Black Noise

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An energetic rap quintet with roots in the activist side of South African life, Black Noise grew out of a community where breakdancing and graffiti were acceptable forms of art. As rap acquired popularity…
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Artist Biography by

An energetic rap quintet with roots in the activist side of South African life, Black Noise grew out of a community where breakdancing and graffiti were acceptable forms of art. As rap acquired popularity in South Africa, a number of rap groups came together, with styles and functional structures that echoed the American models that provided the original inspiration. Rap, however, also provided a unique opportunity for social commentary eagerly seized upon by the performers and regarded with bafflement and horror by the authorities.

The members of Black Noise have continued to be socially active, doing volunteer work and acting as volunteer community leaders and teachers. Emile YX? edits Da Juice, a hip-hop magazine, while Craig edits Dark Pages, a South African graffiti magazine. A third band member, Raycliff, is a successful South African playwright. The group records relatively infrequently, releasing Pumping Loose Da Juice in 1992, and Rebirth of mind and hip hop culture in 1995. They have instead turned their energies towards helping people in the townships overcome the desperate conditions resulting from the years of apartheid and oppression. In 1997 they toured internationally, with a particular focus on Sweden.