I like the latest track, Larney Jou Poes , by Cape Town based hip hop crew, DOOKOOM
DOOKOOM is what you might call a horror rap outfit and they’ve just released a video for their new single, ‘Larney Jou Poes’ off the album entitled, A Gangster Named Big Times. Roughly translated, that means, ‘fuck you cunt, boss.’ The video dropped on October 15th, and it is safe to say, the whole country went post-apartheid apocalyptic, ape-shit.
But first, before we get to the music, some background for you. DOOKOOM is fronted by one of the most notoriously talented, outspoken and downright scary artists to appear on the scene in Cape Town, South Africa. If you haven’t heard of this cat yet, Isaac Mutant, is an ageless, fearless coloured artist and ja, he is just that, he’s a mutant. In fact he’s more. The coloured community in SA is probably one of the most unique and diverse cultures on the continent. Mutant is a real life numbers gangsta who has walked the jagged line of oppression, the new South Africa, pushing the limits of creativity, freedom of speech and the law while preaching the issues of a mutant culture. To be coloured during apartheid was to be a mutt, a left-over, an after-thought; not quite black, not quite white, but essentially a human spirit caught in limbo.
“I’m a walking, talking ouija board, a motherfucking ouja board,” to quote the growling lyrics of their self-titled track, ‘Dookoom’, Isaac Mutant is a demon caught in this dimension. Except for once, I think this ambiguity, this lucid identity, is going to play into his favour because his voice filters between the IRL world here in Cape Town, the past voice of his dop addled ancestors and the incredibly accommodating aesthetic of the Internet Generation where relevance is the only currency that carries any weight. DOOKOOM is nothing if not relevant, in every sense of the word.
DOOKOOM ‘s other instigator is Human Waste, the intriguing UK born producer and beat-maker who has a similar evil eye and caustic sonic expression that draws out the sinister sprechgesang sabela/English/Afrikaans language Mutant sings in. Then there is Roach, DJ, spokesbug and generally scary, big motherfucker.
The visual aestheticka is done by VJ artist, Spo0ky, whose layers of blood, guts, eyeballs and scratched sigils bring the horror behind the show to life.
Lastly there is their latest recruit, L i L i † H, a pissed-off haunting of a voice cloaked in gauzy ectoplasm.
When I first watched the video, it made me feel like, fucking sick.
It made me like fucking
It made me feel like, sick
It made me feel
It did what art is supposed to do. It made me feel. That’s why I liked it. It also made the AfriForum feel something, primarily that the music is Hate Speech, inciting violence (the burning of farms) and the overall concern for white farmers and their property. So much so that an official complaint was filed with the South African Human Rights Commission.
“My soul and body’s fighting again, I’m feeling crippled,” rasps Mutant as he rolls through the video on the back of a tractor, dressed as a boer (khaki safari gear) while actual farm workers get pissed on papsak and glare into the camera. He’s not telling these workers to go out and literally throw petrol around, light a match and dance on the grave of the white man.
He’s rapping about feelings, anger, frustration and c’mon, who here hasn’t felt fucked up about their shitty job/relationship/situation before? Marilyn Manson got the gears every time some kid acted out too and this is the same story. People are scared and they don’t like to see what is going on outside the comfort of their white-collared, easy listening jols. But people don’t know what they want, the never have and never will and it’s up to the artists like DOOKOOM to remind them they still have blood running in their veins. Sometimes out of them too.
I’ll admit I’ve become pretty obsessed with how this story is playing out and have digitally collected every press clipping I can find and pinned it to my Facebook Timeline as well as raising my opinions on what other writers are saying and having discussions. Special thanks to Roger Young here who did a top interview with the band and has given this article a bit of depth and detail with some of the factual content.
Typically, as could easily be predicted, this video became a hot topic for racist pricks, self-indulgent whiny bitches and the generally jealous populace. Nobody likes to see an underdog succeed, enter The Ninja argument. Before you ask, DOOKOOM is not the next Die Antwoord. They have nothing in common other than the fact that they’re both talented, aesthetically genius albeit uniquely different, creative and entertaining artists who come from the same city. Don’t measure these cats up against them, because the message, the mindset and the music is all different. Respect to Yo-Landi and Ninja but this is about DOOKOOM. Needless to say, the age-old hip hop war that rages on about which culture is allowed to be accredited with what, flared up hot and quick when the video dropped. There’s gotta be bad blood somewhere but it certainly isn’t between DOOKOOM and Die Antwoord. The two bands are mutual, neutral and this isn’t the issue.
To be honest, I spoke to a bunch of kids who have white farmers for dads and they, well, they’re scared and I guess they have every right to be. Growing up during the fall of Zimbabwe, stories of necklacing, raping and death is no joke, no matter what colour you are. All they want is to never see that happen to their families again. This is some controversial stuff.
For me, I’ll tell you what is cool about this song and about DOOKOOM in general over and above their obvious talent. They aren’t pussies. As Bret Easton Ellis pointed out recently, my generation, the one succeeding his own, is indeed Generation Wuss. We’re all too afraid to even have a cultural opinion for fear of losing likes on our Facebook page. We don’t love, we don’t hate, we just don’t care to make enough of a move to cause the eruptions that kicked off the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Generation Y? Generation Whine, more like. Isaac Mutant hasn’t got the time or comprehension for pussies or poese. He’s keeping it relevant. Keeping it real. He comes from another time, place and space.
The music, the magic, the art is something more powerful than relating it to Tyler The Creator or Die Antwoord. It’s unique and xxxcore-less. It’s demonic and if you want, Death Grips could be something you could listen to alongside this. More than anything, for me, it reminds me of 90s Tricky with the secret, whispering language and grinding, powerful beats mixed in with the Memphis horror rap underground scene from the 80s.
Overall, they are dark and metaphysically scary. They look like possessed bergie juggernaughts, encrusted in craft knives, faceless masks and gore. Yet somehow, there is that level of DIY street style that makes you realize that this is something the whole world is going to want to watch. It’s poetry, it’s got killer hooks, it’s terrifying, it makes you feel like an animal, it makes you want to wear their rags. It makes you want to leave your house.
It makes you feel alive.