Emile YX? and Heal the Hood Utilize Hip Hop and Breakdancing to Create Work For Lavender Hill Youth (South Africa)
CAPE TOWN — Emile YX?, now known as the judge with the Afro on ETVs reality dance show “Step Up or Step Out”, is about the release his 5th Album, which is a mentorship style album with youth from Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats. He formed a group with them called “Mixed Mense”.
This 12 track album – rhymed mostly in Afrikaans – has its roots in the history of Emile’s work with these young men over the years. In 2004, after returning from Scandinavia, Emile started one of many free classes in CAFDA, Grassy Park, for youth from the communities of Retreat, CAFDA and Lavender Hill. Nine years later, some of these young men were still dancing and wished to learn to rap and find out more about making a living from their skill. Instead of lecturing them, Emile created “Mixed Mense”, which would serve as Heal the Hood Project’s practical performance school. This offered them a chance to shadow the work he did, taught them how to teach, passed on his classes to them so that they could be paid for passing on the knowledge, get paid for performances, perform in Emile’s Hip Hop play concepts “Mixing it Up” and “Break”, release a CD, DVD, book and travel nationally and internationally. “We all have to do our bit to empower our youth and create income opportunities for our youth,” said Emile.
“Ek leer vir jou” (I teach you) speaks of the journey of Emile, as the teacher, both teaching and learning from the members of Mixed Mense, who are Leeroy Phillips aka B-boy Malis, Stephan Benting aka B-boy Mouse and Charlton Eftha aka B-boy Lank Genoeg. Other issues addressed on this album are “Goeie Nuus” (Good news) in Lavender Hill and the Cape Flats, Land, breaking stereotypes, saving Princess Vlei and alcohol abuse.
Their future plans are to tour the Western Cape and work with youth from Manenberg, Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Heideveld, Nyanga, Hanover Park, Ocean View and other interested areas. Then they plan to release a book with poetry, songs and short stories, create another CD with youth from each area and Mixed Mense, then tour selling products these youths have created.
Check out these three tracks from the Mixed Mense CD.
(1) Save Princess Vlei – http://www.reverbnation.com/emileyx/song/16407857-save-princess-vlei-no-mall-
(3) Ek Leer Vir Jou – http://www.reverbnation.com/emileyx/song/15165245-ek-leer-van-jou-mixed-mense