SpazaShop Boyz : SAs latest greatest rap duo


Signed under Sony/ATV Music Publishing with Jay Savage (Die Antwoord‘s main man), the SpazaShop Boyz are a rule-breaking, genre-bending pair of South African hip-hop musicians with a flare for the unusual. The group consists of Johnny Joburg and Charlie Mac – straight up balls-to-the-walls, energetic musicians who are true game changers in the SA urban music scene. On stage the SpazaShop Boyz don’t stop moving, hyping up audiences with their glowing persona’s, lyrical craftsmanship and unique sound. The magic happens at Post Office Productions – an up-and-coming indie music and graphics studio – with producers Francis Muller, Marc Woods and guest producer Six in a style completely original and daring. Culminating influences from a variety of genres including hip-hop, rock and roll and electronic dance music the SpazaShop Boyz will be releasing their highly anticipated debut album ‘Popular Science’ at the end of July 2012.

Working with their producers on unrelated business, I have been one of few fortunate enough to hear the album pre-release, so I can vouch for these guys – this music is HOT. Their debut single ‘Rehab Tony’ was released earlier this year, with an impressive music video directed by Ollie Nhlabatsi that propelled them into the spot-light on MTV Base and in Rolling Stone Magazine SA – with chart topping reviews. The black and white music video features scenes including: a sangoma (African witch doctor) throwing bones to read their future; a strung out Charlie Mac in a hospital gown clenching a giant bag of pills and hanging onto a drip; a chorus performed from inside a pair of coffins; Johnny Joburg in an army get-up parading around weaponry; and the pair hanging out in a Zulu-styled throne room kitted out with a stuffed lion and animal hides to boot. The eclecticism and confidence of their style is inspirational; as it is clear that these guys have created something totally new and are working hard to get to where they want to be in the industry.

The album features songs which range lyrically from story-telling, to affirmations, to bragging rights that any note-worthy rappers are entirely entitled to. My personal favourite line has to be “I killed a Saber Tooth Tiger, I got Saber Tooth fiber/black and white my stripes are/Gucci boots I slide up/I’m hot all year, 365 degrees – I light up” from the song entitled “Light Up”. This song makes me want to jump – the beat is enchanting and the lyrics are pure fun, making it a sure fire party starter. The rest of the album is just as exciting, but tracks like “Obey” and “More Money” get a little bit more sinister sounding with a different type of energy (which reminds me of those 3am club moments where remaining party-goers decide it’s best to revive the vibe by head-banging into the dawning sunlight). The energy and momentarily surprising genre twists throughout the album are incredibly interesting to listen to, and one cannot help but get pulled in to the aura of the music – which seems to pulsate in a magnetic sort of way. Johnny Joburg recently teamed up with renowned photographer Leroy Jason for a shoot in the theme of “Messenger from above”. Besides showing off the skill of the photographer himself, the shoot displays a side of the artist which is not particularly in the foreground of the group’s musical expression. These photographs show that art is central to his personal identity, which is great to report on from the standing-point that this blog is all for creators of any kind.

This musical outfit is definitely a must-see live, and I strongly suggest keeping an eye out for the release of Popular Science later this month – trust me, you don’t want to miss this. To listen to a mix of their tracks on Sound Cloud click here. You can also catch the SpazaShop Boyz on Facebook (click here) or Twitter (click here). I am personally very excited to see what becomes of this creative team.


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