The Sif Ousby Mahala Correspondent, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 14.07.2010
You know it’s a slow news day when your editor asks you to write an introduction to an interview with The Sif Ous, purveyors of trashy rap that has an adolescent death metal like obsession with sex and violence. It’s hard to tell if the Sif Ous are seriously bad musicians or just taking the piss. What I do know is that they like to sing about piss and other bodily fluids. They once got asked not to perform at an art exhibition celebrating bad art because the artist thought they were too bad. They’re from Durban, which if you think about it, makes perfect sense.
Mahala: Hi there. Can you put some pants on? Thanks. So… what does ‘sif’ mean to you guys?
SINISTER: I have no idea. These ou’s made it up, I didn’t even want to be in this crappy band. I hate rap music.
POINT FIVE: It’s not a band, it’s a goddamn way of life. People think we’re rappers, but we’ve created something new here, something magical… something the pre-pubescent schoolgirls comprising the majority of our fan base have termed “Sif Hop”. It’s disgusting, it’s offensive and it’s so wildly different from anything the world has seen before I don’t even think it can be considered music. People ain’t ready for this sheeit, yo.
APATHETIC: I’m not a guy.
Mahala: Okay then… but would you guys say that you’re still “keeping it real”?
POINT FIVE: No, we’re keeping it sif.
SINISTER: Saying “keep it real” is a load of hairy panda balls. If you’re “keeping it real”, it means you have no imagination and probably sound the same as everyone else. Reality continues to relentlessly ruin my life, so I find make-believe to be a far more comforting world to exist in.
APATHETIC: Can I have some milk?
Mahala: Who or what would you consider your influences to be?
SINISTER: Musically, everything from Leonard Cohen to Rammstein. Mostly balladeers of some sort or another… and strangely, very little rap music.
APATHETIC: My influences? The psycho-sexual and socio-political climate of a changing world and its shifting perceptions of music; I find myself inspired by this pseudo-ego, glamour-glossed zeitgeist of an industry that has prostituted itself so completely and willingly to the MTVomit generation it no longer remembers what it looks like because there’s so much glitterspit make-up smeared on its face.
Also, rohypnol and scat pornography.
POINT FIVE: Abba, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, the Vengaboys and Your Mom.
SINISTER: Oh ja, I also like the Vengaboys. They made a beat for us one time.
Mahala: Please put your pants back on. Any advice for young MC’s and musicians out there?
APATHETIC: Listen to your mom and don’t do drugs unless they’re on prescription.
POINT FIVE: Waarheid. Keep rapping, follow the dream. There’s nothing better than getting up on stage, hands shaking and sweaty round the mic, lips dry, throat sticky, mind blank, shit running down your trouser leg because you’re so goddamned nervous you think you’re gonna faint…..
SINISTER: Quit the game. It’s not worth the stress. Watching your back the whole time, sleeping with one eye open, checking over your shoulder for ou’s trying to get in a quick piece o’ sodomy… Man, if the game doesn’t kill you the syphilis almost certainly will.
And those are the Sif Ou’s… a daring testimony to the direction rap music might be taking, or simply a bunch of potty-mouthed losers who’ll never cut it on any sort of real music scene?
All images © Kevin Goss-Ross