Hymphatic Thabs: Hip-Hop, Johannesburg, South Africa
Originally from 2007 and hasn’t lost any of its spookiness. “All tracks written and performed by Hymphatic Thabs, except for individual features. All tracks produced, recorded and mixed by Kanif except trk 5, prod by Kanif and Bravestarr, and trk 7, prod by Kanif and Alka. Kuts by DJ Raiko. Mastered by Gavan Eckart.” Bandcamp. –HN
TCIYF is a thrash punk band from Soweto, a Johannesburg township and the largest township in South Africa that, until recently, wasn’t known for producing any punk scene worth talking about.
The name TCIYF is an acronym for “The Cum in Your Face,” so you should know what you’re getting yourself into. Fans of Bad Brains and The Circle Jerks will love that most of their songs are under a minute long and that the guitars and vocals are distorted so heavily that they almost bleed into the mix. And to drive home the Ramones influence, each musician shares a fake last name: Pule Cum (vocals), Thula Cum (guitar), Toxic Cum (bass), Jazz Cum (drums), and Sthe Cum (“metal vocals”). The music is blatantly and aggressively sexual and doesn’t go anywhere near politics. Yet at the same time, it feels that the band, regardless of its youth, is aware of the politics of being a rising punk band in a South African township; the band may only care about sex and skating, but they know what they’re doing is special.
Thula Cum described Johannesburg’s punk scene to Okayafrica: “There’s a whole lot of good bands that are kicking ass, like The Moths and Hellcats. Jozi has a lot of good hardcore bands that are straight up not messing around. Chances of you coming across an acoustic guitar from a Jozi band are very small. We don’t wear sandals. We wear sneakers. And we skate, and punch each other in the face…We’re not trying to change the world. But it is going to change. It’s changing slowly, anyway. But we’re not trying to do that.”
The band’s latest release, the 3-track The Cum EP, is out now via SoundCloud.
Johannesburg artist Michael Bopape aka Miikah produces dreamy hip-hop that appeals to all music tastes. The 17-year-old South African high schooler is likened to other eclectic alternative and hip-hop artists like Kid Cudi, Raury, and Isaiah Rashad, but Miikah’s music is not so much his focus as it is his outlet for spiritual and philosophical enlightenment through modern sounds.
The eight electronic hip-hop tracks off Miikah’s NegativeXero EP, released last month, reflect Bopape’s mindset, which is trippy, heady, and beautiful. It’s incredible how an artist this young can sound so assertive, but I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing a lot more from Bopape.
A note on the EP via African Hip Hop Blog: “‘Prelude of the Compendium’ draws inspiration from 90’s alternative free wave music and curing the concept of flying in this world, bringing to light the concept of the ‘Sypabong’, a term coined by Miikah, relating to an object, emotion or abstract that is not able to exist in the current realm of existence, being too complex to occur, fathom or vibrate… This song is a plea to God to reach the frequencies which enable the youth to find their Ikigai and seek truths beyond the simple realm humans dwell on…”