The 31st of October has officially gone down in the books of history as a milestone for African Hip Hop music. There, Cassper Nyovest performed in front of a 20 000 crowd as the main attraction, an impossible mission he set for himself months earlier. While there’s no doubt that the rapper has changed the scope of African Hip Hop from an aerial view, it is also key that we learn from how one black kid went for his wildest dream. And smashed it.
PURSUIT OF BEYOND
Cassper Nyovest’s message is clear, seek that which you have been told is beyond you. Not only was the mission to sell out this massive venue dismissed as a delusional overestimation of Nyovest’s value as an artist, it was also constantly shot down by sceptics who thought there was no grounds, pun intended, for really believing that South Africans were ready to pay for a concert headlined by a local act, especially a rapper.
They were right. It has never been done before. Except, “everything is impossible, until it has been done”, as the late Madiba would have it. Filling up the Dome, as some of my colleagues, who are quite plugged in and au fait with the growth, stagnancy, figures, failures and victories of the local music industry have pointed out, also drives home a very important message for young black Africans who are hounded with narratives of blackness as something inherently attached to failure. The message here, then, is despite your socio economic constraints, seek beyond.
KNOW YOUR WORTH!
In an interview with Stanford University, Oprah Winfrey revealed that her entire journey to the top has been grounded on a nagging feeling that “this is not it, there’s more”. What matters is not that a voice kept telling her to seek her own beyond, but that she felt that she had to follow through. That knowing there’s more out there was not enough, she needed to risk it all every day to follow a greater destiny. She also told the attendees during this talk that she knew that despite her success, she is yet to meet her ‘supreme moment.’ This is not it, just yet.
What Cassper has made known, is that one needs to know there’s more for them. And that ‘more’ needs to be pursued relentlessly. You are either good enough to make a few smash hits, open for a few international live acts, win a couple awards and be content with what that. It is, after all, a great achievement – that is better than nothing. Or, you have a nagging feeling that your ‘supreme moment’ awaits in the scariest places. In risking it all.
Even soon after announcing his plans to attempt this milestone, the rapper was adamant that naysayers would be having a field day in the next coming months. “They are full of doubt”, he kept pointing out to his fans. In fact, his announcement was greeted and mired in silence, a touch of disapproval and doubt from well known artists in the industry. Responding to a fan on whether or not Cassper was getting ahead of himself, a certain arch rival went on record to say ‘No.’
He wasn’t alone. Many doubted, we know this. But we also know that Nyovest’s unwavering self confidence kept him above the fray, focused only on the mission.
LOCAL IS DOPE!
The ‘local is lekker’ adage has been quite the fallacy for a while now. No, local was not lekker when the South African public continued turning a blind eye to their own. International performers were always prioritised. They were better. They received more airplay, sold more, were the ‘real celebrities’. But something started happening in recent years, when one could no longer deny the increasing demand for authentic South African sounds. Local artists started speaking out openly against being only good enough to be opening acts to international artists, only to be treated like groupies when they took part in those concerts.
Cassper was one of those who vowed to never ‘open’ for an international artist, which can be quite an insult if you know all about your cultural impact and commercial success in the country. SA rappers reach Gold more frequently now. At long last, local is not lekker. It’s becoming the standard.
Some would say having balls is the same as being confident, but we think not quite. He was confident in his very own abilities and his destiny. But many of us are also confident is something. Acting on that confidence and making your vision, not matter how absurd and impossible looking, come to life? Now, that takes balls.
We cannot forget the amount of epic failure that threatened Fill Up The Dome. This could have left many people drowning in debt. Imagine the amount of humiliation he would have been dealt. So things did not look ‘possible’. They looked very much scary, and there unspeakable catastrophes that awaited possible failure. But the courage still not go through with the mission is what we are talking about today.
Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed
We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.
When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.
A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.
The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.
This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.
Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.
Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.
After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.
Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.
In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.
After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.
Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.
Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.
Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.
In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?
Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.
We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.
What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.
We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.
Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.
First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’
Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.
First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the world ready to let old baggage go.
The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.
Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it
‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.
The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.
While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.
When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.
With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.
It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.
We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.