Review

Middelvinger gets confidently candid with his debut album, Boland Bad Boys, Vol 1.

Afrikaans rapper Middelvinger’s debut album Boland Bad Boys, Vol 1 is a no holds barred, foul-mouthed journey through the under-belly of life in Cape Town.

Having already dabbled in the music scene as the drummer for Dead Lucky and Goodnight Wembley, Middelvinger finally got around to writing his own music alongside the likes of Jack Parow, Francois van Coke and Mango Groove’s Claire Johnston, who all chipped in their talents.

Throughout its 18 tracks, the album touches on a variety of influences – from the unstoppable old-school hip hop of “In Die Begin” to the delicate Maskandi strains that dance over the house beats of “Kannabis”.

With a big enough reputation as a drug dealer to get a nod from Fokofpolisiekar in their 2006 release Swanesang, there was never any doubt that dagga would feature heavily in this album but fear not, this isn’t a complete stoner-ode to the joys of marijuana.

It tackles the highs of getting your fix (“Drugz”), the lows of addiction (“Elke Aand”), the perks of the business (“Geld$ Innie Pad”), and finding a reason to get clean (“Die Beste”). Hidden between the joints and the lines are moments of honesty, sometimes tender and sometimes harsh, that give insight into what makes Middelvinger who he is, lending the album a surprising amount of depth.

Boland Bad Boys, Vol 1 is more than an album, it’s the story of a man’s life.