By Jack Parow
Published by Penguin Random House South Africa
Recommended retail price: R200
Reviewed by Andre du Plessis
History will one day recognise the present era as a time when social narrative overtook political rhetoric; when political student protest created more traction in one week than years’ worth of high-level negotiations; a time when masses prayed at the altar of the rapper.
This must explain the demand for Jack Parow’s autobiography titled “Die ou met die snor by die bar”, a play on his title as Netherland’s 2010 Movember ambassador.
While the vernacular and tone of this book are both overtly brutal and crude – the F word flows frequently and freely – it does manage to capture the mood of Parow’s unconventional past.
The storyline is typical Parow and mirrors the unpretentious, anti-establishment commentary of his songs. Parow’s lifestyle unashamedly blurts his inner thoughts and take on his particular social arena as it tells of his wayward travels and experiences, some of which memories that have become negated by an over indulgence of alcohol and his excessive weed smoking at the time.
The author managed to cleverly post lyrics of certain Parow songs at select intervals throughout. Since by Parow’s own admission many such lyrics are not available in print, these quotes and reference to various stages of his journey prove relevant and powerful. His songs are themselves autobiographical by nature and so compliment the beef of his book.
Unfortunately Parow’s recall of incidental encounters, his anecdotes and escapades with unwashed brethren do not, of itself make for compelling material. It shall call for a stern follower, the likes that kisses the hem of Parow’s garment to remain gripped by the entirety of this publication. For any lesser fan, by roundabout midway the continuous reports of this modern rapper’s non-conformist ways attain the sense of an intentionally unscripted but over-staged MTV reality show.
The accuracy of Parow’s social comments and his relevance in South Africa’s modern social media are both undeniably evidenced by his extreme popularity. That said, one feels his message shall be better received from the shadow of a supersized canopy during an open-air concert.