Back To Reviews The Hip-Hop Headrush

Artist: Brasse Vannie Kaap
Album: Yskoud
Label: Ghetto Ruff
Production: Ready D
Guests: 9, Tebz, Wanda, others
Stats: 2000; 13 Tracks
Reviewed by: Mass Dosage

After an under-publicised debut, BVK made themselves known across South Africa on the live gig circuit where many people were drawn to their on-stage presence and light-hearted lyrics. This album aims to capitalise on this success as MC's Fat, Hama and Boeta/Ready D rap about everyday life in the Cape Flats, showing that their relative stardom hasn't removed them from their origins. The topics covered on the album range from their taste for the infamous Cape Flats fast-food ("Gatsbie Dite") to the pros and cons of alcohol ("Afkoel") to more serious matters ("Don't take the smile away").

Many South African Hip-Hop artists struggle to differentiate themselves from their American counterparts, but BVK (and POC before them) avoid this pitfall by delivering most of their lyrics in "gamtaal" (the infamous breed of Afrikaans filled with colourful slang expressions). This adds a uniquely South African feel to the tracks and some of the lyrics just would not pack the same punch if they were delivered in the Queen's English. How this affects their marketability overseas is another matter, but perhaps that is not the group's concern.

Simplistic production has been the group's Achille's heel in the past - this has been remedied to a certain extent, but a number of tracks still come off sounding repetitive and are lacking the extra touch needed to transform them into something captivating. The same could be said for the lyrics which are well-delivered but a bit simplistic at times. The 3 MC's complement each other well, without sounding jarringly different. "Yskoud" is a stable, mature release that deserves to be heard, and hopefully won't end up in obscurity due to their record labels' apparent lack of focus in terms of marketing. [7.5/10]

[This review was also published in SL magazine]

<<Back to FlipSide Reviews