEY!!…speakin of chik rappers…nkai was also dope…gals..u doin BEST!

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  17. 034 Music says:

    C-Live,I’m suprised you are suprised by the review your are receiving on Mahala. It wouldn’t offend me as the target market of the site is not the one that one buy your CDs anyway.

    As for you Dave, I belive it was unfair of you to select ‘The Tastemaker’ as a work to review. Its like taking a block buster to the CANNES: Inappropriate.

    The statement “If you’re already a fan of nu skool local hip hop, this might just keep you satisfied” clearly shows your stance and music preferance making ‘The Tastemaker’ an artform that wouldn’t recieve a positive review under any circumstatnces. Going forward, review the THABS and the Smefs of this world and leave ‘The Tastemaker’ and AB Crazy’s to the WONTED.co.za ‘s and other commercial blogs like http://www.034music.co.za. Not only will this be fair but appropriate for your target audience too.

    As for you Andy, the fact that its aimed at making profit does not neccessary make it Kak. Consumerism is what sustains our economy. In case you haven’t noticed this is a capitalist state. Alas, judging from the image appearing at the bottom of this page, y’ll wont be happy until we all move back into skwatta camp shacks and take unroad worthy taxis to work instead of driving our SUVs paid for by happy our Bootie Chasing consumers.

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  18. Tlotlo says:

    Fuck all ya’ll, leave ab crazy nd c-live alone they are making music nd making money

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  19. whosane says:

    Whoever wrote this wack ass review is a fucking cornball! We are here to express our passions and inspire others- Hence the word entertainer! While u attempt to make a living writing lame critiques, we bread win divulging true substance-

    – Review my shit when it comes out – I got joints for jokers like you-

    Mamela…

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  20. DJ Topsy Turvy/ says:

    C-LIVE is talented,gifted and real when it comes to hip-hop. In hip hop we ain’t gad south African hip hop or American hip hop we gad hip hop.C-LIVE IS de best hip hop dj and South Africa’s best hip hop mcs are AKA,HYDRO,PROVERB e.t.c and the following are the kwaito artists and do not belong to the hip hop world,HHP, TUKS, MORAFE,THE LATE H20,ZULU BOY THE LIST IS ENDLESS. C-LIVE U THE BEST MAN AND YOUR MIXTAPE WILL RECEIVE POSITIVE RESPOND GLOBALLY NOT ONLY IN SOUTH AFRICA.

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  21. C-Live says:

    So now y’all wanna interview me?? Lmao, what a joke! https://mobile.twitter.com/i/connect

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  22. onedeale says:

    dope mixtape by dj c-live

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  23. onedeale says:

    ifaini is too nice with it

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  24. Anonymous says:

    C-live i hear you American slang on 5Fm … not cool bra

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  25. Joe_Kha says:

    First of all clive, or rather dj c-live, im loving the work and effort that you put in the hiphop world and secondly,all the haters can stop mumbling and put their money where thier mouth is cause it takes a real man to be where “C” is today,its because of his passion of music that almost half of S.A listens to Hip-Hop Power Nights, and thirdly, c-live how do i send my tracks to your show… IF ANYONE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY TO ME,CATCH ME ON FACEBOOK AT Joe_Kha AND TWITTER @Joe_Kha….

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  26. Banana City says:

    Wahaha no wonder SA hip hop is stuck in a dungeon. These dudes is fucked up in the brain. C-Live? What a terrible DJ, what stripes? What rank are you going to pull? A DJ on 5fm…South African hip hop that is a carbon copy of New York is ass. Motherfuckers get angry when they see Die Antwoord blowing up, at least that is South African, at the very least its something original in RSA.

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  27. deeziak says:

    bitchaz be bitchin’

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Everyone in hip hop has an opinion about everything but half of y’all arent doing a damn thing but talk…. “South African hip hop that is a carbon copy of New York” Wow dude this is very ignorant of you, clearly YOU listen to too much American music and not enough South African to realize we have great music… Anonymous are you an english teacher, you gonna watch how I talk now? I dont see how this is productive on any level, I released a cd that has helped elevate the game in general, everyone wins. HOW ARE YOU GONNA HATE ON THAT????

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  29. C-live says:

    Everyone in hip hop has an opinion about everything but half of them arent doing a damn thing but talk…. Banana city says “South African hip hop that is a carbon copy of New York”. This is very ignorant of you, clearly YOU listen to too much American music and not enough South African to realize we have amazing talent out here. Anonymous are you an english teacher, this slang topic has been dead, get over it!
    I dont see how any of these comments are productive on any level, I released a cd that has helped elevate the game in general, everyone wins. HOW ARE YOU GONNA HATE ON THAT????

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  30. Andy says:

    still beefing on a story that’s over 2 years old… someone needs to get a life and make some relevant music.

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