I am currently the musical director for a high school play called Die Middel Wêreld (The Middle World), written and directed by Lefras Mouton – a good friend of mine who studied drama with me. One portion of the soundtrack includes a re-interpretation of Afrika Bambaataa/Rage Against the Machine‘s “Renegades of Funk” that requires the kids to rap. Now rap does not come naturally to many people, in some sense it’s an acquired taste that really only becomes innate after some introduction to groove or hip hop over a period of time.
I’ve been listening to hip hop for as long as I can remember, although the turning point came when I first listened to South African female hip hop trio Godessa – whose socially conscious lyrics really ushered me into a new perspective on hip hop appreciation. This kind of education has all but disappeared from mainstream airwaves in favour of materialistic, misogynistic and sexual subject matter; and even if current rap stars retain some semblance of groove – their lyrics leave much to be desired.
In light of this and when faced with the predicament that some of the kids struggled to jump into the groove of rap, I decided to create a practice track for them to listen to and internalise. Below is my interpretation of this classic of hip hop culture. Hope you enjoy: