Mzansi Wednesdayz – Artist Review – Rattax(Cape Town)

Biography

Hip-Hop artist from cape town, south africa, releasing on Pioneer Unit Records

Away from the stage, Rattex’s calm and quiet demeanor belies the intense fire that burns deep within him. Rattex takes his name from a well-known brand of rat poison. Like the poison, Rattex is known to lyrically kill any rapper foolish enough to test him.

1981, born Thabo Twetwa in Nyanga, Cape Town, Rattex (or ‘Rah’ to his friends and fans) came into the world during an intense period of political turmoil and racial oppression.

Rattex was raised by his grandmother, not knowing his father and believing that his mother was his sister. At the age of 9, Rattex moved to Khayelitsha with his grandmother to escape his violent, alcoholic grandfather.

The dusty ghettoes of the Cape Flats are notorious around the world for their harsh conditions, rampant poverty and crime. These are conditions where only the strong and determined survive.

Music was one way for Rattex to escape the grim realities of ghetto life. In 1994, he formed Maniac Squad with MAD (Man After Dollar). Middle Finga and Saqwiti joined in 1995 to round off this now-legendary Khayelitsha super crew.

Rattex is now at the forefront of the new school of proudly South African rappers who understand that Hip Hop, more than any other musical art form, is about addressing important issues and representing where you’re from. It is therefore not suprising that Rattex is one of the pioneers of the ‘Spaza’ movement, where lyrics are performed in a combination of isiXhosa, English and Cape Flats slang.

Red Everything Movement

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