Ebro Explores 3 South African Hip-Hop Artists—Sjava, Shane Eagle and YoungstaCPT—in New Mini-Documentary ‘Rap Life: Ebro in South Africa’

Ebro chats to Sjava, Shane Eagle and YoungstaCPT in 'Rap Life: Ebro in South Africa.'

Ebro Darden was in South Africa towards the end of 2019, and he interviewed several South African hip-hop artists Sjava, Shane Eagle and YoungstaCPT about their music, lives and race relations in South Africa. The singer Amanda Black appears towards the end of the 9-minute film and talks about owning her African identity.


Ebro, who's currently Apple Music's global editorial head of hip hop and R&B, takes a tour with the artists into their worlds. Sjava's interview takes place at Kwa Mai Mai Food Market, a braai spot in the heart of Johannesburg, where a lot of Zulu people hang around, eat and jam to maskandi music.

"You still have your own family, but the people who will look out for you and support you most of the time – it's guys that you'll find on the street. I'm where I am because of them,"says Sjava, commenting on his love for everyday people, which is reflected in his music and how he handles himself as a person.

Ebro has a special interest in South Africa's division of races, which is still in place today. "Coloured guys adopted hip-hop first in South Africa," YoungstaCPT tells Ebro. "Because of groups like Afrika Bambaataa, Public Enemy and N.W.A those messages were filtering through to us down here, because the experiences were so similar - with the army and the government and riots. So, the music was adopted very early here."

Reflecting on his time, Ebro said: "I was blown away by my experience in South Africa. As it continues to define its future as a nation, Hip-Hop music which is being released from every community and cultural group in South Africa is helping shape this future. For me it was enlightening to be able to learn more about today's hottest South African Hip-Hop artists and where they have come from. I'm excited to help tell their stories and those of other great artists from across the continent to the world."

Watch the full Rap Life: Ebro in South Africa documentary below:

‎Rap Life: Ebro in South Africa on Apple Music itunes.apple.com

Click here for our coverage of South African hip-hop.

Interview
Photo: Nick Beeba

Interview: Sango's ‘Da Rocinha 4’ Is a Polished & Grinding Take On Baile Funk

We speak with the Seattle-based DJ and producer about his new album and the music bridges connecting Brazil, the US and the world.

It's a common joke in Brazil: once three or more Brazilian people gather together, they will start a WhatsApp group. The producer and DJ Kai Wright, who goes by the alias Sango, is well aware of that. While he is giving this interview through a Zoom call, a sound notification pops from his computer. "Do you hear that?" he says, amidst laughs. "It's WhatsApp, this album was made through WhatsApp groups."

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