On our Lists this week: Rap, Willow Smith and Maya Angelou

'Writing rap' will have you reaching for your favourite rap rag collection to quell pangs of nostalgia and make you dream of days when ’zines weren’t so vapid. (Tseliso Monaheng)

'Writing rap' will have you reaching for your favourite rap rag collection to quell pangs of nostalgia and make you dream of days when ’zines weren’t so vapid. (Tseliso Monaheng)

THE READING LIST

Writing Rap: Tseliso Monaheng. So apparently, last Saturday’s edition of Lephephe Print Gatherings was sorta washed out by the apocalyptic rains in Johannesburg, which means most of you probably missed whatever the sprightly, highly ambitious yunguns were trying to show the jaded lot of you. Whatever the case, get a load of Writing Rap, which is a kind of snapshot of the work Tseliso Monaheng and his contemporaries, such as Sabelo Mkhabela, have been putting in while you read our wack-ass mainstream press. It will have you reaching for your favourite rap rag collection to quell pangs of nostalgia and make you dream of days when ’zines weren’t so vapid. (The pdf of this collection is available from ntsoana.com) (KS)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou. The beauty of classics like Ms Marguerite’s seminal memoir is that they always seem to be even more generous the second or third time around, as if aging begets wiser reading. This time, I’m in love with the writing, the way a life is spread out like a table setting where each main and side reads like food as medicine. (MB)

THE PLAY LIST

Bandy Bandy: Erykah Badu featuring Zap Mama. This song is another one from my “prep for December” playlist. But it’s not for the reason you might think. It’s so easy to get lost in the festivities of this season — there are so many things to do, people to see, drinks to drink and tags to pop at the mall, I rarely remember to take a step back from all of it. With my playlist on shuffle, the fusion of Erykah and Zap Mama’s voices — randomly checking up on me while I sift through my song selections — reminds me to take a break. (ZH)

The 1st: Willow Smith. If you told me that I’d be playing the album of a 17-year-old so freely at my age a few years ago, I would have branded you a liar. This perfectly flowering teenager carries the ancient wisdoms of love, honesty and beauty in her deep and heart-filled voice, fusing them with contemporary questions that young people are asking themselves about mental wellness, self-acceptance, and an oldie but a goodie: Why is life so torturous? She reminds me of 1997-era Alanis Morissette in all the great ways. Get it for your kid; get it for yourself. (MB)

The Lists were compiled by Friday editor Milisuthando Bongela, writer Kwanele Sosibo and intern Zaza Hlalethwa

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