JOOX reviews Early B’s songs and album
Early B is no stranger to the Afrikaans hip-hop scene. His songs and live performances entertain his fans throughout South Africa. We spoke to Iliska Crossley, one of JOOX’s expert Senior Content Managers about Early B, Afrikaans hip-hop and music streaming’s impact on the South African music industry.
What did you think of Early B’s performance at this year’s ‘Alternatief is Groot’ concert?
“Early B’s performance got the whole crowd on their feet! He brings great energy to the stage and can connect with the audience, which takes a live performance to a whole new level. The incredible thing was that a big part of the crowd knew every word of the songs he was singing. He uses a lot of PE Afrikaans slang, so it was great to see how a Pretoria-based crowd has embraced his music.”
Why do you think South Africans connect so well with Early B’s music?
“I think there are several reasons: Hip-hop as a genre is very popular, and a lot of inspiring artists have emerged from the South African hip-hop scene. What makes Early B stand out is his absolute virtuosity as an MC – he has mastered his craft. He also injects his music with just the right balance of honesty and humour. He sings about genuine issues facing the community he grew up in, as well as inserting a lot of tongue-in-the cheek observations. Humour is a fantastic way to break down barriers and highlight sensitive issues.”
Do you think music streaming is the future for launching new artists?
“Record Labels have shifted their strategy to online when launching new artists. Often when signing a new artist, the label will first release a couple of singles to start to build awareness and to test the appetite for a particular sound. Once an artist has made an excellent online following, it is easier to break through to a bigger market.”
How would you describe Early B’s music career to date?
“Early B has built his career on solid pillars. He is a very gifted performer but has put in the work to hone his skill as a rapper. Also, he completed a Film and Production Diploma to equip himself with understanding the broader entertainment industry.
“He has made good choices in terms of teaming up with people like Azuhl, Jack Parrow and Justin Vegas. He also has a strong sense of what he wants to achieve through his music, which is multi-layered. It includes showcasing the diversity of Afrikaans, highlighting social issues, as well as sending an uplifting and positive message.”
Which Early B song did you last stream?
“The last song I streamed by Early B is the remake of ‘Potte’ into ‘Back die Bokke’. I think this is brilliant ahead of the Rugby World Cup and offers a fresh alternative to the traditional rugby songs.”
Who do you think is the next up-and-coming Afrikaans rapper in South Africa?
“There is a much larger Afrikaans hip-hop scene in Cape Town that I think needs better exposure. An artist that I think is busy making waves is the female rapper YOMA and is an artist to watch out for in the future.”
Who would you like to see Early B collaborate with if it could be any artist in the world?
“Hip-hop is a very collaborative genre, and I think there is lots of scope for collabs in the future. It will be interesting to see Early B collaborating with other South African big names, like Cassper Nyovest or YoungstaCPT.”
Why do you think Afrikaans rap is growing in popularity?
“Hip-hop and rap are overtaking genres like pop in popularity worldwide. People grow up listening to hip-hop and then it is only natural that young artists will choose to express themselves in this genre.
“Hip-hop as a music genre has developed in urban centres and is often used as a vehicle to voice social struggles. There are many different pockets of Afrikaans hip-hop happening around the country. The genre allows for the diversity of Afrikaans vernacular to be used that resonates with the community from which it was produced. But artists like Early B are showing that their music has an appeal beyond particular communities. It is exciting to see that a larger hip-hop fan base has embraced Afrikaans rap and hip-hop.”
Which Early B song do you think is South Africa’s favourite at the moment?
“‘Ben Ten’ is a favourite, mainly because people also love the video. There is a lot of humour in this song and is a relatable topic. It is one of the top songs selected in the JOOX sponsored program ‘Klink Soos Naweek’ on DStv VIA channel at the moment.”
What impact do you think social media has on the music industry?
“Social media has given up and coming artists the opportunity to build a following. Labels are keeping a close eye on the talent that can create an online audience to identify. I think it gives indie artists more creative freedom. Then there are also those unbelievable viral moments.”
Where do you see Early B’s career in 5 years?
“I would like him to see him headline beyond the Afrikaans section at festivals and perhaps break out to an international market. It would also be great to see someone like Early B heading up his own record label that will support up-and-coming hip-hop talent.”
Stream and Download Early B’s songs
Listen to our exclusive playlist, which includes song collaborations with Jack Parow, Justin Vega, Emo Adams, and Adam.
Our Early B playlist includes these Early B hit songs:
- Ben Ten
- Potte, featuring Jack Parow and Justin Vega
- Bid vir Pouse
- Duk Vir Drugs
- As Ek Geweet Het, featuring Emo Adams
- Jy Maak Eyes
- Plat Badge
- Watch Wat Julle Praat
- In Pas Early
- Wikkel Hulle
- Ken Jou Waarde, featuring Adam
Download the JOOX Music app for the love of Afrikaans hip-hop
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