Dirty Paraffin, Trailblazing Black Artists in South Africa

In the middle of Meja L. Shoba‘s documentary on Dirty Paraffin, a South Africa-based electronic duo, the band says they do it for the kids. Not necessarily a particularly interesting comment, even if it is a great sentiment. But they elaborate: “A lot of kids, growin’ up, they feel like ‘Yo, if you wanna rap, you gotta sound at least American’. We like, ‘Yo, we in South Africa.'” Despite a global ear for electronic and hip hop music around the world, the duo intentionally makes music with an eye towards crafting their own space for artistic expression, rather than adopting well-defined territories like the “hip hop” or “house” they take influence from. The 12-minute film is chock full of insightful moments like this as it tracks the duo’s past, present, and future. Definitely worth a look (and a listen).

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