Uncool new cool

2014-04-13 15:00

US pop sensation Skrillex has just stealth-released his debut album, called ­Recess, and he’s also dropped a video for the first single.

It’s titled Ragga Bomb, and was shot in Joburg and Alexandra township.

The camera work is genius, but the ­video is all kinds of dodgy.


The sum of Ragga Bomb’s imagery ­confirms a new meme infecting the entertainment world. If, in the 1980s, Africa was synonymous with famine and war, it is now the site of fantastic horrors associated with postapocalyptic bleakness.

The virus was most likely unleashed by the success of District 9, the spaceships-over-Soweto sci-fi movie by Neill Blomkamp.

The Ragga Bomb video was directed by Terence Neale. In a media statement, Warner Music says: “It was shot in the heart of Joburg with ‘Jedi recycling [skate] boarders’.”

This is a phrase they used to define the appropriated image of men often seen pulling or riding trolleys with waste paper scavenged from dumping sites across the city.

The director transforms them into ­occupants of a futuristic wasteland with weapons similar to ones used by the Jedi in Star Wars.

Skrillek’s video appropriates the real-life destitution of Joburg’s underbelly and mines the wounds of a capital-battered post-colonial black experience to construct a vision of a future hell. It is set to thumping electronic rhythms and sold as the new cool. We don’t think so.

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