One of South Africa’s best rappers and all-around legend brought out a new album recently, which gave us the perfect excuse to have a proper Arcade Empire party. Jack Parow continues to show his endless wit on his fifth studio album ‘Afrika 4 Beginners’ and he knows just how to get a crowd going.

First and foremost, straight out of Pretoria is the band ‘The Capitals’ who started off our night for us and whom I was pleasantly surprised with. Their original songs are catchy and in a weird way, it reminded me of a mix between Boo! and Shortstraw, which is nothing short of interesting. Their turning point, however, was when they hit the crowd with an old Afrikaans ‘treffer’ from Kurt Darren that not even my mom would listen to, which caused them to lose the crowd a bit. Luckily their covers of Walk The Moon’s ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and Blink-182’s ‘All The Small Things’ were really impressive and grabbed the crowd’s attention back. I greatly enjoyed their show and I know for a fact that I’ll make a plan to see them live again, but Afrikaans sokkie music and Arcade Empire’s crowds almost go as well together as vodka and good decisions.

Photo by Wayde Flowerday Photography

Another great surprise was SILVABLACK & The Midnight which is a genre entirely on their own. The lead singer, SILVABLACK looks like as if Ninja from Die Antwoord lost his ‘zef’ side and just became a normal rapper with a voice mixed between Eminem and Yelawolf. As for the rest of the band, they play enticing punk rock beats while SILVABLACK does his rap thing fantastically. They’re definitely worth a watch if you want to experience something entirely new to our local music scene. Unfortunately, I could not watch their entire show, as my vodka and decision making turned out not to mix well and led me straight back to the bar for more shots.

Finally, it was time for the man of the hour, looking snazzy as always with his signature extra-long peaked cap, the legendary Jack Parow. The room quickly filled up and Jack had everyone jumping up and down in no time. What was a bit unexpected was hearing a lot of his classics such as “Cooler as Ekke”, “Bloubek” and one of my old favourites “Eksie Ou” where I anticipated to hear all about his new songs seeing that the show was part of his album launch tour. Some of the new songs he did play included “Boepens Vark”, the most popular song of the album at the moment and “Pappa P” which is one of my newest favourites of him. All in all, it was a typical Jack Parow show where you can’t help but to lose your shit and your balance as you jump around trying to rap along to all the songs.

Afrika 4 Beginners is said to be Parow’s best album so far, and I can definitely see why. It has that iconic Jack Parow feel that has been there since the first album, which makes me really happy to see that Jack can experiment, and change but still stay true to his original self.

Photos by Wayde Flowerday Photography