The Music dialogue is a bi-monthly musical series in the Eastern Cape, that acknowledges that music is beyond entertainment but a measure of society’s consciousness, progress and general human development. This platform seeks to spark robust debate, and dialogue by catering for thought provoking and engaging lyrical content. As music played an integral part in the toppling of the apartheid system, so is today’s music task with playing the vital role of channeling the challenges that face the post 94 society. Music dialogue ushers in a paradigm shift and how music in general is perceived.
Yahkeem Ben Israel aka The Mastabilda aka The One who builds, has for a while now been in the forefront of the Hip Hop Culture in the Eastern Cape, pushing for change, recognition and for the culture to exist in its truest, authentic form. We had a chat with the South African Hip Hop Award winner and rapper to tell us more about the planned Music dialogue series.
What prompted this concept? Are conversations needed at music shows?
What attracted me to Hip Hop in the first place was the level and quality of dialogue and debates that would be sparked by a simple line or verse. I feel through the evolution and music being commercially driven, Hip Hop is slowly losing its voice. Music is merely made to sell than having a deeper and fulfilling meaning. It is important to give people a chance to converse with the artist and understand where an artist comes from which in turn will be beneficial for both parties
What is going to be happening on the day?
On the day we are having three acts whose content is mentally stimulating. The headlining act will during his set engage the audience through song themes. The artists will briefly explain songs kick them (to the crowd) and allow input in the form of inquiry, comment or anything related. Above all we want the audience to talk to one another about what we dish out on stage.
Do you think you will attract the “right” crowd for this and not just those who want the music or a chance to showcase? How is the feedback so far regarding this planned event?
Yes, the selection of the venue was key and most important part of this campaign. We selected a venue that attracts a crowd that is socially aware and active. So far I received feedback from key municipal decision makers to indicate not just their interest but also they invited other people as well because they feel this is the edge music needs. We are confident this event is gonna pick up speed and be emulated countrywide.
What are some of the topics you will be tackling in detail?
Apart from Music and its significance in society we will be tackling Neo Colonialism, explore Love in a society characterised by mounting divorce and the escalating murder rate. We seek to educate and re-define Hip Hop in 2014 and beyond.