A Night Out With Playdoe


Playdoe is difficult to describe in standard hip hop terms. The group lacks the gangsta bravado of NWA, and has none of the political urgency of Public Enemy. There’s no Wu-Tang Clan brashness and little of the slick, polished production of Jay-Z or Kanye West. Don’t expect smooth lyrical flow like Common, or DJ mastery at the level of Mix Master Mike or DJ Premier.

Two young men make up Playdoe: Spoek and Sibot, a black rapper and a white scratch champion, both from Johannesburg. At a recent concert at the Social, a tiny underground bar just outside London’s Soho, Sibot, wearing a T-shirt and a sideways-tilted baseball cap, manned the turntables while Spoek, in high-tops, faded purple jeans and an African kofia-styled hat, worked the microphone, occasionally touching various keys and knobs next to him onstage.

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