She who unlearns the rules reimagines a new world
Following a couple of mixtapes and singles, including the smashing collaboration with Angel-Ho, ‘Keep in Touch’, Cape Town’s own “Boss Bitch”, Dope Saint Jude has released her debut EP, Reimagine. The six-track offering is Dope Saint Jude’s way of exploring the idea of recreating her own surroundings.
‘Brilliant, Arresting, Extravagant’ (ft. Andi Mkosi), the fifth and my most favourite track on the EP, best describes the overall theme of the collection; unapologetic, bold and unfiltered views of a young woman on issues such as social injustices, gender, race, sexuality and identity . On the song Mkosi delivers a hook in IsiXhosa about how colonialists tricked Africans into giving over their land and Saint Jude raps, “I’m fucking around with big boys/I don’t have a dick so I bring big toys.”
Reimagine was produced by the multi-talented Dope Saint Jude herself and mixed by Cape Town based hip-hop engineer, Kay Faith. In Addition to Mkosi, the EP also features Janeli on ‘Light of the Moon (Clair de Lune)’. Staying true to her style, Saint Jude made sure that this EP has a hip-hop and orchestral feel. Classical influences can be heard on my second favourite track, the outro (Look Out) where an odd but beautiful marriage of a choral arrangement and sparse 808s accompany Saint Jude’s prayer style rhymes as she makes an exit.
All the tracks in the EP are different from each other. With minimal beats on most tracks, the collection carries out so much music diversity, resulting to a pleasantly surprising explosive blend of sounds. Hi hats and raw bassline create a perfect platform for Saint Jude and Mkosi’s vocals on ‘Brilliant, Arresting, Extravagant’. Wild percussion elements feature on ‘Romance and Realism’ as Saint Jude reminds us, once again, of who she is; “I’m a grown ass woman and I make my own beats and I’m fucking with the clubs and books and the streets.” On ‘Spose 2 B’ enthralling drumbeats give us something to get down to while impassioned keys and emotional lyrics make ‘Light of the Moon (Clair de Lune)’ the slowest track of the six.
Written Siya Mahomba