Eastern Cape has had its fair share of incredible hiphop artist. If we were talking about artist who are from the EC and are current doing the most, we would talk about guys like Anatii, Yanga, PdotO, Kid Tini, and as the saying goes: the list is endless. However, when I look at that list, what stands out for me is the fact that all these artist have had to go to the Jay before we began to appreciate them. Is this a must or are artist such as the ones mentioned ‘Outliers’.
Just Aya released his second mixtape titled ‘Blunts Beats and Me Too’ on the 20th of April. As soon as we heard it we could agree on one thing: Aya is Eastern Cape and he does it well. His project has the vernacular songs like ‘Ndikhangel’ Ithuba’ with a heavy message. In this track he urges the listener to question whether or not they are becoming their full potential, to reflect on dreams and how to fulfil them.
On the flip side he has the more light hearted songs like ‘Grand Grand’ where he raps in English and the sound can be compared to new school hiphop. Aya does not compromise lyrically and he delivers on both fronts. His ability to do so effortlessly is displayed on ‘Mtata Street Freestyle’. Here he beast out and he’s a force to be reckoned with.
It must be pointed out that Yanga also does this very well, he went toe to toe with AKA on Dreamwork then dropped his first single Mntase which is completely different. I’m sure there are plenty more artist with this skill.
As well, one cannot help but notice what statement is made by a predominantly vernacular mixtape. As much as we question our ability to comprehend the English language, in Blunts Beats and Me Too, Just Aya implores that we challenge ourselves to comprehend his offering in what seems to be a comfortable expression for him.
So what makes Aya EC? When you see international artist starting to infuse an African sound in what they are doing. Then you see well-travelled guys like Anatii aka “Electronic Bushman” begin to draw from African sounds and vernacular delivery. You begin to think that maybe the world wants to hear us and our stories. Trying to mimic their songs will not be impressive for much longer. I believe Aya is in the right lane and he will start to see more and more artist drifting into it.
In a conversation I had with him about his ability to express himself regardless of what language he chooses he said “I do it because I can… I started as an English rapper but I got tired of trying to reach my people in a language which is not their own. I was rapping with Veri Veri at the time and he inspired me to switch it up. Today I believe it’s the song that ultimately determines which way I take it but when it’s all said and done I want to be remembered for songs like ‘Ilanga Litshonile’.
Source: Just Aya
Another reason Aya is EC is the fact that he is doing all this from right here: Now the question is whether or not EC artist will gain appreciation or must he and the other guys, that make great music, first go to the Jay before we buy into them? Ponder on that one.
Blunts Beats and Me Too is a very balanced project with a bit of everything. Aya manage to bring out the venomous side of M2kane and the Lwaistar feature was wild on this project. The peotry Interludes by Motella and Kay Mazulu ties the project together nicely. Luvo and Aya should work on a 5 track EP just to bring us closer to that Eastern Cape sound.
Finally we should all work on a cool name to package it up then sell it to the world.
What did you think about the project? Let us know.
Blunts Beats And Me Too