On the 22 March (last week Friday), I had the pleasure of attending the Words and Beats Mixtape Launch, held at the Baxter theatre. The Words and Beats Mixtape is a collaboration between rappers, beatmakers and producers from all over Cape Town.
The show had a rocky start, with the attendance not being as much as anticipated. But there is a good and bad side to a small crowd. The bad side is that less people means less income for the organizers of the show, artists performing might get demotivated etc. The good side is the intimacy a small crowd creates. The crowd gets to directly interact with the artist in a beautiful way.
The show was properly organized. The feeling of being in a theatre setting with the energy of hip hop performances was amazing. The artificial fog on stage, the lights, the props all made me feel like I was in some big concert or festival.
S.S.K, Verbal Catalyst, Black Ink, Principlez, Bean and Pasco, Zanzolo, Melanin Fam, One Kind, Iimbongi Zemveli are some of the artists that contributed to the Mixtape.
The Creative Database promises to bring a new vibrancy and energy to the Cape Town hip hop scene, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I caught up with one of the organizers of the show, Nick Matyida, to find out more about the Creative Database.
First things first, What is the Creative Database?
Nick: The Creative Database is a movement that seeks to unite creative minds through Hip Hop. Its a brain child of Mawande Sobethwa, who approached other hip hop activists such as Thanduxolo “Ncutshe” Mkwambi, Wanda “OneKind” Mxosana and myself (Nick Matyida), to get it off the ground. The main idea is to create a structured productive platform for hip hop artists and other spheres of creative arts. The end goal is to create an income stream for artists on our database over and above the albums they sell. The unique aspect of the database is that it is collectively owned, meaning anyone and everyone who has anything to contribute is welcomed to play his/her part.
What impact are you hoping the Database will have on the Cape Town hip hop scene?
The impact will be measured in stages. For now it is to create a buzz and vibrancy in the Cape Town hip hop scene so much that everyone works to improve the quality of their products, from rappers to beatmakers to producers. It is to create a consciousness that with collective effort, anything is possible. That’s the only way Cape Town hip hop will blow up and spread all over South Africa, Africa and the world. For now the focus is Cape Town, but already we’ve had artists outside of Cape Town like DJ Q-one from the Eastern Cape and Jay Tip from Pretoria contributing beats for the Creative Database Mixtape. MCs like Maxhoseni only just missed the due date submitting tracks for this mixtape but they sure will be involved in the 2nd Volume. So we are growing.
With regards to the mixtape, how were the tracks selected?
The tracks were selected on quality in terms of sound, content, delivery and beat variety. However many quality songs were done on the same beat like Blaq Scientist’s Diamonds and Pearls, we couldn’t help but put them in regardless because everyone of the songs is quality.
Why did you decide to give it away for free and where can people get it?
Firstly selling CD’s has long been on a downward trajectory in the recent past. People have multiple ways of getting music for free, so to try and sell something they’ll eventually get for free defeats the purpose. The Mixtape is to introduce the talent we have to the masses and to signal a new dawn in the Cape Town hip hop landscape. Its free so that as many people as possible can get their hands on it with out the politics of money involved. And like I said, we are not in the business of selling CD’s, we are thinking bigger than that!
The mixtape will be available online, on our reverbnation page. People must get it, its a classic! Producers like Jay Tip, Abet Beats, Ncutshe, Big Weazy, Blaq scientist, Ill Dre and many others created killer beats. Some of the best to come out of Cape Town.
Here is the download link to the mixtape: http://www.reverbnation.com/thecreativedatabase/album/24648-words–beats-1
Facebook: The Creative Database