The romance and realism of Dope Saint Jude’s debut EP

“I’m fuck’n around with big boys / I don’t have a dick so I bring big toys”

And just like that, Dope Saint Jude is back, and with a debut EP too. Titled Reimagine, the six track collection was produced by the rapper herself, with recording and mixing by Cape Town’s Kay Faith and features from the likes of Andy Mkosi, Janeli, and even a bit of guitar courtesy of UCT’s professor Adam Haupt.

For a debut EP, Reimagine does well to introduce Dope Saint Jude to those who may not have heard her music before (although you really should have by now). Each track is radically different from the next, with the end result being a holistic blend of impenitent emotion, bold identity, and the free flowing thoughts of a young artist grappling with the everyday politics of the world.

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Dope Saint Jude’s never been one to shy away from speaking her own truths, both the intimate and the everyday. In Reimagine she puts forward a collection of stories, observations and thoughts that serve as the perfect guide for traversing modern day constructs of gender, race, sexuality and identity, but in an easily accessible manner. She speaks of love, of family, of literature, her history, her beats, her bike (which features in more than one track), and holding her own in a typically gaudy and male dominated hip hop scene.

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Musically, the EP is just as diverse. ‘Spose 2 B’ brings looped, militant drum beats for Janeli’s smooth, crooning voice to weave in and out of, ‘Romance and Realism’, which carries many of the overarching themes of the EP, rolls forward with a frenetic percussive element that Dope Saint Jude throws perfectly executed raps over, and ‘Light of the Moon (Clair de Lune)’, one of the slower tracks, is characterised by beautifully emotive keys.

Don’t ignore the intro and outro either. Both are slow and measured tracks, but are crucial elements to the overall understanding of Reimagine, with the prayer style outro track giving way to one of the most poignant pieces of lyricism come out of the local scene in a good while.  

Stream and download Reimagine on Soundcloud and Bandcamp and if you happen to be in the US in the near future, catch Dope Saint Jude at the following shows:

30 June: Hussy Planet – White Horse Bar, Oakland
1 July: Club Fist x Hussy Planet – Cheetahs, Los Angeles
2 July: Hussy Planet – Good Mother Gallery, Oakland
3 July: Swagger Like Us – El Rio, San Francisco

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Artwork by The Seppi’s

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