‘Die Ou Met Die Snor By Die Bar’
Jack Parow’s 240-page autobiography, penned with music journalist Theunis Engelbrecht, marks the first official publication of Parow’s infamous lyrics.
The book in which the rapper originally wrote his lyrics has long since vanished; a loss blamed on touring or dagga-smoking (he no longer lights up) or a combination of the two.
Die Ou Met Die Snor By Die Bar was written in first person and in Parow’s “straatAfrikaans”; a lingo that flows between English, Afrikaans and slang typical to Cape Town.
Seeing his words and his style of speech in a book was awkward, he said.
“It was very strange. Is that how I speak? I read the first few chapters and it freaked me out. It’s like hearing your voice for the first time... I’m so happy we told this in first person. I would have hated it any other way,” he said.
One of the hardest things to capture was the lyrics. It meant collating portions of songs captured from a lost book, a phone, a tablet to Parow’s memory.
“It’s hard having it all memorised. Some songs you know work for an album and others you know work better live. The live ones I memorise, It’s impossible to remember all of it. They haven’t been published before and much on the internet has been wrong.”
He lost the book containing the lyrics to his first album.
“It happens when you are travelling and not sleeping for days. You start forgetting things. I used to forget things everywhere.”
Engelbrecht recorded Parow’s story over the course of several interviews.
He wrote the story chronologically, telling Parow’s story from childhood to international rap star.
One of the most intriguing things about the book, is the style of the language, which captures Parow’s casual tone.
“I transcribed it the way he said it... the way he works with language. That is the way he speaks, straatAfrikaans.”
Parow describes the interviews like being in a “weird psychiatrist’s office”.