Rapper Rouge’s debut album, THE NEW ERA SESSIONS, premiered this morning at number two on iTunes, a first for a female rapper in South Africa. The record, which serves as Rouge’s candid commentary about the various eras of hip hop, is receiving rave reviews from music critics and bloggers alike.
The album which is set in a post-apocalyptic world plays on the concept of technology and its role in modern society. It begins with Rouge interacting with an android robot. They engage in an in-depth conversation about the evolution of hip hop through the ages and the influence the genre has had on her as an artist.
Their conversations are broken up into four parts:
- Old school
- Woman empowerment
The old school section talks to Rouge’s love for old school rap, the classics. She acknowledges the importance of ProVerb, Prokid, Amu and Skwatta Kamp who set the foundations for South Africa’s hip hop scene.
Section two delves into trap music and its apparent disregard for lyricism and content. Rouge responds to the genres detractors by delivering poetic and profound lyrics over hard knock trap beats, proving the contrary.
In terms of the ‘Love’ section Rouge tackles this tangled topic in a way that will have fans pining over lost lovers and lamenting unrequited love.
Lastly, the ‘Woman Empowerment’ section tackles topics such as the judgement we pass on so-called Instagram baddies (often labelled ‘thots’ in the world of hip hop), how women do not listen when men are upfront about only wanting casual relationships and lastly, a question she never wants to answer again: the question of being a “female rapper” in a male-dominated game.
“I wanted the album to usher in a new era in hip hop music,” asserts Rouge. “We need a new generation to step forward and let their ideas and opinions be heard through music; a universal language for the youth. Up-and-coming female rappers in the South African music industry are well-position to facilitate this renaissance; showcasing the strength of their creativity, artistry and social commentary to positively impact society.”
Carrying on the women empowerment theme, Rouge’s album launch which will be taking place at The Good Luck Bar in Johannesburg tonight and will be a showcase of female talent. The lineup includes female heavy weights such as Shekinah, Sho Madjozi, Ms Cosmo and Ayanda MVP to name a few.
“Everything I do is for my fans – I cannot wait to see how they connect with my songs on stage. It’s been a long journey to get here, but the support from my fan base has truly kept me motivated to produce something that I hope not only captures my unique story, but also gives them a platform and a voice to tell theirs. Life experiences are different for everyone; it is my wish that this album speaks to listeners on a personal level, giving them something they can fully relate to and be inspired by.”
Fans will also be treated to a short film based on the album, which is set to air next week on MTV. The star-studded movie features the likes of SA entertainments greats Atandwa, Fikile Kani, Denise Zimba and Cassius Davids.- Press Release.
Peep the trailer below!