That’s a rap
BigStar Johnson – born Tumelo Rakumako – burst on to SA’s music scene when he won VuzuTV’s The Hustle. Although his musical start was jazz and musical theatre, he is a vibrant new voice in Mzansi hip-hop. Me & Mines debuted with the single ‘Sgubu’ featuring Kwesta – an infectious tribute to feel-good old-school kwaito.
The Hustle was a big break. What do you think about rap music as a TV talent competition?
Music being a competition is cool as long as you’re given the platform to express yourself. I wouldn’t be where I am without The Hustle. Music was always my destiny and I think rap is the most influential art form there is. It influences cultures, changes customs.
People love ‘Sgubu’; others on social media are saying: ‘Where’s the edge like your “Top Floor” and “Just 2 Flex” mixtapes?’
The ‘Top Floor’ BigStar lives well and strong on Me & Mines – in the rhymes and sound. I have a very clear vision of how I want my music to be delivered and received, and being a signed artist now gives me more room to plan and execute. I believe social media is a tool to connect with fans and vice versa… However, I feel music should always trump the social-media hype.
You used to play drums. Can we expect live instruments from you?
I’m gearing up to play live drums at my shows – promoters just gotta bump the cheese up.
You’ve always done your own shows such as the Backyard series…
Shows are seasonal and I have to have business savvy. If places won’t book us, we’ll be proactive. The Backyard is my squad’s initiative of taking the art to the people.
Invasion of Privacy
By Cardi B
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Cardi B’s full-length debut album makes it 100% clear, with a multimillion-dollar exclamation mark, that she has the rap cred to live up to the social-media hype and her mixtapes. Yeah, she has history and haters – but she owns this as a powerful platform to drop lacerating lyrics, channel the woman warrior and raise the game. Cardi B has reinvigorated ’hood glamour, and silenced the lingering chauvinist doubt about women as a powerful force in hip-hop. She’s all rapid-fire pithiness and owns the power of her body, image and hard-won wealth. But she also lets us see under the armour as she raps about hater comments and dealing with sideswipes about her crooked teeth. Cardi B is the real deal. The question is whether you’re woman (or man) enough to deal with it.
The Now Now
When the West’s most famous virtual band announced the final date of their Now Now Tour (Mexico City, 24 October) the animated clip garnered more than a thousand comments an hour, with fans drooling about ‘homecoming’ … except that the video featured 2-D, Noodle and the band with pics from around the world. Gorillaz is global, and their sixth album revels in this. Here, the must-hear is ‘Humility’, with legend George Benson’s guitar a liquid summer lilt. The band’s other genius is Jamie Hewlett, who created the visual characters. Expect a quieter mood than Humanz and a sense of soulful solitude. Watch out for Snoop Dogg rhyming about ‘lion in the dog pound’ over beats by Jamie Principle.
By David Guetta
David Guetta has a CV that reads like a redefinition of electronic dance music: Hitting one billion streams with ‘Bad’ (a collab with Dutch superduo Showtek); his work with Kelly Rowland, ‘When Love Takes Over’, voted the number-one dance-pop collab ever; being crowned World’s Best DJ by his jet-setting DJ peers; headlining every festival that matters – and selling more than nine million albums and 30 million singles. He reunited with Showtek for ‘Your Love’ – and he went back to studio to create ‘Flames’ with Australian vocalist Sia. Remember ‘Titanium’, the song that redefined both pop and dance music, and was the soundtrack to summer 2011? Guetta calls ‘Flames’ one of his best, and Sia one of his most interesting and nurturing collaborators, who heralds Guetta’s new studio album (which is billed for release in late 2018).