YoungstaCPT (26) riffs on coloured pride and the pull of the ’hood in his brand-new album, which will be released early in 2019. Catch him live in Jo’burg over New Year as a headliner at this year’s Afropunk Festival
All my life, I’ve had music playing around me. My mom listened to a lot of deep house and lounge music, but my ears would always prick up when I heard hip-hop, like The Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Mase. It was as if I became immune to other music and would obsess about these guys doing magic moves with rhymes.
I did my first open-mic contest when I was 19. I remember not being shy. I mean, I couldn’t freeze up at that moment. I feel as if I’d been prepping for it for years.
I draw a lot of inspiration from Wynberg, Cape Town, where I still live. It seems to me that most of the people who achieve fame and success can’t go back to where they lived when they started. For me, I never want that to happen. I love being able to return to Cosy Corner and stand where I used to hustle for money for gatsbies during high school.
For too long, Cape Town’s been associated with coloureds who are either jokers or gangsters, but the average 10-yearold in my area with a single mom is neither of those things: he wants to be his own man and make it on his own terms. I say to brown youth: “The world is yours! Don’t stunt your growth and downplay your potential. Look at the different elements and facets of yourself and work on those.”
I’m fearful for the future of a lot of young people in Cape Town. They don’t see themselves in enough positions of power. They don’t own property. Yet many of them are accomplished people who dominate the arts and sports, from Lady Skollie and Ready D to Wayde van Niekerk and Benni McCarthy. Coloured excellence has always emerged from rough places, but what hurts me is how much they had to achieve before we realised who they were. They all had to be the best. Wayde had to beat Usain Bolt’s record. Nobody talks about you unless you’re the best.
My debut album is called Things Take Time, which is a damn good name for it! I’m not rushing its release, even though it’s complete, because I believe that with all the album drops this year, people have been spoilt. 2019 will be my year to put it out. I’ve created a masterpiece whose messaging and content are too important for the attention of the audience to be lacking. Imraan Christian directed one of my videos and it’s a work of art.
At the moment, I’m listening to 38 Spesh for his dope verses. It’s as if they were written by God they’re so clinical and precise! Each word is placed for a specific reason. I love that. I’m also listening to Freddie Gibbs and Curren$y. *Afropunk Jo’burg 2018 is back at Constitution Hill, Braamfontein, on 30-31 December. Visit: http://afropunkfest.com/johannesburg