After over 20 years of beats, raps and rhymes, Black Noise is South Africa’s oldest active hip-hop crew. Hailing from Mitchell’s Plain in the Cape Flats (Cape Town), Emile YX? and the rest of the crew have been holding it down for over two decades, making new music and continuing their community work with Heal the Hood. Nomadic Wax was in Cape Town a few months ago with the Black Noise crew and shot two new music videos which are now available to watch online.
The first track/video is entitled “The Cape Flats, Mitchell’s Plain.” It is a fun party track celebrating an oft misunderstood and misrepresented area that is too often associated solely with organized crime, drug dealing, and gang violence. The crew, including founding member Emile YX?, are all from Mitchell’s Plain. As Emile puts it, “’The Cape Flats, Mitchells Plain’ track is an attempt from our side to dispel the general belief carried by local media that only bad comes from these communities. Media mostly tells the stories of gangsters and drug dealers when speaking of this community and in so doing keep people from traveling there. Thus keeping people divided post Apartheid.”
The song and video chronicle Emile YX?, DJ Thee Angelo and crew from their first break dance crew created in Rocklands (in Mitchell’s Plain) and how years later the Black Noise blueprint that was laid down has come to fruition. The video features young neighborhood b-boys as the next generation of South African b-boys, as well as House, an American dancer, who is the founder and director of Urban Artistry. Shot on location by Nomadic Wax’s Magee McIlvaine, the video chronicles the Cape Flats colored townships in Cape Town. The Afrikaans community has a particularly poor reputation in South Africa for gangsterism and violence. Some of the worst drug problems come out of these neighborhoods. Yet it is out of that context that Black Noise grew, in direct contrast to all of this. Indeed, they have never left the neighborhood. They continue to live in The Cape Flats and have done so their entire lives.
The second video is a b-boy jam, pure and simple. It is a celebration of South Africa’s vibrant b-boy culture which Black Noise helped to create. It opens with one of Heal the Hood’s regular youth workshops on Hip Hop, Culture, and Identity that they hold throughout the region.
Enjoy the visuals, and support the work of artists like these who have dedicated their lives to upliftment of their communities.