Behind the LOLs: Kiffness talk about new viral song 'Mmusi Maimane'

The Kiffness is at it again and have another viral video on their hands… just in time for elections!


Cape Town, South Africa – What do you get when you mix a South African political party, Harambe, a rap song and The Kiffness together? A new hilarious viral song called Mmusi Maimane which has had over 100 000 views in less than 24 hours.

David Scott from The Kiffness is no stranger to controversy; he has had public fights with Woolworths over body shaming, taken on festivals that don’t pay and now the singer is lending his voice to politics.

Scott sat down with us to give an exclusive about the new song.

What inspired you to make the song?

The DA referenced Childish Gambino “This is America” in their one campaign videos, so this is a satirical playoff that & how they reference American youth culture to pander to young voters. I think they had the right intentions, but I wasn’t so sure about the execution. My song was meant to be a joke based on that & it accidentally became a hit!

Who produced it?

I’m unashamed to say that I found the beat on YouTube. I thought about producing the song myself, but I don’t know much about trap & didn’t want to spend too long messing around on the beat while the idea was still fresh in my head.

It took me a few minutes to find a free beat on YouTube & an even shorter amount of time to sing the song. I whacked a bunch of auto-tune on my voice, and that was that. Amazing how I can spend hours, days & weeks working on a track & the one that was the least effort is the one that blows up.

Creativity is a cruel mistress, but she seems to have a sense of humour.

Who produced the music video?

My wife filmed me on my iPhone. We had 3 locations: the road outside our block of flats, Pick n Pay down the road and our kitchen. The video was also relatively painless and straight forward. My wife wasn’t so keen to help, but luckily she’s a good sport. She also has a pretty good eye. I think if she wasn’t studying to become a chef, she could be a pretty good Director of Photography.

Why does the money have gorillas on it?

It’s not just any gorilla. It’s Harambe, and it’s a prototype for a R100 which I’ve named “One Harambred Rand”.

On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy’s life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including the controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. Several primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care.

When the ‘sweet prince’ was slain in 2016 by no fault of his own, it took a great toll on me. I spent a lot of time trying to honour him & remember him in as many ways as possible & I thought what better way to remember the sweet prince than to put him on our national currency.

Unfortunately, it never moved passed prototype phase, but at least I had some prints left for the music video.

Anyway, the main point of using the Harambred Rand didn’t really have anything to do with Harambe himself. I wanted to poke fun at the shallow/fake side of rap culture, and I thought that using fake money would be a good way to do that.

I drew great inspiration from Cassper Nyovest’s “Tito Mboweni” music video. Unfortunately, not everyone got the satire though.

What do you make of the backlash?

When anything gets a lot of attention, I have come to expect some backlash, no matter what the subject is. There’s a saying… “You can be the tastiest peach in the world & there’ll still be people that hate peaches”. That being said, I am very sorry if you are a person that is hurt by this video. I really am. It was an oversight on my part to not make it clearer from the onset that I was using Harambred Rands in my video, something that only came to my attention in hindsight.

I can understand how some people may have thought that I was trying to depict Mandela as a gorilla but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I do believe that I acted swiftly on the matter by my making the information available & that I by no means was intended to spark unnecessary racial outrage.

That being said, I think the positive response far outweighs the negative. It’s been great to see people from all walks of life engaging in the video and having a good laugh at it.

The fact that Mmusi watched the video & responded with only positive words on Facebook I found truly amazing & a good testament to his character.

“Indeed an honest government that focuses on economic growth and doesn’t tax it’s citizens to death would eventually mean more money in the pockets of every South Africa.

Vote DA. We’re kiffer than the others.” 

Sources: David Scott | The Kiffness 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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