Making music out of a bad reputation

 
 
 

“I am not a gangster,” Quintin Goliath says. As a coloured hip-hop artist, he faces stereotypes like these all the time. “Rap has a bad rep,” Goliath says. “Hip-hop is often associated with gangsterism.” So he’s taking these misconceptions and addressing them head on with catchy, carefully-crafted lyrics. “Music is universal,” Goliath says. “It’s not bound to any culture.” Through deep rhythms and an irresistible beat, he’s standing up for the truth.

Goliath grew up on the Cape Flats with a family of musicians. At the age of eight, he trained in piano and later added guitar to his musical repertoire. Goliath soon found himself in tune with the powerful messages in rap and hip-hop. But his new interest was met with concern. “My mother scratched out all my swear words when she found my rap books,” Goliath says. Mixing music and witty phrases gave Goliath a profound connection to the issues of identity surrounding him. And he wasn’t about to let go. “This is the way I express myself,” Goliath says.

The artist, known as Jitsvinger, now pursues music according to his own beat. “It’s a celebration of my cultural heritage,” Goliath says. He has performed worldwide and released two albums, Skeletsleutel and Jitsologie. With his unapologetic take on rap, Goliath reclaims both hip-hop and the coloured identity. His soulful, yet arresting message reverberates through the Cape Flats. “If I can change someone’s life, that to me is successful,” Goliath says.