About a year ago, Cape Town singer Salome Damons-Johanson met an unlikely admirer while in Port Elizabeth: a quirky tannie who reeled out her own Afrikaans version of an MC Hammer hit. It’s ringing a bell isn’t it? That clip went viral and that’s when our boy Beatsbyhand came across it.
Much like Max Hurrell whose made a name for himself mixing our politicians’ speeches with catchy beats (remember “When People Zol”), Beatsbyhand has hit the nail on the head when it comes to unique SA dance music.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Port Elizabeth-hailing producer has inked a deal with Sony Music and is celebrating by dropping “Too Legit To Quit”. He’s a bass-house producer at heart, now dabbling in the slightly mellower down-tempo melodic-house side of things, but this release falls squarely into the former.
The beat hits you in the chest with a tempered ferocity, and as sample textures bulk up the track, a delighted voice proclaims “Jou hare is baie natural”. It’s pretty much as South African as it gets and elicits a sort of grinning patriotism only mixes like this can – before said tannie launches into that rendition of MC Hammer’s classic, made only better by the thumping house beat.
It comes along with a lyric video if you can’t quite catch the words – although you’d be hard-pressed to get “Gee my tappy want tappy maak my happy/ gee my gin want dagga maak my dun” out of your head by the end of it. A decorative hand-mannequin comes to life (which also serves as his insignia of sorts) and skips along in time to the punching beat.
This is Afrikaans jol musiek at its loudest and proudest, underpinned by some quality production to produce what I can only predict to be a dance floor treffer.