Starting out with cellphone-recorded tracks on SoundCloud in 2013, the EMCEE comes into his own on his new tape Individuation. Working with producers Yung Dad and Dr Funtimes, Rap Man Gavin uses clever rhyme-scheme and flawless flow to explore the thoughts that dominate his mind. The 20-minute, 8-track project is a dive into the unconscious of the 26-year-old rapper from Cape Town and the founder of art collective label Bottom Rock.
For the uninitiated – who is Rap Man Gavin, in 3 sentences.
I am a man. I rap. My name is Gavin.
Could you describe the term ‘individuation’, for those of us who don’t read the dictionary for breakfast?
Individuation is a Jungian term : a process of psychological integration, where the collective and personal unconscious are brought to conscious light. I guess in simple terms it’s getting to know yourself all the way down to your roots. It’s a way to get a sense of individuality where you don’t fight who you are anymore or reject the unconscious but try to understand it. Think of it as a way of becoming whole or the process of becoming yourself.
“The Gatekeeper: those who’ve a foothold in the industry but are terrified of sharing space.”
I named the tape Individuation because that’s essentially what it is. The intro is the meeting of the shadow in a way and the tracks that follow are the psychological projections of me going through this process of getting to know myself.
A stand-out track on the album for me is ‘Death of the Gatekeeper’. Could you describe what a ‘Gatekeeper’ is and what the significance of eliminating them is?
The Gatekeeper refers to the person who has somehow ended up with the power to give young creatives the exposure or boost they need to make it, but refuses to let anyone in who doesn’t match the strict criteria they’ve set out. It’s the person rejecting your art because you don’t have enough Instagram followers. It’s those who have a foothold in the industry, but are terrified of sharing the space too much.
The ‘Death of the Gatekeeper’ is now, because we don’t need those people anymore. Artists have the ability to do everything themselves, so the gatekeepers job has become obsolete. I put it at the end of the tape because I see the death of the gatekeeper as a new starting point. I like to think everything was always going to lead to it.
Individuation is available to stream now
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Feature image: album art provided / edited by Zoya Pon