Review: Jack Parow – Afrika 4 Beginners

Review by Jessica Oosthuizen

Jack Parow recently dropped his new album Afrika 4 Beginners and he is back with “fresher than zef” beats. The lyrics on the album are outstanding, the songs are rough, funny and sometimes sombre and nostalgic. There are comic inserts and voice-overs in the album, featuring comedians Twakkie (from Corne & Twakkie) and Schalk Bezuidenhout.

“Boepens Vark” is a typical Parow song with unrestrained lyrics and “rou” (raw) beats. “Bang Babbelas” has a reggae beat that fits with the content of the song. Parow raps about having a heavy hangover – “Ek probeer gisteraand onthou, maar daar’s te veel blank spaces” (I try to remember last night, but there are too many blank spaces).

“Jantjie Volstruis” ft. Happy Boys is a lekker song and it features lyrics from Sonja Herholdt’s original “Jantjie Kom Huistoe”. The song makes you feel nostalgic and happy – “Tussen my vriende is waar ek my geluk vind” (With my friends is where I find my happiness).

“To All The Girls” features American rapper Dirty Nasty. The song has a cabaret vibe, with explicit lyrics – the combination is a pleasure for the ear. Dirty Nasty even drops a few Afrikaans words. “Kak Soek” ft. Early B sounds gangster and the name says exactly what the song is about. The song is aggressive and fast – Early B and Parow’s rhymes are insane.

Listening to “Baby Ek Likes Jou” makes you think it’s a love letter from a rapper. It’s a chilled tune with vibrant, beachy beats. “Siem Salabiem” features HHP & Xander Ferreira and the lyrics are very creative, as Parow says himself in the song, “Dis mos wat ek is, toor met die letters” (That’s what I am, I put a spell on the letters).

Photo: André Badenhorst.

“Pappa P” – referring to Parow – is slick and smooth, and the song’s rhymes are hot and heavy. “Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie” is a cover and features the original artist, Koos Kombuis. The twist on this legendary song is something worth listening out for. The guitar riff on “Vingerafdruk” ft. Hunter Kennedy is reminiscent of the legendary Lucas Maree’s “Victoriabaai”. The song’s lyrics are deep and sombre, “Daar’s stukkies van myself op elke stage waar ek spring/My bloed loop deur elke song wat ek sing” (There are pieces of myself on every stage that I jump on/My blood runs through every song that I sing).

“Skop, Skiet en Donderweer” ft. Aewon Wolf is exactly what the name suggests, it’s a heavy and aggressive rap song. “Monster” has futuristic beats and the song is reminiscent of PHFAT’s material. The song is heavier and he brings religion into the mix – “dis my evan-fokken-gelie” (It’s my fucking Gospel). The lyrics for this track are masterfully crafted.

“My Koningkryk” is a perfect finish to the album. The song sounds like Africa, it’s a tribute to South Africa and any South African can relate to this song. “Yo, ek kom van ‘n land waar die son nooit sak nie…happy-go-lucky is glad nie te kak nie” (I come from a land where the sun never sets…happy-go-lucky is not too shit).

Parow certainly does not disappoint with his newest album, and with this release he has proven that the king of Afrikaans rap is back in all his glory.