While the so-called prince of SA rap, AKA is running things on the radio and – according to some – getting too big for his Jordans, one third of the disbanded teen crew Entity, Vice V has taken the opposite route.
Highly political, this former UCT SRC President unleashed a new single, “Mr President” via his SoundCloud page last week. Thanks to him being the son of Dali Mpofu – the EFF’s Gauteng premier candidate, his song has gained a lot of mainstream media attention. I’m saying that because we’ve had such overtly political hip hop songs in this country but they never made the waves this song is currently making. Think Rattex’s Ben Sharpa-assisted “The Government”. But anyway, I’m not there.
The song is a direct shot at President Jacob Zuma and takes the format of a traditional rap diss track – by debunking the opponent’s mistakes, and hanging their dirty laundry in public. Vice V calls Zuma a criminal (“Have you heard the rumours?/ They say Zuma’s a criminal”) He goes on to take shots at him for his infamous polygamous acts: “You undermine women, undervalue the feminine”. Things get out of hand when he accuses the President of killing the ANC and bedding friends’ daughters: “You killed the ANC, the struggle’s been beheaded/ and just how many friends’ daughters have you bedded?” Huh?
He makes reference of most of the major f**k ups – the Marikana Massacre, Nkandla, and the Arms Deal, the Guptas – Zuma and the ANC government have been accused of.
The song is a remix of Tunisian rapper El-General’s “Rayes lebled” – the anthem of the Tunisian revolution – and features excerpts of speeches by Terror Lekota and Julius Malema’s speeches.
In a country where most artists choose to play it safe by backing the ANC (hey, that’s who has all the money, right), it’s refreshing to encounter an artist who doesn’t mind ruining their chances of getting booked for an ANC raodshow (or whatever these things are called). Such hip hop is reminiscent of the likes of POC when they went at the then-incumbent apartheid regime. With a lot of us feeling the current government is taking the same direction the apartheid government took, maybe it is time for a 21st century version of Age of Truth.
Download the tune here