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Sunday, October 2, 2011

South Africa: A DOPE Mix-tape by Smerf Illes

Blind spot: n. 1. An area where a person’s view is obstructed - an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality.

A second project is always the most challenging to release, it comes with much considerations this time around you have built a reputation, gained fans, and established you to a certain extent. You become too cautious you don’t want water down your efforts. So in a nut shell you have too much to consider first.

This surely was the same drill with Smerf Illes a Jozi based artist who introduced himself with the Mouthful of Joburg featuring an array of seasoned Beat makers and rappers. This project saw Smerf sitting on the hype magazine top five unsigned artists for good months, he appeared on e.tv’s Shiz Niz, and performing at the back to the city Festival the most celebrated if not the only Hip Hop festival in Africa. This was indeed a worthy investment on his part.

Enough with the successes of the first project lets scrutinise his second instalment. Was he a one hit wonder? Did he strike it lucky on the first project? Does he have what It takes to please all his followers while convincing new ones?


In 2010 emcee Smerf Illes teamed up with a beat maker’s crew, a trio consisting of Dynamic, Neo Beats and Burnzo to produce Good Fellaz present Smerf Illes Mix tape Music. From putting this disc on the shuttle I was blown away by the title track a banger that is fit to keep folks who know good Hip Hop nodding their heads. Judging by the first joint and the concepts throughout the tape Smerf was set to let it out and not hold back. This is a very opinionated project throwing punches at the flaws of the industry, highlighting societal issues, most importantly having fun and laughing at the stiffness of the underground and hollowness of the mainstream.

On the featured emcees are usual suspects if you bumped the first project you expect Smerf to feature Cyrus the virus, also on the features you find Inta, Fizz, Gugu and Tru skillz. The track that towers among others is “What I want” a clean joint that talks to the soul of any artist in fact everyone pursuing a dream. It’s good to narrow what you want down to make it more tangible and realistic so this track is classic for days with a mellow west coast influenced beat. Same difference should be a soundtrack for the whole world he cleverly conveys a message that we are all spirits and souls before the skin we are wearing and we should embrace one another instead of trying to remote control each other, a very strong and sensible and needed message in the midst of Libyan unrest and middle Eastern wars. As he always closes his albums he speaks to the listener and motivates him with a straight song that tells the listener not to give up.

Again Smerf does it and establishes himself as a clever, articulate, and versatile lyricist who is does H.I.P H.O.P for the L.O.V.E. I won’t be doing justice if I do not comment on the production. The Good Fellaz I must say made Mr Illes’s work easy by providing him vocal beats that surely suggested concepts to him. The first thing you listen to in any album before you can get the fullness of the verses is beats and flows; and truly these two elements blend marvellously. I live to see more collaboration between rappers and beat makers in the South African Hip Hop landscape this project pioneers an era.

Cop this Mixtape and bump it while we await Hip Hop out Of The Box from the dynamite in a small package.

To contact Smerf:
Smerf-Illes’ Mtoba (facebook)


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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