EFF sets the record straight with new sounds
Every revolution needs a soundtrack, and no one understands that better than the red berets of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
The party first released music two years ago and now they’ve done it again.
It was a double disc called Umnotho, which means wealth, (Disc 1) and Jazz Hour (Disc 2). This was followed by the launch of the very catchy gqom beat Zupta Must Fall in March this year.
The first release is probably the most important of the two.
The new disc is called Our Last Hope EFF and features seven tracks that draw on some of the biggest music sounds in the country.
Track one is a catchy gospel-Afropunk fusion track with the catchy chorus “EFF mina ngihamba wena” (EFF I am choosing/going with you). The beat sounds like the kind that’s perfect for doing iiStep at a wedding. It’s followed by an upbeat Durban House-type song with a female vocalist singing about the suffering and challenges of black South Africans and how they need to open their eyes.
The refrain says that people’s mothers are still washing people’s dishes as domestic workers while fathers continue to work underground. The song says the EFF is “ithemba lethu lokugcina” (our last hope).
The overall sound of the album is well produced and EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi wouldn’t say who had worked on the album (at the request of some of the collaborators), but confirmed it was a variety of people. There is a catchy hip-hop track that announces the EFF’s arrival featuring Julius Malema over a cool bass heavy beat.
Track six opens with a voice that sounds like Ndlozi’s but he says he didn’t sing on the album. However, Woza 2016’s message is EFF iratlaba robelela, sizongena ngeSocialism...” (Come 2016, we will come in with socialism) under what sounds like another great gospel jam. I suspect this will be a hit at rallies and marches – it’s a resounding and confident call from the party that I think supporters will love.
Perhaps the most standout song is the final track on the new Disc 1 which, in a cappella style, with a choir, implores “mabawuyeka umhlaba wethu/sikhalela iziwe lethu” (let them leave our land alone, we are crying for our land/country). The message is repeated for the one minute and 33 seconds the song plays.
It’s emotive and powerful, and track 1 on the Jazz album picks up from where it left off with a rousing song about how awful this place is (“yimbi lendawo”).
It opens with repeated gunshots while the lead singer says “siyayisaba lendawo, yimbi lendawo” (we are afraid of this place, this place is terrible) before asking that Malema save “us”.
There is also an homage to black consciousness leader Steve Biko. It is an a cappella track on the Jazz album that is about how, in 1976, we woke up to go and find our Biko and, when we woke up in 2016, we were looking for him again.
“Bayakhala abafundi, ayakhala ama fighter, bayakhala abomama, bayakhala abazali” (the learners are crying, the fighters are crying, the mothers and parents are crying). The 12-track second disc (Jazz Hour 2) touches on many of the feelings of hurt, frustration, disenfranchisement and continuing struggle that are so much a part of the South African experience.
It captures that experience well and with some pretty good beats and melodies. Most poignant is track four on the Jazz Hour disc, which speaks of how “we saw them killing them at Marikana” and then asks “Sithini makunje?” (what do we do when it’s like this?) before saying that the police who murdered the mine workers “were sent by ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa”. You can download Our Last Hope EFF and Jazz Hour 2