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Exclusive: Clara T Explains How Lefemme Remix Impacted Her Music

We spoke to Durbanite Clara T about how her life has changed following appearing in the all-female Now Or Never Remix.

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The reality in which female rappers shine for a certain period of time then dissipate into the wilderness has come and gone. Nowadays, rappers of the fairer sex have staying-power that extends beyond their physical attributes, which creates a channel for lyricism to be explored and cultivated. Clara T, hailing all the way from Durban is proof of this premise. Tapped to appear on the street banger Lefemme Remix, Clara’s grind was ultimately recognized and brought to the forefront of South African hip hop amongst the most lyrically gifted emcees. We spoke to Clara T about her background and plans for the release of her full body of work.

4Sight Media www.4sightmedia.net


QuenchSA: What’s your fondest memory of hip hop music?


Clara T:  I’ve always loved music. In terms of rap music, I remember my first memories of it was when my elder brothers used to listen 2 Pac and other 90’s hip-hop artists at home, but I only started taking interested in Hip-hop when I was 12, when I heard Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push”. At that time I just learnt to listen to the music and the words, everyday after school I’d get the CDs we had and just listen to whatever my brothers were listening to. 


QuenchSA: When did it first hit you that music is what you wanted to do for a living?


Clara T: In the beginning it was really just a hobby, a way to get my thoughts out. I only began taking it more seriously after I got myself my first paying gig in September of 2013. I realized that if people are willing to pay for my expression, something that comes so naturally to me, why not pursue this as a career? It’s been a process, convincing my family – mainly my parents – that this is something that can work out, because there are so many stories of people who try to make a living from music but fail because of reasons that are unique to each person’s situation. I’m always told that talent means nothing if it’s not coupled with hard work, and that’s a given.


QuenchSA: How would you classify your brand and style of rap?


Clara T: I’m a lyricist. I like word play, rhyme schemes, and I write from my experiences, my own knowledge and thoughts. I have found my voice as a rapper, which was something I struggled with when I started. Right now I rap to convey comfort, fun and honesty. With regards to my brand, I’ve always found it difficult to classify that until I was told that it simply means what I represent. I’m a free-spirit, I’m a little sister to all the homies in Hip-Hop and a sister to all the women in Hip-Hop. I like everything colourful and I convey that in my music. I also like letting people make up their own minds with regards to what I rap about, but I always stay clear in my intentions and what I say. I aim to always personify “clarity”.


QuenchSA: If it wasn’t music, what would you be doing? 


Clara T: If I wasn’t doing music, I’d be studying to finish my LLB… I did start with my studies but I couldn’t afford go continue this year so I used the opportunity to fully commit myself to pursuing my music career. I do want to go back to school soon, but I want to first see where the music might take me.


QuenchSA: When can we expect an full body of work from you?


Clara T: I have been working on a full-length project for a while now… A mixtape called Late Blooming. Some instances have left me to put it on hold but now I am prepared to complete the project and make it better than when I first started with it. I have been through some experiences and engagements that have helped me grow and I want that to be expressed in the music. I feel like a full-length project should take time because the point of it is for people to go through it and understand the story behind each song, and the idea of the concept/s from beginning to end. When Late Blooming drops, I think the music will make sense to a lot of people and to myself, it won’t just be a rap mixtape, it’s going to be music.


QuenchSA: Is it harder to establish yourself if you outside Johannesburg?


Clara T


Clara T: I think establishing yourself is not the issue if you’re outside of Joburg. It’s maintaining and growing the establishment. I feel like any artist, from anywhere, has to get out of their own town/city/province/country if they want to expand their reach, and coming to Jo’burg is the next sensible step in your career to move forward. If I had started doing “this music thing” as my mother calls it, in Jo’burg, I feel like I’d be at a much different place in my career right now. I can attest to this because when I was in Jo’burg a few weeks ago for a short time, I was able to do more in a month than I’ve been able to do in 6 months in Durban… and I’m just talking about this year. Most national radio stations, major television broadcasting studios, head offices and agencies are based Johannesburg.


QuenchSA: You were part of the Lefemme Remix. Has the exposure impacted you in anyway?


Clara T:  Oh definitely!! Being on the Now Or Never #LeFemmeRemix has given me quite a few first time experiences and has exposed me to bigger audiences and has opened my eyes to the possibilities of bigger opportunities. It’s all been very positive and now it’s a matter of maximizing on the opportunity we were given and creating more opportunities for ourselves. It’s crazy how this all happened over Twitter, because for a long time I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, but regardless of this people were watching and some really awesome people called me out for the track because they felt like I deserved to be heard and that’s how I got a spot on the remix. I’ll forever be grateful to all those souls.

READ: Miss Celaneous Speaks On Her Feature On Now Or Never Lefemme Remix


QuenchSA: Was the Now Or Never Remix bashing Trap and commercial music?


Clara T: I don’t think it was “bashing” necessarily, I think the premise of the song was that rap has lost some of it’s substance and it raised a question about the state of the commercial scene more than anything else. In my personal opinion, I feel like there’s a place and a time for anything and everything in our industry, but the attention is not equally divided to account for everyone’s taste. The only way I feel we can counter that is by letting people decide what goes on radio and TV, and by that, people need to know just how much power they have. I don’t have anything against trap, trap is dope when it’s done right. Commercial music is dope when it’s done right and that’s all it should be about. It’s funny, Hip-Hop is the most indiscriminate culture there is, yet there are so many divisions within the culture all created by the people in the culture


QuenchSA: The beginning of Spring, where can your fans expect to see you perform?


Clara T: Ah, I wish I had a better answer for my fans…I don’t have any performances lined up at this moment, but I’ve got a project released (#ItsFreshDoe) for streaming and download and I’ll be releasing Late Blooming this Spring as well. I will be out and about checking the scenes out so I’ll update the heads on my socials and they can also let me know where they would like to see me.


QuenchSA: Who would you like to get on a record?


Clara T: In my life…Erykah Badu.


QuenchSA: You are an independent artist. Are you looking for a label or you like things as they are?


Clara T: I like being an independent artist. I like having control of my time, what I do and who I do it with and most of all, my music. I’m pretty happy the way things are.


QuenchSAWhat can your fans expect from you in the immediate future?


Clara T: They can expect the mixtape of course, Late Blooming and a single… That’s in the immediate future, everything else they can find out as it happens.


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Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed

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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.

THE ENDING

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.

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First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’

DRACARYS!

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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.

The House of Dragon

Photo Credit: HBO via Twitter

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.

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Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it

‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.

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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.

Midnight Mass

“The LORD’s angel”‘s life giving blood comes scams locals into horrible mistakes on Midnight Mass.

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.

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