The queers are here to save us
Something very exciting is taking shape in the music sphere. A number of beautiful projects that represent queers are popping up. Art inspired electro-rap duo, Stash Crew’s long awaited EP is one of them. Aptly titled, Origins, Stash Crew’s debut EP stays true to the crew’s signature; satirical cutting lyrics and electronic beats exploring South African identity, sexuality, class issues and politics.
Since their launch in 2014, the crew’s live performances, with bizarre visuals and props, have left audiences either shocked or amused, resulting in comparisons to the Cape Town duo, Die Antwoord. In the opening track, ‘E20’, Stash Crew refers to that comparison. In the last line of the self-praising song they rap, “You wanna be me? I’d like to see you try, Yolandi Visser.” For those who do not recognise the name, Yolandi Visser is the female half of Die Antwoord.
‘Phaya Fly’ is named after one of the crew’s members Missy Phaya Fly and is a proud celebration of her sexuality and race. Hypnotising drums and sounds of marimba form a perfect base for Fly’s rhymes as she gives us more than a glimpse of her sexual endeavors.
‘Shuga B’ serves as a reminder that Stash Crew is also capable of an uncomplicated neat sound. This track is made of gently plucked chords and a touch of percussion with vocals that tell a story of sexual persuasion, proving that sometimes the simplest of music can be the most beautiful.
Stash Crew explores the neat and uncomplicated thing a bit further in the next track, ‘Black Diamond Butterfly’. Also named after one of the crew’s members, this poem style track is completely free of instruments with a couple of voice effects. The Black Diamond Butterfly performed with performance art and music ensemble, The Brother Moves On, between 2011 and 2012. He released his first track on the ensemble’s first musical offering, The Golden Wake.
The last song in the project, ‘Eating Cake’ is my absolute favourite. In the song, Stash Crew go back to their signature; using satirical lyrics to address socio-economic issues. This track is a refreshing “State of The Nation.” Some of our most pressing issues as a country are mentioned while some of our high profile politician’s names are dropped.
With the buzz of activism all around the country where groups of people are desperately trying to make their voices heard, Origins couldn’t have been released at a better time. The collection is a bold statement of being, a necessary vent, a lifesaving eye opener, and an entertaining breath of fresh air.