Real name Quinton Goliath, the rapper’s six new songs are being released as Jitsologie on Saturday.
The songs feature established local musicians, including Kyle Shepherd and Claire Phillips. Working with musicians was his way of ensuring the album would translate into interesting live performances too, says Goliath.
It also goes against the traditional way rap music is made. Usually a music producer creates the beats to accompany a rapper’s lyrics.
“A traditional MC (rapper) gets beats and rhymes. I create my own music, instead of just writing the lyrics,” says Goliath.
“I was musically inclined before I was a rapper. I used to play piano and my mother taught me to play guitar. Hip hop was there so I could continue with music.”
After he launched his debut, Skeletsleutel, in 2007 he wanted to spend more time “learning”. He has not been creatively dormant.
“I haven’t thought about putting music out consistently. Learning a lot about the industry, myself, my message, was more important,” he says.
“I've been involved in various projects. My first album was featured in local films and I’ve been asked to score films.
“I’ve gone into the poetry world too. I’ve toured with French bands through Chile and France.
“I’m working on a musical theatre production that will go the Netherlands where I have to do lines in Dutch. And I'm teaching younger musicians. I’m not in a box.”
Afrikaaps, a stage play that toured in South Africa and elsewhere, is among Goliath’s career highs. It showed through dialogue and music how Afrikaans was formed in the Cape, breaking the stereotype that the language belongs exclusively to white Dutch descendants.
“Learning the history of one’s language is important and being able to tour that is still one of my highlights,” says Goliath.
Turning inwards, he started working on music that reflects his own journey. He felt ready to follow-up his debut. A full album release is scheduled for March.
Jitsologie is a made-up word that references jits - Afrikaans slang for cool - and introduces itself as the study of all things jits. This title can also refer to the artist’s study of his craft, other art forms and himself.
“I felt it’s time now to put out something, calling it the study of being jits,” says Goliath.
His lyrics remain in Kaaps, which is the Cape Town vernacular of Afrikaans - the version the dictionary has never really known.
“I’m still being fully and unapologetically Kaaps and that forces people to listen to what I have to say. I’m not compromising or making it easy for people to get my message. They have to deal with my expression,” says Goliath.
“I’m not putting on an act. This is me. I rap the way I speak.”
Goliath locates his storytelling in his personal experiences of growing up in Mitchells Plain and later Kuils River. He now lives in central Cape Town.
“My lyrics are rooted in the Cape Flats experience I have a responsibility as an artist to always reflect where I come from,” he says.
“Musically it’s beyond that (Cape Flats) because I’ve travelled. I’ve been busking in public places in Switzerland to see how people react to the music. And I’m still learning.”
The Jitsologie launch is on Saturday from 8pm at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre in Buitenkant Street in central Cape Town.