Growing up, I never really understood the concept of “keeping kids off the street”. The kids in my area and I grew up playing in the streets. That was the norm. Initially, it was the traditional sports like cricket and soccer, and we received many roasties for our efforts. Later, it was skateboarding, which featured even more roasties for our efforts, but also provided many psychological rewards each time we got a new trick on lock, gave us goals to work towards, and was also the way many of us outcasts found like minded individuals. Sports, like skateboarding, in my opinion, are vital to kids upbringings, regardless of if they’re played on the streets or on a field.
I think Ruzza Wazzi probably feels similarly, as he’s donating all the proceeds from the streaming of his uplifting dub influenced track ‘We R Fire’ to a non profit called Skateistan. The multidisciplinary artist has a soft spot for the organisation as he used to work there as an Educator. Skateistan uses skateboarding and education as a tool to empower “at risk youth” around the world, which is pretty rad. They’ve been around for 10 years globally and 2 years locally. You can learn more about this incredible organisation here.
Skateboarding is about freedom, expression and pushing yourself, and Ruzza Wazzi embodies that in his work. The artistically gritty video for ‘We R Fire’ is shot at Skateistan in Jozi and features layers of symbolism that I don’t exactly “get” but I can still enjoy the part sci-fi, part mystical aesthetics.
Ruzza Wazzi cares deeply about the visuals that accompany his audio, and you’ll be able to delve deeper into the psyche of this radical artist real soon. I got to see and hear an entire album of his work just once before he took it down to edit something he wasn’t happy with, and I’ll say this much: You haven’t seen anything quite like it.
Look out for ‘Voice For The Fringe’ which will hopefully drop soon, but for now, enjoy Chapter 1 with ‘We R Fire’, and if you dig the track, stream it on Spotify or Apple Music and help keep kids out of trouble whilst on the streets.