Who has the political rights to hip hop commentary?

In an article published in an online magazine, rapper, social commentator and author, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh was criticised for using hip-hop to make his political and social commentary.

Editor of The Plug SA, Caron Williams wrote: I cringe each time I see mainstream SA media hail Democracy & Delusion as an exemplary thought-provoking hip hop album which offers deep insight into South Africa when it’s actually an embarrassing, self-indulgent project narrated from the comfort of his access, wealth and pseudo-intellectualism.

To discuss who is the custodian of political commentary on hip-hop with CapeTalk and 702 host Eusebius McKaiser is Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and social-political commentator Oliver Dickson.

I think the genesis of South African hip hop, particularly in its Capetonian form comes from a lot of political expression.

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, rapper, social commentator and author

In the era where South Africa was making its transition, hip hop started becoming an interesting and political genre adds Mpofu-Walsh. He goes on to says hip hop later became a commercial phenomenon.

Dickson chimes in to say even what is considered commercial hip hop, often carries political commentary.

Everything is political. What's important is to distinguish good politics from bad politics.

Oliver Dickson, Social Political Commentator

For the full interview, listen to the clip below:


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