Cape Town Mayor Raps Against Drugs

By Bryan Le 06/26/12

Patricia de Lille, AKA "Aunt Patty," hopes to reach teens through her lyrics—but some say she lacks street cred.

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The Mayor-slash-emcee at work. Photovia

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille wants to get through to young people about drugs in a language they understand—rap music. In her recently dropped track, featuring DJ Ready D and Khanyi, de Lille aka "Aunt Patty" spits the lyrics: “Don't start, be smart. Drug free is the way to be!” At the end of the one-minute song she lets listeners know that “help is at hand, 24/7” and references a toll-free number to call for help with a drug or alcohol problem. The Mayor's rap track is part of a campaign called "Don't Start, Be Smart" to help tackle Cape Town's massive drug problem—the city is home to an estimated 15,000 heroin users. But not all young people are swayed by her musical message—to judge by those asked for their opinions by The Fix. “The beat was pretty weak,” says college junior Billy. “Aside from 'drug free is the way to be,' I don't understand any of the lyrics.” Ivy, a junior in high school, calls the track: “Bad, bad, bad, real bad! I'm not even doing drugs but this song isn't helping at all. If a druggie listened to it, they'd probably just laugh and do drugs.” College junior Andrew says the problem is that de Lille has no street cred. “It sounds like they're trying too hard, forcing it out,” he critiques, claiming the song "definitely does not make me want to stop doing drugs. Sadly.” Still, while "Aunt Patty" may be short on game, her hopes are high: "Rap music reaches the core of their being," she says, "That’s why I’m rapping a message of hope."

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter