So you’re online, you see a ‘Dope Saint Jude’ page pop up and – curious to find out more – you decide to explore what the blue and white screen is trying to telling you about the talents of Cape Town.
Steve Biko music video references, witty punchlines, bars about black pride, and a few history lessons on slavery and politics. All of this on a DJ Mustard beat.
If I’m not mistaken it was by “it’s pussy and politics” when I knew to pull away from the laptop and let the rest of her Soundcloud blast, as I began making up my mind about this emcee that I hadn’t exactly fully understood yet. The verdict? She’s unmatched, and if given the right attention, she’ll do great things for the SA rap game.
In an interview that she had, Dope Saint Jude described Hip Hop as “a tool for empowerment for our people”, and with her rap prowess and the array of sounds that she brings to the table, she is definitely opening the door for even more influence for the culture to spread.
She’s focused, owning her culture, doing her own thing and she doesn’t need your “kak validation.”
We’re not going to make this the regular, boring old interview question, but just for the record: how did the name Dope Saint Jude come about?
DSJ: My second name is “Saint Jude”, the patron Saint of lost or hopeless causes. My second name is really important to me because I feel like I represent “hopeless” causes and I use my art to work through them. I added the “Dope”, well, because I am cool, fresh, young and dope.
I only found out about you a few months ago. I went back and listened to your older music and I got pretty mad that the discovery happened so late. Because your songs carry such strong messages, do you ever worry about not getting through to the amount of people you’d like to?
DSJ: I think these things happen organically. I will reach who I need to reach in due time. I have only been doing this for a year and I have made amazing progress. I have faith that I will reach the right people at the right time.
What would you love to see happening in Cape Town’s rap scene? And how do you think you’ll contribute to it in the long run?
DSJ: I would like to see a diversity of sounds, stories and aesthetics. I would like to see more collaborations and self love. I think Cape Town hip-hop is pretty hard on itself. I would like to see the hip-hop scene celebrating itself some more and stop this silly comparison with Joburg. I believe I will contribute to Cape Town hip-hop by offering a very different voice and perspective – and even sound.
What I dig about you the most is how you take a wide variety of beats and sometimes even well-known beats from tracks that we all know are originally in no way conscious, but then you spit about such a conscious and political subject matter. That’s very interesting. Why the juxtaposition of such contrasting elements? Or am I just looking too deep into this?
DSJ: It’s definitely a deliberate juxtaposition. I want to make woke music to dope beats. I am an artist and I enjoy playing around with different materials to create my sound.
One of my favourite lines by you is on the song you came out with not too long ago – ‘Brown Baas’. You said “I’m always on that new shit ‘cause I am that fucking new shit” which, although simple, I think describes you perfectly. Be honest, do you think people are sleeping on you?
DSJ: I mean, I guess so. But they’re about to be woke. I have so much faith and belief that I will reach a bigger audience not only because of my music, but because of my message, my intent and my work.
What are your future plans and where can people check you out and follow you?
DSJ: I am working on my collab with Madame Ghandi right now. I am also making plans to travel overseas next year, as I have a few gigs lined up in Europe. I am also working on my EP which I am excited to announce will center around the idea of ‘SELF LOVE’.
Peep Dope Saint Jude’s ‘Realtalk’ music video here
And follow the links to follow your girl on the socials – she’s on everything!
All pictures taken by: Jabu Newman