the KWAITO thread

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we don't have a thread for it, so this is the thread for it. does anybody listen to it? anybody interested? here's a local radio station that plays it fairly often (click on the big square thing to the left that says "stream" on the main page). here's a local 'street culture' online mag that has a list of artists and a press-releasy 'history of kwaito'. here's a kelefa-penned nytimes article about the last zola album and, more mildly, about the differences between kwaito and afro-house (thanks spencer for the last link). i sometimes post abt it on this semi-active group blog (tho there's not much of anything worth reading there at the moment).

living in SA, i hear it a lot, and so far i've really been little more than a casual listener (insofar as any music-obsessive can listen casually, i suppose). the absence of that must-hear compulsiveness that i get from/give to rap and grime and dancehall etc trouble me, because 'rap + house' should theoretically be my dream genre right now. i've talked abt this problem on other threads, and it's not really what i want this one to be (all) about. i'd be really interested to hear the reactions of non-s.africans to the music, it'd help me in understanding my own responses i think.

there's currently and interesting dialectic between straight-up (or, at least, straighter-up) sa hiphop and kwaito - sometimes inclusive (kwaito mc's guesting on hiphop tracks), sometimes oppositional (kwaito?/yeah i tried it/didn't like it) - which might be interesting to talk about here too.

m. (mitchlnw), Friday, 21 January 2005 22:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hi Mitch! I'm sorry i know $00.00 about Kwaito. But I saw this thread and thought it would be you and wanted to say hi.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Friday, 21 January 2005 22:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I want to know more! Thanks for the links Mitch!

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 21 January 2005 22:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hi tim!

m. (mitchlnw), Friday, 21 January 2005 23:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm going to listen to the links and return with comments. I'm glad you started this thread, Mitch!

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Saturday, 22 January 2005 00:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Woebot did some posts on his blog and later on Dissensus about kwaito. He's been buying stuff from South Africa, but alas I can't remember what, or what was the name of the website/dealer he was getting stuff from.

When I saw the Mahotello Queens here in Washington D.C. nearly 2 years ago, the d.j. played what I guess was kwaito after their set. It brought folks to the dancefloor.

steve-k, Saturday, 22 January 2005 05:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i read a post or two on dissensus about where to buy it, they suggested www.musica.co.za. you could also try www.lookandlisten.co.za, www.kalahari.net and www.reliablemusic.co.za, if yr looking to purchase.

m. (mitchlnw), Saturday, 22 January 2005 09:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i'm v. interested.

djdee2005 (djdee2005), Saturday, 22 January 2005 09:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I bought that one Kwaito compilation last year (I'm sure there's way more than one, but it's the one that everyone wrote about) and liked it a lot. It got me especially interested in Brenda Fassie (who predated kwaito per se but then had some big kwaito hits - before she died, RIP), so I got a compilation by her too.

I keep meaning to go to Stern's here in NY and see what kind of selection they have. It's otherwise kind of hard to find. So what does actual S.A. hip-hop sound like? More like American hip-hop, less housey?

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Saturday, 22 January 2005 09:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(dammit, my pc just ate my two paragraph response. so sorry if this is hurried).

gypsy, was the comp the one that was subtitled something like "south african hip-hop"? i never actually saw that one, though i remember looking at the tracklist and thinking it was alright, if a little dated.

sa hiphop intially sounded very much like rawkus-y american rap - sample based, lyrically conscious. and the surrounding press encourage the view of that this was the youth music that'd serve as the medium for politically and culturally progressive narratives, as opposed to kwaito's dance party hedonism (though kwaito always had it's share of morality tales and such, really). lately sa's rap's getting.. rappier (synthier, bouncier, hotter)(i'm thinking of skwatta kamp here, specifically. but still in a way that's derivative of accepted US rap styles (tho the mc's swap between english and other local dialects - zulu, sesotho - when rapping). but any nods to local musical heritage tend towards the superficial - a sample of a s. african folk hymn or somesuch, as opposed to a 'deeper', formal integration. the other day i was flicking through radio channels and heard two consecutive tracks (unfortunately unnamed) that seemed to offer a genuine middle path - a leaner, trackier rap at dance/club tempo (faster than kwaito even, which often runs at 80bpm, torpid by 4/4 standards), with non-english mcing. and hooky too! i must find out what's going on.

m. (mitchlnw), Saturday, 22 January 2005 10:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

mitch are you at all able/willing/interested in doing some kind of mix of the newest good stuff? if so, we should trade--email if you want.

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Sunday, 23 January 2005 08:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

matos: not immediately able - i've got some older sa hiphop on cd and a couple of stray, old kwaito mp3s, and really that's it. but i'm working on it! if i get something together, i'll let you (and this thread) know.

m. (mitchlnw), Sunday, 23 January 2005 10:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Some sad news.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 23 October 2006 21:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Yep. Kwaito still has little to no presence at all in US afropop/world music circles or elsewhere in the American pop or blog world.

curmudgeon (DC Steve), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 12:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

As the amount of posts on this thread confirms.

curmudgeon (DC Steve), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 04:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

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