When I say Jitsvinger, you say: “What?” Jitsvinger. “Who?” Jitsvinger!
If you don’t know who Jitsvinger is, well, I suggest you get to know him. Jitsvinger, aka Quintin Goliath, is one of the fastest rising Cape Afrikaans vernacular hip hop artists.
“It’s a catchy name, people turn around and go: ‘What?’” he says, smiling.
It is indeed very Afrikaans and a Kaaps expression which gets to the gist of whatever you are feeling, seeing or experiencing at the time.
“It was a common expression back in the 1990s and I’m just bring-ing it back.
“So I took ‘jits’ and added ‘vinger’ to it so as an MC I felt I’m making it mine in that way. The finger points in a specific direction, and so is my message and I use my hands when I perform.”
When he started rapping, Jitsvinger could be found “circling the page numbers of my favourite poetry in the text books”.
“I would listen to my older brother’s cassettes – Busta Rhymes, Black Noise – and I actually hid one of the Black Noise tapes called Hip Hop Won’t Stop,” he said.
Although he began rapping in English, rhyming in Afrikaans would later be his preferred taste as he describes having a better understanding of himself and the ability “to turn more heads.”
He continues: “At the time only BVK (Brasse Vannie Kaap), Devious and Isaac Newtons were among a very few who rhymed in Afrikaans.”
More recently he’s been part of a rally call against oil companies intent on drilling for shale gas in the Karoo with Frackattack, a hard-hitting song and music video that takes a stand against hydraulic “fracking” in the US.
“When I was approached by these people, I thought they just knew that I’m going to love the topic because I always try to speak for the misrepresented, the misunderstood, the people whose voices are always muffled by the big businesses, because I’ve shared this history with people.”
In doing this, he believes he was freeing himself as he, too, was a factory worker for a time.
“So when I heard about the operations happening in America I thought, wait, before it hits us let me stand amongst those in the frontline who encounter this and give me the information first so I’m also educating myself as well as others and I did it the best way I could.
“I took a beat from Loris Ramondi, a producer friend I met in Switzerland, and laid the lyrics over that.
“I thought Frackattack would be a good name because we have the chips Snack Attack which every-body knows, so I thought that would be catchy,” he grins.
Not only has Jitsvinger created awareness around this specific topic, but it has now caught the attention of environmentalists who have approached him about the concern of the dying fynbos.
“Music is a powerful tool and I feel this is something one needs to look at instead of just rapping about fashion and living excessive lifestyles with the blings-blings and what not.”
His debut album Skeletsleutel was released in 2006. “Debating, criticising, communicating – that’s my main thing I put forward when writing any song and that’s how Skeletsleutel came about.
“It says just that, it’s a key that can open doors and I see myself as that key because in life we face many doors.”
The vernacular artist is working on the release of his next album and is about to tour for a month in Holland with the popular theatre production, Afrikaaps.
“I’m busy refining myself, my voice is different, my views are different and I think that will be always be like that.”
l Catch Jistvinger on Friday at Zula, 98 Long Street. 8pm. R30. To view his latest video visit www.youtube.com, or his website on myspace.com