Mic Check Mic Check
An organization striving to preserve the culture of Hip Hop thru research; presentations; lectures & aesthetics. Bookings for talks and lectures: email@example.com
(#TPJs @TPJJewels on twitter)
Mic Check Mic Check
Fat B Dat G is a South African underground rapper from Pietermaritzburg Kwa-Zulu Natal. He hails from a township called Sobantu in Pietermaritzburg. It is his experiences as young black male growing up in typical township conditions, on the outskirts of society, in the middle of violence and poverty that informs his rap. To understand the content found in what Fat B Dat G raps about is to delve into, to appreciate a reality that a majority of South Africa’s societies, and especially society’s young people go through on an everyday basis. To have been exposed to these things throughout his life has also been an eye opener for Fat B Dat G, and that is what he shares with his listeners in his music. To listen to his music is to be transported, to be taken on a journey that is at times unpleasant but insightful, grimy but heartfelt and passionate, callous but honest. His messages are uninhibited, speaking frankly and openly about social ills, an issue to which he addresses most of his works.
Fat B Dat G’s music is also a comment on the state of rap music. He targets vitriolic attacks on corporate paragons of what is often considered ‘real hip hop’. He will not tolerate rappers who mislead the youth and he feels that an immense burden lays on ‘real emcees’ to provide direction in what is otherwise a field of confusion, misinformation, egocentricism and selfishness in rap music. Fat B Dat G maintains that this is a real burden in the hands of real rappers. And how can it not be? There is absolutely no representation of the real lives of millions of ordinary South African citizens in much of the rap media that we are confronted with on an everyday basis in our lives. The problems, the challenges, the everyday struggles of ordinary South Africans are not represented in rap music these days and those that are in the position to do so have not intention of doing so, they are distracted by issues that are somewhat on the periphery of the real issues. To listen to Fat B Dat G’s music is to garner an appreciation of the racial, cultural, social and political complexities of life.
Keep your ear out for Fat B Dat G’s latest offering Beast of Burden, out soon in 2014, release date still to be confirmed. The Precious Jewels will also be blessing you with an upload of a promo from this latest offering.
Keep up with Fat B Dat G’s unique take on the state of rap and society on twitter: @FatBDatG
In life we are ultimately governed by universal impulses. The impulses carry in them the character of cosmic bodies expressing themselves through us individually, traditionally, culturally, nationally and internationally. Over the past millenniums earthly scholars formulated these expressions into mystical systems of ciphers, within their core encoded the systematic expression of the universe on all levels, especially on the humanoid. Living things became symbols of certain energies that can be evoked and manipulated, hence manipulating the cosmic bodies and ultimately nations and individual.
How do we understand our outrageous emotions, or our impulsive reactions?
“For Africa to me…is more than glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly how he arrived at his present place”. Dr. Maya Angelou.
“Is Black History Month still relevant”, the question that we should be asking is whether or not Black History is controlled by Black people? And if not, is it really Black History or a watered down, white washed version of our culture? Some people of always hold the idea that we are free now and Black History Month is not relevant, we have gained our freedom they will tell us there is no need for such memories. We as Black World of people have been lied to; we have been robbed and erased from the memory of the world. It is high times that we who love Black must stand firm and tell our stories during this month and beyond. Honorable Marcus Garvey the Black Tiger told us “A people Without The Knowledge Of Their Past History, Origin And Culture Is Like A Tree Without Roots”. Therefore it is important that we know our History for we will remember whose bones we standing by in this time.
Peace and Light to all…
I firstly must acknowledge and apologize for our absence / inactivity here these past months, and also to those that have reached out to see if everything was fine and if TPJs is still moving, your queries and concerns are all acknowledged – much love and appreciation – We Are One – a Holy Integrated People,
As we nearing the end of this month - February - we look at the concept and idea of Black History Month, its relevance and significance in the modern era and the general discourse around this month - February. I noticed in an article I was reading that some even call it “Four Weeks of Black History. Well, whatever the case and whatever name one may personally feel is most suited for this month, the most important thing is that we still acknowledge Black History Month and that it is essential for a people to know their History (or as Ziggy Marley puts it - MyStory, not ‘His’tory). There’s no denying the fact that Africa is in the core of the World’s and Humankind’s history, but the irony is that the majority of Africans in the modern world are not even conscious of this fact, and certainly not conscious of this history. Infact, not many people know this history since the colonialism/slavery era to a large extent also consisted of the removing, fabricating, destroying, etc of African (Black) history, but that’s not where I wanted to divert your attention..
Now, instead of stressing my point further, I would like to invite you to read the two posts / articles by Ras Jah Xolani (he contributed in 2013 during Black History Month, see previous article) and Khonza “Kami” Memela (a brotha whose contribution and input within The Precious Jewels is long overdue). These are strong opinions taken by these Kings, and I’d like you to take your time reading it.
Please do remember that you are Highly encouraged to Print out any articles you come across on this Blog, share them with 3 people and advice those 3 to also share with 3 other people.
Its totally up to us to educate each other and ourselves, we need to think about the Children we bringing up.
One Nation, One God, One Destiny.
Lord Hakeem Kwezi. S
Errors in terminology that keep us from progressing forward
In this piece I want to look at the way African traditional ways of life have been discredited and misunderstood in the imagination of foreigners and how this has affected the public’s imagination. I want to state that although there is freedom in South Africa, there is no equality, and this is especially so with White people. Traditional African ways of life still continue to be treated at the bottom rung of the social ladder. Key definitions that characterise African tradition and religion are still very problematic and incorrect if not offensive.
“… I started thinkin’, how many souls Hip Hop has affected? How many dead folks this art resurrected? How many nations this culture connected? Who am I to judge one’s perspective? ” – Common feat. Bilal – The 6th Sense
Peace, brothas and sistas…
I thought I’d start this off by quoting from on e my favourite hip-hop songs of all time. I’m sure we all know that song, but I want you to go back to it and listen carefully to Common’s rap there – in fact, I’ll give you the links for both the lyrics and to listen to the song.
Now, I’ve got a question for you…and I also want you to ask yourself and those around you this very same question:
What is YOUR role in the culture?
Just take a minute, think about this…. What is “having a role in the culture”?
I often meet people who believe that “loving” Hip Hop or being Hip Hop means that one has to rap, break, deejay, tag, make beats or any of the physical elements and extended elements associated with Hip Hop. What many don’t get is that Hiphop is a mentality, a state of being and also a train of thought AND, Hip Hop is our KULTURE. This implies that one doesn’t actually have to partake in the “physical elements” (lack of a better word) to BE Hip Hop or to LIVE Hip Hop.
Learning to recognize the extraordinary in the ‘ordinary’
The everyday signals ambiguity. The everyday refers to those things we see everyday. But it also refers to those things that we don’t see, those things that we dont take any notice of, those things that are so much a part of our lives (directly or obliquely) that they somehow just blurr into the background of our lives unnoticeably as we continue living our lives. The man at the fruit stand in the corner, the car guard and so on. Even sunset. Its only at some odd moment that we sometimes take the time to ponder the stories, the histories of these ordinary human beings. And when you do take time to talk to one of these people you find that they are extraordinary people with extraordinary stories. When you take time to think of something as simple as a sunset, a sun that has set over the horizons for thousands and thousands of years, it is amazing!
The lives we lead today make those moments impossible or at best too far in between. For everyone, rich or poor, is caught up in the rituals of daily living, the hustle and bustle, the stress. So many things demand our attention, our focus. Purpose is a dynamic and ever-shifting concept, slippery yet there. We all have some broad idea of what our purpose is in life but how to accomplish it is a matter of one’s own imagination. We live in a world of opportunities and possibilities but also one of many foreclosures. In South Africa economic inequality nags at us everyday and we try to shake ourselves free or look away. We are implicated in it nevertherless and maybe that is why we ignore it. People talk about it, but that’s it, somebody else can sort it out its not their business they just out there making a living.
"Life is not getting any easier but we gotta keep on living" thats what The Good Brother Lazarus advised us in "Keep On". But how are we supposed to keep on? How are we supposed to keep on "living" most especially? Because I believe that for most of us we are dead. Our hustles and bustles, our being ‘caught up’ has totally numbed us. We dont hear each other’s extraordinary stories, we have become narrow minded in our focus and purpose and can’t see beyond ourselves. We have become disspasionate and incompassionate human beings. Nature has become totally mechanised and so have our relationships with each other. What is meant to keep us living?
When was the last time you looked at a sunset? Its an extraordinary thing! It makes you feel alive, you are overwhelmed by a feeling of awe. You begin to ponder God, creation, purpose. Its extraordinary! Its particularly at that moment that all your senses are revived and you are totally alive. Yet its an ordinary everyday thing. And the extraordinary is around us everyday, we are surrounded by it everywhere. Its in the stories waiting to be heard from the people we encounter everyday with just a greeting or a nod. People have extraordinary stories waiting to be heard, extraordinary journey they have been through. For some just going to town to sell at a fruit stand has behind it an extraodrinary history.
That’s what keeps us moving on. Realizing that we are extraordinary people in an extraordinary world that God has made for us. We have power to change so much about ourselves and our world. There is still so much more to be discovered in this everyday world we think we know so much about. Peace to The Good Brother Lazarus
Brother Eleyejah of The Precious Jewels