Tatenda Chidora


afropunk soundcheck with stiff pap

June 29, 2021

Earlier this month, we announced Stiff Pap’s most accomplished project yet, TUFF TIME$, an intensely vivid snapshot of life as young black men in Johannesburg, set to the backdrop of a global pandemic that continues to rage on a local level. Showcasing the entire spectrum of their sound, from punked-out rap bangers such as ‘SASSA’, to the expansive dreamlands of ‘I See You’, to the clever integration of traditional sounds in ‘Riders On The Storm’, this project sees them stake their claim as one of the most groundbreaking and engaging acts to come from the African continent.

Following their journey, rising in the music scene and moving to Johannesburg in pursuit of their dreams, TUFF TIME$ is a semi-autobiographical story of rebellious black youth in Johannesburg’s inner-city – rebelling against a broken system that South Africa’s born-free generation has inherited. Growing up in an era of great hope for the new post-apartheid South Africa, Stiff Pap’s abrasive expression aims to disrupt all perceptions of Mandela’s “rainbow nation”, opening a conversation rooted in post-colonial discourse. In a time where global economies are strained, living as young black artists in the most unequal country in the world provides a sense of urgency to Stiff Pap’s rage and TUFF TIME$ serves as a rallying call for radical change.

We had sat down with Stiff Pap to dive deeper into their creative process behind TUFF TIME$