It’s been nearly two years since Stiff Pap put out their highly praised, genre bending debut EP ‘Based on a Qho Story’. The duo have been on the quiet side with releases since then but their latest single, “Maradona”, (named after the football legend/dude from the cocaine memes) recently dropped and it’s anything but quiet. It’s noisy, disjointed, and dark, just the way I like it.
I get why they called it “Maradona”. When you hit play on the track, you’re gonna feel a lot like Maradona. As in, you’ve just hit a bump of coke and feel like the world is yours for the taking. Energy flows through you, confidence is king and that king is you, and everything feels just a little bit too much, but you can handle it, even if you are sweating a bit. Or something along those lines. Lyrically, “Maradona” is just a straight up flex track. It’s all about how you feel when you’ve got some money in your pocket and get to live the high life, with some fun wordplay like “I ran from the blades like Trinity” between the claims of excellence and running the game. It’s quite the boost to one’s self-esteem.
In the press release Stiff Pap is called the South African answer to experimental rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA, which definitely makes some sense, although if you haven’t heard JPEGMAFIA yet, just imagine Death Grips with a bit more melody and colour in their lives. Now imagine that with even more melody, but a bit darker. That’s the realm Stiff Pap are working in with “Maradona”. If you’ve heard ‘Based on a Qho Story’, “Maradona” is closest to “Dlala”, with more of a trap influence and less kwaito snares than some of their other tracks, although it’s still distinctly Stiff Pap.
Photography: Haneem Christian
Stylist: Yonela Makoba
MUA: Xola Makoba
Assistant: Siwe Mlotywa
Clothing: Daily Paper