Maggz, a relatively ignored rapper in my canon of lyricists – along with the other gentlemen featured on this otherwise-average song – makes a grand entry of fastidious accuracy with his verse. His voice, hoarse in the beginning – an homage to the high-grade ganja he’s alluding to be smoking – resolves and becomes higher-pitched after the first four bars. “On beats (?) we owning these streets and that’s no damn lie!” he declares, busting wide open the gates of flurry and momentarily shattering the barriers of flow wizardry. Both AKA and Da LES get diminished, become non-entities in the captivating presence of Soweto’s own. Gone are the Jadakiss/Fabolous comparisons Maggz used to face (he affirmed them, actually). “I know SOWETO testify” he continues with enamouring sincerity, the quickfire parlance of his flow never abating. The listener gets an exclusive scoop into Jozi’s suburban urban existence as the master orator informs us that “for this balling shit we’ve got rings on.“
The ‘we‘ being referenced to is not immediately clear – could it be Jozi’s nouveau-riche?; BEE-beneficiaries?; Jozi thugs and their mini- empires?
Whatever the case, Maggz impresses with his high-precision flow, coupled with vivid portraits of snippets into Johannesburg’s nightlife. He offers exclusive access into it all – the sex, the weed and alcohol…the very trappings of South African youth in 2013. To some, it gets hard to reconcile this flagrant display of wealth with how the majority of this country’s citizens live. While there is a burgeoning middle class of black thinkers, doers and bullshitters, the other side of the tracks reveals a grimier, murkier underbelly of Mzansi. Which is why this song is perhaps necessary – to make people think about those disparities. And if not, then for the mere fact that it thumps hard in the club. I’ll stop now 🙂
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