Illiterate Skillz – A Taxijam

If you find yourself in a taxi heading from Gugulethu to Cape Town, you’d better hope that rappers Ill-Literate-Skill (a.k.a. Ill Skillz) aren’t jamming in the back seat. This Mother City hip hop crew will chew off your ears and stew your brain in a sea of alphabet soup. Unless you can perform the mental gymnastics required to process the stream of consciousness that rattles from their lips (or at least have a strong Arabica piloting your system), it’s likely that their bombardment of rhyming couplets will cause you to blow a fuse. Back in the day, guys like these were heralded for their sophistry and became bosom buddies with monarchs in the form of court jesters. Times changed and they took to tour buses as wandering minstrels, or “original backpackers” as Ill-Literate-Skill like to see themselves. That’s right, these self-proclaimed illiterates have vocabulary skills that don’t pander to the gangster lexicon. They may claim to be bad at reading and writing (and their spelling is admittedly atrocious) but if African storytelling is about oral transmission then Tommy Jinxx and Jimmy Flexx score ten out of ten for the gift of the gab. Look out for the debut album Off the Radar.

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