Sunday, March 18, 2018

"In Your Arms, Where All my Journeys End" - Living Between Cape Town & San Francisco

Living Between Cape Town, South Africa and San Francisco, USA


This is the 3rd time that I am in San Francisco and its becoming easier to wrap my head around living across continents. Now that my wife and kids are settled here in the Bay, I see the idea of a global village more clearly and how complicated it is versus the ease of knowing where one is based. 
It took my Cancerian self a while to be at ease that the whole world is my home and not only the Cape Flats, Cape Town, South Africa. I have travelled before and been to many places, but it has always been to perform and I knew that I was heading home. The irony of that is that often South Africans don't even see being so-called coloured as being South African, but what do they know at times ne. 
Anyway, I must say that being here in the USA during what seems like trying times politically has made me think about the global illusion of democracy and how "we the people" seem to be at the mercy of capitalisms deciding money that paid for election campaigns. In South Africa we had Jacob Zuma and his connection to the Gupta family and here in the USA we have Donald Trumps connection to the NRA and every other business interest versus that of the peoples will. It's kinda sad for the global family to be sold an illusion of division and borders as a way to secure economics, when in truth money has no borders and the same people keeping us apart, are really making sure that they keep us away from realising that we have collective power and if we do see our similarity, we will become more of a threat to their economic strange-hold over humanity.
So as I travel between my family in South Africa and my family in the USA, I am constantly seeing the movement of people between worlds and the global family seems to become so much smaller. The enforced stereotypes that I have been forced to have of various communities are broken by speaking to them at airports and gatherings in far away places and in the comfort of a seat on a plane for a very very long time. They open up more than they would if they were to be in their designated box back home. Here on this plane or waiting to board, we are just travelling souls heading for the fulfilment of our hearts across time and space. So we speak easier and we see the humanity of each other much easier ... until we get to the border control and are suddenly not as welcomed as we were on the journey between. The passport control and check if you are allowed in and standing in that long ass lines, often make me sad about what we have become for the benefit of economics. The illusion of difference and the divide of the global human family. But, it is what it is for now and we do what we have to do to see our loved ones. 
The joy awaiting on the other side of that passport control is impossible to calculate and what we would not do to ensure that those loving arms and smiles enfold us and plant long deep kisses of joy and completion onto us ... We have come home ... And HOME IS IN THE ARMS OF OUR LOVED ONES. 
When I heard and fell in LOVE with the song "THE PROMISE" by Tracy Chapman, I had no idea that it would mean so much more to me as time went on and that the line ...
"Together again It would feel so good to be In your arms Where all my journeys end ..." 
would have such profound meaning in my life.
Thank You Tracey Chapman ...

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Internalisation of Knowledge Of Self

The Internalisation Knowledge Of Self & Self Worth/ Love ... We Are NOT POOR ...  

"Ek hettie geld ie ... Os is ma arme mense ... Os skarrel elke dag. " These are words that I hear around me all the time and I wonder about the power that these words may have.

I see our people with the latest clothing and cellphones and always buying airtime, yet I hear them say how little to nothing they have. I hear parents tell children that they are poor and I wonder what poor they are talking about. Its like when I was growing u on the Cape Flats and people never referred to where I live as a ghetto, but a neighbourhood and we treated it as such by looking after each other in the community. Playing together and making things work for us. You seldom heard kids say that they are bored or had nothing to do. All we had stick, that we broke from a tree and we made a hole in the sand and put the stick across the hole. Then with another stick, we flung the smaller stick away from the opens housing guard and this was a game called "kennetjie". We played for hours. We would sometimes use stones if we could find it laying around as well. Then we played "Drie Blikkies", if we found 3 tins somewhere and so on.



We were never poor ... we were innovative and creative. Our minds were not pushed in that direction, but now the children of that generation seem to have been given Playstation etc and constantly say how bored they are. They also say how little they have and how they see themselves as poor. I listen to parents speak to their children about how things were when they were young, yet they do not instil that same drive in their children to see themselves as PRICELESS. We seem to be creating our own poverty by the way we have been taught to speak about ourselves and our ability. I remember hours of playing "Kerim" / Carrom" with with my brasse and being completely content about it.


Maybe with all the load-shedding we should disconnect our laaities from the grid and move them away from the virtual world and back to the physical / REAL world ne. I know I am saying this from an internet platform, but BALANCE IS NEEDED.

Finally, I would like to say that WORDS HAVE POWER and if you do not believe me, just see what happened to Biggie and Tupac after speaking about dying and being shot. We manifest what we speak and one of the greatest such manifestations is ... "In the beginning was the word and the word was made man." I wrote a rhyme about this called "Babblers from Babylon" http://www.reverbnation.com/emileyx/song/2368020-babblers-from-babylon-

Heres the lyrics of that song:-

Babblers from Babylon-Talk is Cheap
Lyrics by Emile Jansen
Chorus
These babblers from babylon, I hear them babbling on and on/ The battle it be over even before its begun X 2
Now you can't chant down babylon/ If all you have is an empty song/ Now you cant chant down babylon,
when you dont know whats going on
Verse 1
Ohmmmm !!!!!
In the beginning was the word and the word was made man
See even God took actions on the words in his plan
Can you understand when our words were our bond
Now rappers speew words like their mouths are magic wonds
Conned from wordsworth, tell me whats your wordsworth
When your words never ever into action even give birth
Words be like Oh No, now Im meaningless
Before these empty MCs, you see I had meaning yes
The meaninglessness of words has now escalated
Self-hatred paraded on poster poles are under-rated
Sacred was the word when we thought before we spoke
Its a joke when freestyle MCs freely on their words choke
Poke it with a stick, words meanings sticking to the page
At this stage we've forgotten how to use our words to rage
Uncage the words meaning, let your words manifest
Lest saying isn't doing, so on your words do your best
Chorus
Verse 2
Talk is cheap, now everyone is an MC,
But cant see the industries still run by mental Slavery
Artists are an apostrophe, owned they're their property
Promptly, promoting commodities a priority
See these slaves endorse products aplenty
Where MCs get 10% while industry gets 90
Empty MCs on Empty TV's
Words are empty thanks to the corporate squeeze
Please - I never thought that I'd see the day
Where your flow is more important than acting on what you say
Hey ! big word spitters, who do you actually rhyme for
So hardcore that the masses of listeners you ignore
Im sure MCs an acronym for mental captivity
No sustainability cause everyone gets in for free
Put them on your guest list, you guest yes pockets empty
Empty like the beers they consume after entry
Chorus
Break
Drums come and call on the son
To return the meaning to where word came from
Some spit venom verbally inflicting pain
When all fades away only the word will remain
Ohmmmmmmm !!!!!

Verse 3
These babblers babble on and with forked tongue spit at the sun
They've come to cruxify the revolutionary one
Beware of these ones who speak with forked tongue
On a cross in Calvary, they the word hung
Spun Democracies falacies and free-trade policies
These global capitalist media monopolies
Empty promises from politicians to economists
The conning list, they insist silences pessimist
Make passivists from activists, opportunists capitalists
Capital YES SIS, Tokyos the apprentice to their riches
B.E.E greedy , legitimize privitization
Our nation sold to foreign economic occupation
Gone are our revolutionary youth who fought for freedom
See them in the malls acting like dumb ass Hilton ...
Their battles won if the words meanings gone
On your words be impeccable and  true change will come

Masses minds won when medias brainwashing gets done
These sons of capitalism control the sales of the gun
     

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Emile YX? Awarded Honourary Awards from South African Hip Hop Awards 2014 & Iconic Urban Dance Awards 2014

Emile YX? Awarded Honourary Awards from South African Hip Hop Awards 2014 & Iconic Urban Dance Awards 2014

I started dancing in 1980, like Michael Jackson and in 1982 moved on to Popping and then B-boying or as we knew it back then, Break-dancing. my first crew was called ... and later that changed and we formed the Pop Glide Crew.


These b-boys went on to form groups like Furious Floor Rockers, who later became Black Noise. I am writing a book about my whole experience in Hip Hop and will share that everyone early in next year. It is called "Making A Black Noise". In the meantime, here is a copy of the activities that I have been involved with since way back then.

Biography of Emile YX?

Emile YX? (www.emileyx.co.za) is often considered to be one of the Pioneers or Godfathers of South African Hip Hop and is a founder member of the legendary South African Hip Hop Group, Black Noise (www.blacknoise.co.za). He is best known for his developmental work and community outreach projects like the Heal the Hood Project (www.healthehood.org.za ) and hosting events like African Hip Hop Indaba, Battle of the Year, Shut Up Just Dance, African Battle Cry, Cape Flats Uprising, Surf Day, Up The Rock and Freestyle Session.



Emile YX? is also known for being a founding member of legendary Black Noise Hip Hop Group and his work on eTVs “Step Up or Step Out”, but he has helped to raised money for and sent 159 young people to travel to international events globally. He has recorded and released 12 albums with Black Noise, 6 solo Emile YX? Albums, 1 Afrikaaps soundtrack, 9 compilation albums, 7 Heal the Hood compilation albums and helped 6 local artists release their solo albums. Emile started South Africa’s first Hip Hop magazine “Da Juice” and wrote 3 books. He also helped graffiti artists Falko and Mak1 to release their own magazines and a compilation of Rhymes, Articles, Poetry, Short Stories and Sketches R.A.P.S.S. His achievements are too many to list, so we decided to list them by year below:-

1982 Emile started break-dancing with Pop Glide Crew & is thus one of South Africa’s Hip Hop Pioneers
1988 Emile makes it to the regional finals of the Shell Road to Fame with “the Chill Convention, who later that year becomes the legendary South African Hip Hop Group, Black Noise - Emile qualified as a school teacher and taught at Battswood Primary
1989 Black Noise wins the Mayors Award for Greening the City rhyme
1990 Black Noise as they win “Most Promising New Artists” in Super-curl Contest and end up performing with Yvonne Chaka Chaka
1991 Emile and Black Noise self- funded a tour to JHB to explore their own record deal and performed with Brenda Fassie & Marc Alex. Tour to Johannesburg
1992 Emile and Black Noise signed a record deal with Tusk Records & release Black Noise 1st Album “Pumpin’ Loose Da Juice”
1993 Emile decided to leave formal teaching & teach through Hip Hop
South Africa’s first Hip Hop Magazine Da Juice Magazine







Released Black Noise 2nd Album as cassette “Rebirth “ as the first self-funded album
Black Noise song Dance in the Party selected for Monster Hits Compilation 2
Black Noise song “A Day After” reaches No.1 on Radio Metro Top 10
Black Noise perform with 2Unlimited and Duran Duran

1993 - Da Juice Magazine

National Tours for Album launch
1993 - Tarro leaves
1993 - Mikey leaves
1993 - Marley and Emile discuss focus of BN
1993 - Searching for new members Ray and Gavin – 1993
1993 -            ANC election campaign, first democratic election
Voters Education regional tour
1994 Black Noise Helped with Voters Education before South Africa’s first democratic election campaign before our countries first & 2nd election
Do For Self Concerts and Concept is born
Performed at the Cape Town Inauguration of Nelson Mandela
Emile attends Universal Zulu (Hip Hop) Nation Anniversary in New York, USA
Emile & Black Noise perform with Shabba Ranks
1994 -            Trip to Zulu Nation Anniversary
1994 -            1994 - Warro and Ernie leaves BN – Jacking the equipment for cash

Doing for Self & Others

Library Tour

Emile releases Black Noise 3rd Album, “Black Facts” in St Louis Missouri, USA
1995 Emile & Black Noise were part of a movie about youth globally called Juvenis and performed in Sweden for the UN 50th Anniversary
released Black Noise 2nd Album as a CD “Rebirth” in South Africa
1995 -            Do For Self Jams
1995 -            Universal Hip Hop Nation

Rebirth of Mind and Hip Hop Culture

Tape independent release

Finding the new character for BN

Prep for the recording at Desirees place , the Farm

Prep of the new show

Developing the Do For Self Concert and Album - 1995
Falco joins BN for 4th element of hip hop
International connection
Ray and the Swedish connection. Global Youth Movie Juvenis
Sponsorship by Adidas
1995 -            Swedish Tour
Master on DAT pressed as payment
CD released in 1995
Black Facts , Tape release with Birthright records in St Louis Missouri
1996 Emile created 30 day holiday programme,  African Battle Cry that still runs in December every year released Black Noise 4th Album, as a cassette “ Questions”
1997 Emile was part of Black Noise Team that won 3rd place at World Break-dance Championships in Germany
toured South Africa with Senegalese Rap Group “Positive Black Soul”
as part of Robben Island Artist in Residence programme Emile, Black Noise and Mike-T-Frank create a song about the race issues between so-called coloureds & so-called Blacks. The song is named “Nobody Knows”
Launch African Battle Cry to teach hip hop in South Africa
Emile tours with Black Noise to Namibia & Belgium
1998 Emile created a NPO called Heal the Hood Project and toured SA to teach Hip Hop
Brought (Brazilian Martial Arts) ABADA Capoeira to South Africa which now run by Angolan Belesa who teaches in and around Cape Town
released Black Noise 5th Album “Hip Hop Won’t Stop”
Tour Sweden and Germany
performed with Manu Dibangu
1999 Hosted South Africa’s first National Break-dance Champs to select S.A. team
Co-owned the first Hip Hop Shop in Cape Town called “The Hip Hop Corner”
Toured nationally to promote hip hop especially break-dancing
11 – 21 October 1999 – Tour Ireland with Angelo and Daniel van Wyk
2000 created an annual Hip Hop Event called “African Hip Hop Indaba”
S.A. leg of World Break-dance
Emile is part of the South African Team that wins 4th at the World Break-dance Champs
Released Black Noise 6th Album “Circles of Fire”
2001 Emile was invited to represent South Africa at NJPAC in the USA. Invited to be on a panel about International Hip Hop at Harvard.
won the Blunt Skate Magazine Activist of the Year
Emile helps Black Noise to be one of the first 8 groups to get funded by MMINO
Emile started to help other artist get recorded at the African Hip Hop Indaba. He has since compiled 6 compilation CDs released in small quantities. He also released CDs for Plain Madnizz, Isaac Mutant, Lionz of Zion, Conquering Lions, Jamayka Poston and Ancient Men.
2002 Emile helped Black Noise sign a deal in Sweden and release their 7th Album “Rotational High” with Integral Music AB
Tour Sweden and established Heal the Hood Sweden, with Jenny Berg
Emile performed with Black Noise at Black August with Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez

2003 Emile release his first solo album “Who Am I?”

Emile release his second book named “My Hip Hop is African and Proud”
Performed at Alsang Pa Skansen, a huge Swedish National live TV broadcast

2004 Emile created and release South Africa’s first Hip Hop DVDs Vol#1

released Black Noise 8th Album, “Jam Sessions”
Emile tour Sweden, Holland, Norway and released “Jam Sessions” & Hip Hop How To DVD with Black Noise
Emile & Black Noise perform with Joe & assisted the ANC election campaign

2005 Emile created and release South Africa’s 2nd Hip Hop DVDs Vol#2

Tour Norway and Sweden
Emile creates a book called R.A.P.S.S which stands for Rhymes Articles, Poetry, Short Stories and Sketches that gives a voice to young peoples stories from the cape flats communities.
2006 Emile presented a talk at UCT International Confluences Dance Conference.
-wrote 3 books “What is Hip Hop?”, “My Hip Hop is African and Proud” and “Conscious Rhymes for Unconscious Minds”
-created a break-dance/b-boy syllabus and taught others how to teach
- released 5 solo CDs as Emile YX?
- Created events like African Battle Cry, Freestyle Session, Battle of the Year South Africa, R16 SA, Our Hip Hip, Shut Up Just Dance,
- Released more than 15 local DVDs
released Black Noise 9th Album, “ Getcha on the Floor”
released Emile YX? & Jamayka Poston collaborative album between South Africa and Angola addressing the issues like racism, Afro-phobia, Xenophobic attacks etc and the album was called Conquering Lions
2007 I presented a talk about International Hip Hop at Harvard University, USA
Emile was asked to judge at the World Finals of Red Bull BC1 in JHB
Tour Schools as part of Anti – tik drug Campaign on the Cape Flats
– Emile YX? releases 2nd Solo Album, ROAR – Live it Loud
– Emile YX? wins Community Builder Award
Emile YX? tours Heal the Hood to Norway, Italy and England

2008 Emile helps Black Noise to release their 10th Album Best of Black Noise, Vol.#1

Emile released his 2nd solo album called Roar – live it loud, African and Proud

Emile helped young break-dancers travel to be a part of Afrika! Afrika! a travelling creative platform that toured Europe for 4 years
2009 Emile wrote a break-dance syllabus called “B-Boy Grade 1” and taught and graded more than 100 youths for free.
2010 Emile was part of a team that created “Afrikaaps” a musical play about the untold black history of the Afrikaans language which went on to win numerous local and international awards. A documentary was also made of the play & won
Best Production, nomination for Best new Afrikaans Production, Kanna KKNK Nominations 2010 nomination for Beste KKNK-Debuutwerk, nomination for Beste Aanbieding
Afrikaaps documentary won Encounters Film Festival – Cape Town 2010 Audience Award , Runner Up Best SA Documentary
asked to represent SA on Anti-World Cup song and then toured the USA
- Emile assisted in the creation of a documentary about the work done by Heal the Hood called “From B-boys to Being Men” which has already been screened in Austria, USA and Sweden
- Was part of a documentary about artist activists in South Africa called “Creators”
Emile helped to release Black Noise 11th Album, “ Stone Garden Soldiers”
Emile releases his 3rd solo album named Conscious Rhymes for Unconscious Times
Emile also won the Western Cape Arts & Culture Award for his Contribution to Literary Arts in 2011
2011 -
- selected from national audition as a Judge for reality TV show on eTV called Step up or Step Out
- ran for Ward Councillor in Grassy Park
- Heal the Hood were Awarded by Words Beats and Life with the award for “Hip Hop Organisation of the Year”
- toured the play Afrikaaps for a month in Amsterdam
- student from Heal the Hood syllabus chosen to create a similar project for regional government and is teaching in schools throughout western cape while creating jobs for other youth as well at various schools
Afrikaaps won Kyknet Fiesta Awards ( SA) 2011 Moenier Adams – Best upcoming artist & professional debut, Best Musically Driven Production, Kanna KKNK Awards (SA) 2011 Moenier Adams; Beste Opkomende Professionele Kunstenaar.
Afrikaaps director Dylan Valley was nominated as Best Director at 6th annual SAFTA (South African Film & Television) Awards 2011as well as Fleur du Cap Awards 2011 nomination for Best new South African Script. Afrikaaps documentary won an Award from Keuze van de WijkJury Amsterdam 2012 for Beste Voorstelling Amsterdam 2011/12, Babel Film Festival Sardinia
Italy 2011 Best Film, CWFF (Cape Winelands Film Festival) Awards 2011 Best new South African Documentary



Emile releases an album with Afrikaaps as a soundtrack to the play
2012 Emile created South Africa’s first Hip Hop dance production called Mixing it Up and showcased 16 dancers in Cape Town and Johannesburg
- selected to judge for the 2nd season of eTVs Step Up or Step Out
- Youth I taught from Lavender Hill are now paid by Heal the Hood to teach workshops after School hours  for free to marginalised youth
- Created a group with Lavender Hill youth called Mixed Mense. Emile released his 4th solo album “Born & Bred on the Cape Flats”
2013
Emile released his 5th album with Mixed Mense
. He was also selected as a judge for the 3rd season of ETVs Step Up or Step Out
 - created second Hip Hop play called “BREAK” & showcased it at Artscape - nominated for Hip Hop Pioneer of the Year, International Award
- Performed with Mixed Mense at Darling Voorkamerfees
- Emile and Mixed Mense assist Natural Justice with creating a Theater of the Oppressed drama piece to perform to the Bushman community and get to perform at the grave-side of Ooom Dawid Kruiper while in the Kalahari -  Emile’s track “The Rhythm” selected for Battle of the Year 2013 Soundtrack


2014
Emile started the year preparing Heal the Hood Project to become more focused and created round-table discussions to increase the network of NGO’s in the Western Cape working with youth. Emile was then also invited to create a song at !Khwattu for Infecting the City. In March he organized for Black Noise to perform in the USA at The Kennedy Center as part of the One Mic Global Hip Hop Festival. Emile both performed and spoke of a panel about community activism. He then also performed and spoke on panels at Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Connecticut. Emile also travelled to San Francisco to speak about Princess Vlei, as well as the affect Knowledge of Self has had on his life, work and interactions with Hip Hop and its community. Afrikaaps, the play, was hosted at Artscape. Recorded “Set Your Goals Up High” for Mxit and Marikana Massacre. The Mxit song got 37000 downloads in a week. Initiated the 1st Annual Heal the Hood Hip Hop Lectures at UWC, as part of African Hip Hop Indaba 2014.

Emile has thus far helped to raise money and sent 163 youth artists to international events toured and taught Hip Hop and anti-racism in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, England, Italy, USA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe


Emile also performed on same stages as Robbie Jansen, Hilton Schilder, Prophets of Da City, Manu Dibungo, Salif Keita, Baba Maal, Brenda Fassie, Shabba Ranks, Dr Alban, Duran Duran, 2Unlimited, Snoop Doggy Dog, Pharrel, Joe, Shaggy, Mario, Arrested Development, HHP, Kurt Darren, Steve Hoffmeyer, Black Thought of the Roots, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Kyle Sheperd, Jitsvinger, Shane Cooper, Vicky Sampson, Jennifer Jones, Zane Adams, The Boyz, K’naan, Dr Victor, Freshly Ground, Sons of Selassie and many more