Needless to say that 2015 was the year of Cassper Nyovest. Not only did the rapper continue churning out hits from his debut album Tsholofelo, but he also made history when he sold out the Dome as the main attraction just last week, becoming the first South African artist to do so. It is there that we were one of the chosen to receive a free copy of his upcoming sophomore album, Refiloe. As the first sibling to Tsholofelo, the first effort that was so pregnant with smash hits, one of which was certified the biggest song in 2014, the highly anticipated record had big shoes to fill. The question has been, will Refiloe live up to the hype?
Yet instead of living up to these expectations, Refiloe begs to depart from the shadows of Nyovest’s previous chapter to open a new book of stories. Going into this second album, he had one of two options. He could have done everything he did so right on the previous work. Simply refine and trademark his modus operandi, amplify it, lay claim to the commercial appeal that lifted him worlds ahead of his trailing peers and seal himself as the King of dance floor fillers.
The second card to be played, in our minds, was for him to move forward. We had imagined that he might want to take more risks and display more artistic mastery with the second album. It is not commonplace to hear artists labeling works coming quite late in their careers to be finally ‘who they are.’ But often, that requires some guts. Nyovest has displays them in their rawest form in recent months, therefore it is unsurprising that he has taken Refiloe to a direction that might surprise fans, perhaps alienate some, and perhaps win over many more new ones whose tastes and attentions will be awakened to the new book that seeks complete immersion in the stories.
And what a storyteller he is. We got a glimpse of this on Tsholofelo, but here, Cassper Nyovest not only speaks his mind without holding back, pours out his heart with little restraint, he also introduces new characters in the second book. Nyovest’s vulnerable side in this moment bears a stark contrast to the song’s outro, where the song morphs into a faster tempto. There, he brandishes his crowned turf to his peers, labeling them mere runner ups.
The storytelling takes more form on the title track Refiloe, easily one of this album’s best tracks. A certain confrontational conversation takes place on a track called Mangwane with his father. The song sets the tone for the conceptual framework upon which this album has been birthed. Both vulnerable and gutsy, Refiloe packs organic and raw throwback instrumentation with a modern day twist. How apt, considering Cassper is reflecting on his relationship with father. “I just hope this whole thing is repairable, I miss you.”
Where the album dares to make a statement about Nyovest’s unwillingness to be a one trick pony is on such songs as Malome, which he did with the Mahotella Queens. Here, he goes authentically African, nudging us all back into the nostalgia of Sophiatown yore. We do wish the track was longer. Being of the album’s instant stand outs, it’s quite unfair that it ended up as an interlude.
Then we get to the instant smash hits on the album, which we reckon those who seek Tsholofelo in this album will fall in love with in the first listen. Bheki Indaba Zakho, 428 to LA , Cooking In The Kitchen (feat. The Game), Mama I Made It, War Ready, Upper and Americans all have the right elements of a club hits and radio favourites. They carry with them the most appeal to his youngest fans and most resonance with radio playlists.
Yet despite making sure he has enough of those here, Cassper’s most definitive moments in this albums are definitely when he tells a story, where he most unapologetically plunges down to his most artistic, experimental and fearless self. On Find A Way, another pleasant surprise to the album, he samples Black Motion’s hit of the same track from 2014. He finds the perfect feel to give the song a new meaning.
Given the freshness of the album, it is not that easy to tell which songs are the best yet. But we will go with Refiloe, Mangwane, Malome, 428 To LA, Bheki Ndaba Zakho, Cooking In The Kitchen and Find My Way in no particular order.
SHOULD YOU BUY THE ALBUM?
Let’s just put it this way. First of all, this is Cassper we are talking about. If you aren’t buy his album, whose album will you buy? But that aside, this album is solid. We are impressed with what Cassper has done. He is solidifying his place in the history of South African excellence, and soon to go global. The only critique we have is the album length. Although that might change when the album finally hits the shelves, a shorter album would have been far sharper and far more focused. But that is hardly fatal, Refiloe is a masterpiece.
Check the full tracklist here
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.