After his first live performance in 2014, Jedi Knight (Jethro February) was hooked – the stage, he says, is where he finds his true voice.
The Labiance artist performed at Chapter 6 of the Northern Lights Hip Hop Nights at Stikland Driving Range, on Friday January 2.
The monthly event gives artists from all over the province a chance to show what they can do and is the brainchild of Kraaifontein couple, Linley (Linkris The Genius) and Genevieve Heynes. They wanted to shake up the old order and give up-and-coming artists a chance to shine.
Jedi Knight has been into hip hop since his days at The Settlers High School. He started as a b-boy in Grade 8 and was part of the school’s Hip Hop Society, which was started by his brother.
By Grade 10, he was writing lyrics and free-styling among his friends. And it was here he connected with Linkris.
After trying to find a job for a year after completing his studies at the UCT, he decided it was time for his voice to be heard.
“I had been writing for a long time but never performed. I kept my music to myself,” he says.
He released his first album, Making Cents LP, in 2015 and has performed at various events including Open Streets and the African Hip Hop Indaba.
Jedi Knight says hip hop gives him and outlet to express himself and get his message across.
Drawing inspiration from Eminem, he uses metaphors and similes to tell vivid stories through his rhymes. As for his sound, he describes it as very “Cape Town”, saying he doesn’t put on a “fake accent”.
He released his first single, Separation, off his new album, The Production, in December and plans to release another single before the official release of the album later this year.
On this single he worked with veteran MCs Linkris, Rimestein and Knoffelbruin. He says he wants to make a quality “hip hop anthem” to show the levels of skill in the industry.
“People tend to follow trends, often forgetting what real hip hop is about. It’s not about ego or image but about the message in the lyrics – that’s what hip hop is about.
He admires what Linkris and Genevieve are doing with Northern Lights, saying many artists don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Artists, he says, are often left to fend for themselves with no sponsorship, Northern Lights helps them get their music out to a wider audience.
Artists who have performed include Dope Saint Jude, Knine Die Hond, Olla the Ou, Klein Fortuin, Hailo, Penbenders, Abadon Horseman, Mono Joe and Slang ZA, with Linkris The Genius as host.