Cape Town's Indigo Children Rap Their Truths Over Arsenic’s Soulful Beats

Arsenic's new boom-bap EP features Chris Gaudy, Andy Mkosi, YoungstaCPT, Mvula Drae and more.

Sadly it's only 15 minutes long. Just as you are gearing for more heat, it's done. Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo, the latest in the series of mixtapes by Cape Town veteran producer Arsenic, packs some serious heat.

It's too focused in theme to be an EP and plays rather as a short album with skits containing explainers of the concept of indigo children. The producer is astonished by the ways of the indigo subculture.

Last week, he told IOL:

"The indigo project name came because I started exploring the concept of indigo children a few years ago. They are children sent to earth to alter and heighten the vibrational frequency of our planet and expand our consciousness. All of the artists I work with display that ability."

First off displaying that ability is the rapper Chris Gaudy and the singer Soul Sista Tilo on the EP's first song "Indigo." With an unmatched conviction, Gaudy speaks on the concept of protecting your unorthodox dreams in a world that favors clones.

The rapper Andy Mkosi viciously raps about the contradictions of "the city of Apartheid," i.e. Cape Town, on the remix to her 2013 song "Words." She explores the complexities of the city—class and race—in a near-perfect 16 bar verse. YoungstaCPT, who appears on the second verse, finishes what Andy started with another one of his show-stealing guest verses.

To relieve your ear of the heat provided by the first two songs, the vocalist Tiffany Joseph appeases you with smooth vocals over mild piano keys.

Mvula Drae closes this grand gathering of some of CPT's finest with "Hidden Formula." The young lyricist exhibits his 90s-inspired flows over a falsetto trumpet loop.

Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo will thoroughly entertain boom-bap heads and fans of lyrics. It plays out as an album by a group of artists who are comfortable with picking their own lane and sticking to it.

Listen to Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo below or download it here.

Image supplied by Candice Chirwa.

In Conversation with Candice Chirwa: 'Menstruation is More than Just Bleeding for Seven Days.'

South African activist Candice Chirwa, the 'Minister of Menstruation', speaks to us about what a period-positive world looks like, the challenges menstruators face even in 2020 and her important advocacy work with QRATE.

It's 2020, and naturally, tremendous advancements have been made across various spheres of society. From the prospect of self-driving cars and drones delivering medicines to rural areas to comparatively progressive politics and historic "firsts" for many disenfranchised groups, we've certainly come a long way. However, in the midst of all that progress, there is still one issue which continues to lag behind considerably and consistently, particularly in less developed countries: menstruation.

Candice Chirwa is a young Black woman on a mission to fiercely change the disempowering narratives and taboos that still shroud the issue of menstruation. The 24-year-old South African activist, who is endearingly known as the "Minister of Menstruation" on social media, wants young girls and women to not only accept but embrace their bodies fully in a society that insists on speaking in hushed tones about a perfectly normal biological process. Both Chirwa's research and advocacy work with the UN and her award-winning NGO, QRATE, has focused on dispelling common myths about menstruating, removing the shame and stigma around it and giving menstruators the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their world through impactful workshops.

And when Chirwa isn't collaborating with Lil-Lets, one of the biggest sanitary product brands on the continent, or co-authoring a bad-ass book titled Perils of Patriarchy, she's dominating the TEDx stage and making sure that her audience, no matter how diverse or varied, leaves the room feeling comfortable and courageous enough to boldly shout the word "vagina".

We caught up with Chirwa to discuss what initially compelled her to become a "period-positive" activist, her continued advocacy work with QRATE and what kind of world she imagines for menstruators.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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