“There is definitely a lot of food for thought on Cream’s debut album with nearly every track having a message behind it. Ultimately though, it’s the great beats and captivating lyrics that make the album stand out.”
‘Bruin Brood’ is the debut album from Cream, a rapper hailing from the grimy streets of the Cape Flats. The album was released on 20 September through Cape Town record label, Pioneer Unit and sees Cream teaming up with Cape Town producer Hipe; who handled the entire album’s production.
On the album’s opening track ‘Cape Flats’, he paints a dark picture of his environment as he touches on topics like violence and drugs. It’s a dark intro, and Cream catches you off guard with his quick fire-flow. Things brighten up immediately on the laid back soulful sounding ‘Die Music’ where he addresses his feelings toward other rappers who aren’t on his level.
‘Afrdruk’ is another impressive cut; voicing his disappointment with the current trends on Radio and TV. “Ek Skip you hele CD want soos Weezy will jy basies rap / En daai is easy want op TV sien jy al die crap/” raps Cream, which translated means that “he skips other rappers’ albums because they rap like Lil Wayne / their songs consists of nothing more than basic raps / and he blames this on what people are exposed to on TV and Radio”. This track shows off Cream’s impressive lyricism and wordplay, as he speaks about a topic many people will be able to relate to.
Throughout the album Cream touches on sensitive topics like racism and racial profiling which he addresses on one of the album’s stand out tracks ‘Staan Op’. An emotional Cream raps “Hulle sê dat ek a colured is / Hulle sê date k is baaie gevaarlik is / Hulle se ek is a drug addict en a alkolist’/”. Translated this means “They say I’m a coloured / they say that I am very dangerous / they say I’m a drug addict and alcoholic/”. This unfortunately is the kind of racism that some people still have to deal with living in South Africa’s ‘Rainbow Nation’. Cream also voices his dissatisfaction with how the Government have forgotten that the coloured people were also part of the struggle for Democracy.
Another dark topic touched on, on the album is prostitution on ‘Stille Waters.’ Cream displays his story-telling ability as he tells the tale of a 18-year-old girl who gets into prostitution, as he shares some of the hardships she had to go through revealing how she contracted AIDS and was forced into sleeping with her own father. It’s not all dark and gloomy though, ‘Thought He’d Never Do It’ and ‘Bewegings’ are up-tempo and light-hearted songs that will have you singing along to the catchy hooks. Cream also shares his musical journey on ‘Travelling Man’ where he talks about the difficulties he had to overcome to make it to the point where he is now. Cream shares his journey as a travelling man, from writing rhymes on the train to setbacks with producers.
Hipe really shines on production providing a wide variety of beats for Cream to work with. The album is hard hitting though, and with 17-tracks in total, it can get a bit overwhelming. There are a few tracks that could have been left off the album which would have improved the flow. Tracks like ‘Running Around’, ‘Can’t Stop Me Now’ and ‘Wiet Jy Nou’ feel a bit repetitive.
Cream shares his story on Bruin Brood, which is Afrikaans for Brown Bread, and metaphorically means ‘Food for Thought’. There is definitely a lot of food for thought on Cream’s debut album with nearly every track having a message behind it. Ultimately though, it’s the great beats and captivating lyrics that make the album stand out. The only drawback of the album is that it is entirely in Afrikaans, with a bit of English mixed in between verses. This could make the content difficult for non-Afrikaans-speaking people to relate to.
Written by Ashraf Stakala (@ASHownsCHEKA)