Sunday, June 24, 2018


All the latest journalism from the Rhodes TV3 class

The Emergence of a Political Rapper

Posted by Paddy On April - 2 - 2009

The man behind the mic…
He hails from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal and S.C.A.M is his rap name. Its meaning is simple. His initials are M.A.C.S which stands for Matthew Augustus Callcott-Stevens. S.C.A.M is his initials backwards, and this is to ensure that his name and who he is stays with him forever. A true cild of the new South Africa, S.C.A.M was born on the same day former president Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and shares his vision for a unified and more prosperous South Africa…..
Our story came about when S.C.A.M started to receive a lot of attention following the release of his debut album, “Rhythm and Rhymes”. He was featured on 5FM for an interview with Gareth Cliff, he was previewed in Oppidan Press, and local record label African Dope Records attempted to sign him to their label. However, all this hype turned bitter when S.C.A.M’s lyrics were scrutinized by members of the ANCYL in particular their president, Julius Malema. When we heard that S.C.A.M had in fact received threats from Julius Malema’s office and his parents were considering taking legal action, we decided the story would be relevant not only to students, but to the political climate with the elections approaching. While S.C.A.M lists a number of influences from Tupac to Nas to Skwatta Kamp, his greatest influence was the life altering experience of his father dying from lung cancer when he was a teenager. A devastating loss at any age, but too much to bare at 14, S.C.A.M went off the rails, ignoring his childhood friends and hanging out with thugs and dealers. Daily life soon involved fighting and smoking marijuana. Things reached an all time low when S.C.A.M tried to end his life. Thankfully he was unsuccessful. But with his anger consuming him, he realised that he needed to channel his destructive behaviour more constructively . When somebody suggested he try writing lyrics, he attempted it and really enjoyed it. S.C.A.M’s first song, “Heaven at 57,”(about his beloved father) gave him a sense of fulfilment that had been missing since his father’s death and encouraged him to write more. It was at this point that he was sent to boarding school to start a new life, and soon his focus shifted fromfighting and drugs to writing lyrics in every spare moment he had.

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