Dope Saint Jude – pioneering original twists on local Hip Hop
Dope Saint Jude has a pioneering original twist on local Hip Hop.
The Cape Town rapper’s perspective and take on what it means to an honest artist is as thought provoking as it is entertaining. The depth in her lyrics and expression makes you feel like you get to know her personally. Dope Saint Jude talks to us about promoting tolerance through her existence, meaningful interactions with her fans, the video for her brand new track ‘Brown Baas’ which is a personal favourite of mine, a new EP that is set for release by the end of the year, and feeling a sense of otherness while still feeling a sense of belonging.
Your version of rap/hip hop strikes me as an androgynous form of the genre. This is progressive and personally appeals to my lane of thinking. Why do you think you have chosen to express yourself in the way that you have and where do you see your messages moving towards in the future?
Dope Saint Jude: I express myself quite simply and honestly. I make music I believe in and I also make music that I would want to listen to. When you make music like that, it has to go down well, because it’s honest. I hope my music reaches people who understand it. I think it definitely has, because I have been having meaningful interactions with fans in Cape Town who truly understand what I am about.
I enjoyed the track and video you did with Angel-Ho ‘Keep In Touch’ and the use of ‘Gayle’. What is it about the local gay community that you think the rest of our city or country may be overlooking or perhaps even be missing out on?
Dope Saint Jude: I think we could all learn to be tolerant and accepting of one another. I try to communicate this by my mere existence.
I was looking out for ‘Brown Baas’ today and couldn’t find it anywhere unfortunately. When will the video be out? I’m keen to check it. The title offers a hint, but could you please break down the concept behind the track?
Dope Saint Jude: The video will drop this Friday and it is directed by my very good friend and talented filmmaker, Kyla Phil (@colourpill). The song is an honest expression of my experiences. I also wanted to flex a little with the rap, so I am quite proud of the musicality of the track. I enjoyed working on a “hard” track, because some of my upcoming music is a bit gentler.
You recently spoke at the Between 10 and 5’s Creative Women Conference. Tell us a little about this event and what you focused your talk on?
Dope Saint Jude: I spoke about the why creative platforms need to attempt to reach a broader audience. I also spoke about what inspires my own creativity. I enjoyed speaking at the conference as the platform is different to performing on stage, where the content is often lost in the hype of the show.
You performed at the We Love Hip Hop #LadiesInHipHop event at Fiction two weeks ago. What did you enjoy most about the event and crowd responses to your performance?
Dope Saint Jude: I enjoyed performing for a younger hip hop audience. It was great because it was a mix of different people from Cape Town, all coming together to enjoy hip hop. It was an all grrrl night and it was great to work with WOMEN in this male dominated industry.
As a first generation mixed race person, do you feel that a sense of ‘otherness’ has created within you the confidence to stand in your own truth and not comply with the status quo?
Dope Saint Jude: I feel a sense of “otherness” but I feel a sense of “belonging” even more. I feel like I can identify [with] many groups in SA, and this makes my music quite relatable to many people – regardless of race, age, class, gender or sexuality.
Lastly, is there a Dope Saint Jude album in the works, if so when can we be expecting this? Also, what do you have planned for the rest of this year and early on in 2016?
Dope Saint Jude: I do indeed have an EP set to drop at the end of the year. I have a few music videos dropping and I intend to travel a bit next year. I have been approached with many wonderful opportunities and I look forward to my progress as a musician.
WITH DOPE SAINT JUDE