Jack Parow’s Boldest Album Yet: Afrika 4 Beginners
We certainly live in strange times. No more than 30 years ago, Fokofpolisiekar, Die Antwoord and Jack Parow would all have been banned in South Africa. These days, however, it’s not uncommon to see ou toppies braai with Parow Braaisous and babies running around in Fokof t-shirts. These artists have crossed massive boundaries and have certainly succeeded in making their names known to all that lives in South Africa. And, of course, the more you are exposed to something, the more it becomes acceptable.
So it’s no surprise that Jack Parow can now collaborate with many respectable artists, be a presenter on an Afrikaans dating show (nogal op VIA) and sell braai sous. His music isn’t less hectic, he’s just a PR genius.
Some have praised him and sommige ou tannies have used every possible platform to voice their displeasure with him, but Jack stays successful. He’s crossed boundaries through Afrikaans rap and the more the tannies complain, the more their kids want to listen to him. With his new album, Afrika 4 Beginners, it is also apparent that he has no plan on stopping what he started. In fact, the Parow train is bigger and slicker than ever, and even with the more commercial look and feel of the many offerings under his name, he is all but “boxed-in” and the boldness remains.
With the new album, he is also making it increasingly more difficult for a successor to take over. He’s still reigning as the King of Afrikaans rap. Afrika 4 Beginners is a big album with strong tracks, collaborations and funny, clever lyrics in between hilarious insets from SA’s funniest, Schalk Bezuidenhout en Twakkie. And his rhymes are once again brilliantly put together. The lyrics thrust listeners into a mixture of emotions, somewhere between rebellion and nostalgia.
With this one, I think Jack succeeded perfectly in one thing: to turn the party up one more notch.
Track 2 : Boepens Vark
Boepens Vark takes you back to the early Jack Parow days with dirty, clever rhymes. This is definitely a track you want to skip in the car with grannie (although she probably cooks with Parow Brandy!).
Track 3 : Bang Babbelas
This is one of the catchier tracks on the album and it perfectly captures that emotional babbelas feeling in the hilarious lyrics.
Track 5 : Jantjie Volstruis
Jack collaborates with the Happy Boys on this one to create a beautifully happy track filled with nostalgia. Makes you proud to be South African!
Track 6 : To All the Girls
To All the Girls is a collaborative track with none other than Dirt Nasty. And it’s quite a rough one. This is the track most will probably skip (except perhaps at frat parties!).
Track 7 : Kak Soek
This one is a personal favourite. Jack collaborates with Early B to create a hard and in-your-face track. Looking forward to seeing this one performed live!
Track 9 : Baby Ek Likes Jou
Every now and then Jack creates a really chilled, love-song-type track (Veilig, Dis Befok). This is an easy-to-listen-to song and a great one for the long road.
Track 10 : Siem Salabiem
This one is made up of fast rap like only Jack can. Another lekker party tune that features the talents of HHP & Xander Ferreira.
Track 12 : Pappa P
Jack Parow is the boss and he reminds you of this. On this track he is “boos” and he “vloeks like a matroos”! A catchy one that reminds of a pirates’ cry.
Track 13 : Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie
The legendary track from Koos Kombuis gets a makeover on this track. An interesting cover and one that is worth giving a try.
Track 14 : Vingerafduk
Vingerafdruk, featuring Hunter Kennedy, is a more serious track with beautiful lyrics. And again, filled with nostalgia.
Track 15 : Skop, Skiet en Donderweer
This one featuring Aewon Wolf and Sketchy Bongo is exactly what the name suggests, it’s a heavy and aggressive rap song.
Track 16 : Monster
On Monster Jack spits out the lyrics like an angry auctioneer. The beat is addictive and ready to listen to when the Jagermeister kicks in!
Track 18 : My Koningkryk
This one brings the entire album together with that African sound and references to everything that makes South Africa special. It is also that last reminder from Jack that he is and will stay the King of Afrikaans rap.
Afrika 4 Beginners is packed with strong, easy-to-listen-to tracks. A great piece of work and one you can definitely add to your collection!