The product of friends chilling together, ‘For The Record’ is a statement by four artists about their disparate, lived realities that have shared experiences as people of colour. The Cape Town-based artists, Laudable, Samurai Farai, Būjin and eND, all met through mutual friends and approached the creation of the track not with the intention of producing a polished final product, but rather as an artistic release for themselves. Būjin explains that “[t]here was no intention to make a track, the intention was to meet up, chill, chat and write. [We were] just playing around and a track came out of it.”
With the behind the scenes documented by Elijah Ndoumbé (AKA eND) on 120mm film, the video for the track was shot in Cape Town by Thandi Gula-Ndebele and edited by Ndoumbé. Shot primarily on Table Mountain, the video sparks conversations about land ownership and access, while still feeling organic and spontaneous, much like the track itself
With a beat produced by Laudable, the goal was to create something that everyone could rap on. The slowed-down nature of the beat allowed for more melodic and harmonic elements to be incorporated by eND and Būjin and allowed for each artist to exist in their own space without competing with the other artist’s verses.
Touching on issues of land ownership, gender and masculinity, as well as familiar/generational trauma and wealth Būjin opens the track with a raw verse. “A statement that felt like a moment of catharsis.” Samurai Farai’s follow up verse is a reflection on making his art more accessible, taking it out of the white cube and into a rhythmic verse. Expanding on his journey and where he wants to go – it’s a reaffirmation of what it is he is doing. A conversational verse by eND draws inspiration from Jill Scott while sharing their day to day experience as a Trans person and the challenges they encounter. Closing off the track is Laudable, whose verse is an ode to the golden era of hip hop, the foundation that the OGs built and the fact that many of them are no longer with us.
As a group of friends, all four will continue to collaborate even if it doesn’t result in a final, polished product, something that is very important to them: collaboration for the sake of connecting and releasing, and they hope that others pick up on this too. The track shows how people from different backgrounds and areas can get together and create something that is greater than the individual, and that can spark conversations around experiences which for too long have been ignored. In the end, Samurai Farai hopes that listeners become confident in the way they were raised and the cultural symbolism that exists within a person of colour’s home.