ENTERTAINMENT
06/07/2018 13:50 SAST | Updated 06/07/2018 13:50 SAST

EXCLUSIVE: 'KOD' With Fred Kayembe – 'Information Is The Most Important Resource'

'Keys Open Doors' has been a work in progress since last year.

'Keys Open Doors – KOD'

This is the title of hip-hop commentator and former editor of Hype Magazine Fred Kayembe's documentary, which launched on Friday.

Kayembe, who has been working on the documentary since last year, has offered critical commentary on the state of local hip-hop and been an important proponent of emerging new talent for several years.

According to MTV Base, his passion for hip-hop culture has seen him exchange insights with some of the biggest names in global hip-hop, including Kid Cudi, Wale, Nas, Snoop, 2Chainz, Clinton Sparks and many others

My keys represent information, and the basis of the documentary is that information is the most important resource.

Speaking exclusively to HuffPost about the documentary, Kayembe — who sees himself as an academic of hip-hop — said he aims to enhance the space with information. The documentary is a prelude to a web series the hip-hop scholar is producing.

"I was five or six years old when I first interacted with hip-hop, and I hated it at first because it was so vulgar. I eventually grew to appreciate the lyricism and the many facets of it," he said.

"My keys represent information, and the basis of the documentary is that information is the most important resource."

imaginima via Getty Images

Kayembe talked about how he took an academic approach to hip-hop because of the negative stigma attached to it because of violence and misogyny, and how he wanted to understand it better.

By listening to Nas, who had a very positive depiction of people of colour and who had real positive things to say about black history and culture, it really opened my mind.

He said that information is vital and that ignorance can blind an individual's understanding of a topic. Kayembe referred to a time in his youth when he did not care about hip-hop. But when he listened to U.S. rapper Nas, it changed his perspective on the genre.

"At first it sounded like vulgarity and the whole world was burning. I was not interested. But by listening to Nas, who had a very positive depiction of people of colour and who had real positive things to say about black history and culture, it really opened my mind."

Kayembe also spoke about local hip-hop and said that while we are going through a transition, South Africa's hip-hop scene is still at a tender age and should be given the time to grow and explore its unique sound.

"We're such a unique nation, with such beautiful nuance. I think we need to allow hip-hop here to go through what it needs to go through.

"Talent is definitely prevalent, and there are so many talented people. We just need time to process the raw material coming in."