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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shame South Africa: Musica stores garbage out Mgarimbe’s Sister Bethina Album for R2.50 cent


Time flies. This was the motto at the high school I attended, I guess as a minor I never fully comprehended its essence, but through maturity and observance I learnt to appreciate the phrase as golden Truth. We can recall Phalafala by Tkzee like it was yesterday; who can forget Tsikitsiki by Mdu Masilela? The memories are so vivid when we call to mind the great and not so great artists of yesteryears. Having this in mind makes recollections of 2006 feel like hours ago.

About that very year who can forget the release of the infamous Mgarimbe, the sister Bethina star? Who can claim to have never heard his hit song? Pastors and party animals alike had something to say about it. Some called it ear pollution and some embraced it as an out of the box party song. Mgarimbe and crew were annoyed by people highlighting foul language on that Bethina song, they arrogantly reasoned: if 50 cents and all other American artists can be given platform regardless their explicit content why should they restrict themselves? The song spread all over like a wild fire, every corner one turned the song blazed. Coming to think of it I don’t think I know any other track on that album.


As I was browsing through my Sunday  newspapers I could not pass a disturbing article reporting that barely five years later Mgarimbe’s album is selling for R2.50 at Musica in this article Mgarimbe expresses contempt and utter dismay on Musica move, sighting devaluation of his hard work and that they should rather give the cd’s away for free.(they can’t Mfowethu they paid for them, meaning they own the material, unless you have the R2.50 to reimburse them in that case am sure they will be more than happy.)  Really we can discuss this misfortune in length what led to the selling of a fresh album at a price less than what an empty disc would cost you? The real issue here is legacy vs. hits, which is most preferable?

Sister Bethina was a hit Just the other day and Pata-Pata has been passed on from generation to generation, but when you walk in a record bar Makeba costs more than Mgarimbe (I know the artists comparison is not fitting). According to logical thinking a PC should cost more than a type writer not the other way around. In this case the costing is reversed. Maybe artists should start looking at the quality of the music not the engineering but the creative treatment can people grow with their music or is it a momentary thing? Will we dismiss your song as a silly attempt just in six months’ time? Personally I think it is short sighted to make seasonal music when this art form has potential to be timeless.

It is maybe involuntary confession that in everyone’s vocabulary the word hit seems dominant and no one speaks the classics language. You wonder whether artists are in it to engrave their names in the hands of time or they will rather have them written in the sand and as soon as the wind blows their mark is one forever. Music is supposed to be tied to heritage when we move it is able to remind us of the path we have walked. I play Dear Mama by 2 Pac any time of the day to any type of audience they will relate to the music that’s why a decade later Anthony Hamilton is able to remix this classic.

Maybe am too serious. Maybe musicians have since been too foolish. Music lacks substance by substance I do not mean serious and stiff content or solemn songs but structure songs such that they transcend momentary catchiness. Make me feel you have worked to produce the song. For an example the artist in question with the looks on his side would have made a better host/ master of ceremony and hype man than a musician. Listen to the song to get the fullness of my statement. A song with no rhyme scheme, a pattern, theme, and a descent rhythm is not a song at all.

Ask yourself after all the noise and hype what is the brother left with? Yes he was famous that year, yes he performed and made peanuts in different venues country wide but what is there to be said of him today? Is he the Jabu Pule of kwaito? Do you think that won’t happen to the one whom the spotlight is on today? Kids let your music be an investment 20 years after the release of your album let it sound fresh. People must think you the new kid on the block. Before you jot another song ask if will this endure time and the audience should ask themselves when buying cd’s will I be able to grow with this music?



Story by Yahkeem Ben Israel /Leave your comment for me below the comment box or click on the “contact us” page tab to see my profile.

©The views expressed above do not in any way represent GoXtra News, but are those of the concerned writer. 2011. Follow us on twitter here  Find us on Facebook here /leave your comments below or email: editor@goxtranews. For publication ERRORS: publisher@goxtranews.com

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