The Blunt Smoker’s Guide To The One Love Collective

“WHY WOULD WE NEED GALLERIES TO EXHIBIT OUR CREATIVE WORKS WHEN OUR ART FORM IS GROOMED IN THE STREETS?”

 

ONELOVE

ONELOVE

 

It’s late in the afternoon. You’re slowly meandering down a river of post nine to five traffic as it flows between banks of concrete lined by tall buildings. The sun is setting and you are lost in your thoughts. The reflected glint of dusk hued sunlight reflecting off the triple glazed windows of some business premises or other permits you a glimpse of why Johannesburg is called the city of gold.
Then whoosh…

A small, strong wind repeatedly blows into the car in short rapid bursts, a taxi hoots (at what only a few have ever deciphered) and you look up out of the kiddie pool of thoughts you had been lounging in to see a team of fearless skate boarders coasting through traffic like the Silver surfer does the cosmos.

Black_Panther_Tchalla_Hudlin_h3

You think to yourself WTF? Are those guys crazy? Do they have medical aid, or a death wish?

The answer is most definitely NO to all of the above.

What they do have is a desire to experience life to the fullest, to be free from any conventional constraints, to push themselves to the limits of their ability and to excel only in being their best. This is what I’ve come to learn from being in the midst of the skating community.

This is an introduction to The One Love Collective.

OLSE JOZI

The One Love Collective are a group of youths that are changing the face of the inner city, utilising spaces that most would pass in a blink of an eye and disregard as waste even faster than that.
A non-profit organisation geared towards the promotion of skate boarding in, but not limited to, the inner city communities.
Through a diversity of endeavours the One Love Collective directs its energy towards the empowerment, education and upliftment of the youth through the medium of skate boarding. The development of young people with the capacity to utilise their inherent potential to overcome the challenges of life and growing up in the testing context of the African urban environment.

#EnterTheVoid

The aptly named moving indoor skate park, The Void, is one of their principle projects. Currently in its third manifestation, The Void has recently been opened again in the Maboneng Precinct of Jeppestown Johannesburg. In a place defined by the regeneration of underutilised space, the One Love Collective is redefining the definition. Inhabiting places determined as empty ‘voids’ yet to be filled by the dominating expansion that is Maboneng, the One Love Collective’s mobile indoor skate park has been and continues to create a safe haven for inner city kids to develop and refine their skating skills.

Hand built and home grown, the park is an evolving manifestation of the grittiness and drive that defines the City of Gold.

If you want to #EnterTheVoid: kick, push and coast your way over to 308 Fox Str. at the T.F.E  House across the street from the only skate shop in the inner-city Home Grwn.

You can follow the continuing story of the One Love Collective through the following channels:

FCBK

TWTTR

TUMBLR

INTRWBS

The Blunt Smoker’s Guide to Honey and Bass: An Innerview with Lex LaFoy

“The best way to learn my way around was to get lost.” – Lex Lafoy

lex_lafoy_slomokazi_blogspot

 

The Guide: Tell us a bit about the connection between Bass music and Lex LaFoy’s Roots?

 Lex:

 

My first interaction with Bass Music on a soul level was on the 27th of November 2010 at an S.K.A (Street Kulture Appreciation) gig held in a park in Protea North, Soweto, Johannesburg, ZA. I’d performed earlier in the day, and after some sun-soak and great vibes…I heard it. I heard what sounded like a multitude rapping on some heavy bass. That night I met Blindfolders– Cosmo MC and B-Slim (who produced Ifani’s Jonga. Yeah I introduced them. Hehe. Love is funny.), and my life was transformed forever. It just so happened that I had entered into a transitional space within myself as an artist and creative, where I was getting bored with what I’d been doing for the previous 7-8 years, and wanted more. I didn’t know what this more was until that moment.

 

My love for Bass expanded ten-fold after that. As I opened myself to this newness it began to transform me from the inside out. I heard Niskerone at an UberCool Party (Run by Georgios Kretsos) in my home town Durban for the first time in 2012 and knew that Drum n Bass equated to church for me. And no one could say sh*t about that. [For an in-depth diary entry.]

 

The Guide: Who schooled Lex in the art of Bass Rap?

Lex:

Cosmo MC of Blindfolders was my guru. He took the time, effort and love to challenge me as an MC to the utmost. We’d spend hours freestyling battling and rapping over bass music, till eventually, the 2-2 beat was ingrained in my head. And heart. (Of course, like all rebels, we master the rules only to bend them the way we like 🙂 )

 Lexnsex

 

 

The Guide: Which of your songs are your favourite? 

Lex: 

Mm Tough one. I love so many. I seem to fall in love with every song I create now. I will say this though… Look out for the new releases later this year (when I return to South Africa). Then we can discuss favourites on a global scale 🙂 debates, discussions and comments as to what you and I feel.

 

The Guide: What do you love about Jo’burg?

Lex:

I love the ambition in the air. I love the fact that everything I need is at my disposal, and if it isn’t there, someone in the vicinity can hook it up. I love the watermarked heights of sheer determination that are written on the walls around us. Some in achievement, some in aerosol.Making me want to reach higher. And be the best me I can be. I love the healthy frustration I feel that motivates me into a state of action. I love the late nights and the good energy. The beautiful people. The brilliant creatives I’ve come to meet, love and see as my team. I love Maboneng and its founders. I love me that Jewish Dank too 🙂

 

The Guide: What was your experience like the first time you came to JHB from DBN?

Lex:

My first solo mission to Joburg was in 2005 at the UN Hip Hop Summit held in Newtown. I missed my psychology test because of this. Hehe. It was there I met Osmic before the birth of BTTC & the SAHHA’s, and my baby-daddy Psalm1. He and I started dating long distance and I’d come up every now and again to visit and also partake in cyphers and some shows. This helped grow my inter-city connections. I then moved up in July 2012 after I completed my BSocSci Degree (Psychology and Philosophy) at UKZN. I stayed in Zola when I first arrived with a good sister-friend I’d known from Durban. I then stayed with other sister-friend’s who were great to me. That was cool. Humbling to say the least 🙂 I didn’t know my way around and asked for an aerial view map of the city. My homegirls denied me the privilege and said the best way to learn my way around was to get lost. So I did 🙂 I was doing promotion work when I first arrived, and that had me travelling all over Gauteng. It helped me find my bearings.

 

The Guide: How was the Red Bull Bass Camp experience?

                        What did you learn?

Lex:

Bass Camp was awesome. I met some of the country’s best artists and creatives and have developed a familial bond with them and their work. It felt like Professor X’s School for the Gifted.

Only Richard the 3rd didn’t like being compared to an old bald man 🙂 . The lectures by some of the greats were eye-opening and educative. It’s added so much value to who I am as a person along this journey.

 

The Guide: What’s your favourite band?

Lex:

I love my music and the people I create music with the most. I love Frank Marksy and Rehab Tony. I also love Die Antwoord. I’d love to do a song with Yolandi Vi$$er one day 🙂 Putting it out there. Into the Universe. I like me some Drake, James Blake, Jhene Akio, Saul Williams, Florence and the machine, Blaya of BurakaSomSistemo to name a few.

The Guide: Ruby Gold?

Lex:

Ruby is like my sister. We lived together not so long ago. She’s a strong tenacious young woman who’s taught me a lot. She’s a really cool creative. We’ve done a song together that will also feature Moonchild. Look forward to sharing it with you 🙂 xxx

  RRRecordings

The Guide: How did you meet with DJ Doowop?

Lex:

I was working with Jonny Joburg of Renaissance Rock Recordings at the time. It was early 2013. We knew I wanted a female DJ, and while I was visiting my family in Durban Jonny called me and said: “Lex! We found your DJ!!! She’s hot. She plays the sickest bass music and you’ll love her”. So he gave me her contacts and I contacted her when I got back to Joburg. We met up,started gelling and did our first gig together at a party in May 2013 at 162 Anderson Street. That was really fun. A lot of people looked at us like ‘who the f*ck are they’. They still partied with us though 🙂 so it was rad. We then went through a break period of about 8 months, where my publisher and her didn’t get along. After I left my publisher at the time (early 2014), I contacted her and asked if she’d be keen to get together again. It’s been magical.

 

 The Guide:Tell us about this tour you were on?

SookeeLex:

We arrived in Germany last Monday the 5th of May for the international all-female hiphop tour called “The Purple Velvet Tour”, which is centered around the release of, German-Based rapper and activist, Sookee’s latest album Lila Samt (translated as ‘Purple Velvet’).

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had 18 shows booked. We opened the tour at club SO36 in Berlin on Wednesday the 7th, where we met other really dope artists Carmel Zoum and Spoke P Kaye. Then we were along the coast of the Baltic Sea for L-Beach Festival – the biggest Lesbian Music Festival in the world. That was radly interesting… 🙂 .


The next day we were in a small town in the Northeast part of Germany called Greifswald. Where we were educated on the political tension between Neo-Nazi groups and the local youth in the area.The audience was so full of love though. Every day was an adventure of it’s own. Being on the road over those few days, meeting amazing people and loving the expansion 🙂

 

The Guide: What’s the chemistry between you and Doowop?

LEX and Doowap (4)

 

Lex:
I love her dude. I’m really grateful the Universe brought us together. We’re complimentary and we both look good in International. We made a fashionable joke about that the other day 🙂 I really dig her energy.

 

 

Like all people who work together, we also have our own groups of friends, preferences and tastes. Thankfully we both like healthy food a lot. So food isn’t an issue.

 

 

 

doowopnlex

 

 

 

 

We have similar taste in rebellious forms of expression. And share a love for the 90’s. We both fell in love with Bianca Kim Clothing too, so thankfully, when looking for a designer to work with leading up to the tour- a business decision like that wasn’t difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

credits:

IWO of http://www.allthatworks.de (Berlin)

Phillip of Painted Lenses Photography (Berlin)

we-are-awesome.com

Martin of Manic Creations http://www.manic-creations.co.za (Durban, ZA), at a shoot styled and dressed by Bianca Kim Clothing

slomokazi.blogspot.com