Opinion Review

Dookoom: Silbi Dog

With five tracks to sink your teeth into, this bite-size offering and second release from famed Cape Town rap collective Dookoom lacks no sustenance. With each track comes a new social issue (racism, racial classism, poverty, gangs, rape, murder) and it tackles the harsh realities that so many South Africans face head-on. Rather than pussy-footing around the issues, Dookoom tears them apart with the enraged aggression they deserve. There’s no sugar coating and no bullshit here folks, just raw honest truth, and that alone deserves immense respect from anyone brave enough to tread these waters.

Opening track, ‘The Roger’ serves a reintroduction to Dookoom with “My crew se naam is Dookoom” chanted over the hard industrial hip hop beats they do so bloody well. It establishes a very clear line between the rich and the poor, privileged and not; and draws comparisons to “being at the back of the bus” vs “uber” amongst others, showing just how close economic inequality is to home.

‘Dirty’ will make you feel just that. Describing raw unadulterated sex, something hip-hop is no stranger to, but with the South African phrases like “come suck on my entjie” it brings it home in a much more real way. Female vocalist Lilith features more prominently on this track, bringing her hauntingly sensual voice to the bridge as a response to frontman Isaac Mutant’s calling “her” out in the rest of the song. It’s the kind of thing you want to grind to in the dark dingy corner of your favourite club.

‘Bloody Agent’ and ‘The Worst Thing’ which features American rapper David Banner, are both extremely racially charged tracks with ‘Bloody Agent’ not taking quite the explicit route that ‘The Worst Thing’ does, but still very clearly addressing white supremacy.

Ending things off with ‘Head Crack’ Dookoom makes sure you know they aren’t going anywhere. The chorus features the famous words by Achmed the Dead Terrorist by Jeff Dunham “stop touching me/ I kill you” and I must say, I never thought I’d hear those lines without cringing, but Dookoom nails it in this one. As a send-off, it’s definitely an earworm that’ll stick with you for days.

This entire EP is dynamite, from the production to the lyrics to the musicality and beats. It’s grimey industrial trap-hop beats are impossible to sit still to, and the post-apocalyptic synth overlays give it an outer-worldly feel, like you’re in a club somewhere between the Matrix’s Zion and Fury Road. It’s going to make you cringe and squirm, as I am sure they intended it to, but the more serious tracks will make you think and reflect, and all of it will make you dance. “Silbi Dog” is going to stay with you, as it should, so crack your knuckles, put your big-girl panties on and enjoy the bus ride.

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Listen to ‘Silbi Dog’ below on Deezer.