Posers and cypher exposure
Award show honours the best, but the street vibe was sorely lacking
Iheaded out last week to the SA Hip-Hop Awards at The Lyric theatre in my most ghettochic outfit. On arrival, I felt underdressed. I didn’t get the memo about hip-hop fashion taking a leaf out of the matric dance booklet. Neither do I recall hearing that many good lyrics at The Lyric, and I wasn’t entirely sure if a celebration of street culture should be held anywhere but on the streets.
The show took quite some time to get going and, when it did, things seemed to resemble a pantomime.
The theme was African by Nature. There was an Ndebele set and a troop of Zulu dancers to kick things off.
Next up was Pule, the comedian who hosted the event alongside the Daddys of Sugar, the Nyaopes and comedian Jboboza, who was the dame of this pantomime, dressed as Rebecca Malope. These skits stood out as the show’s highlights.
The Nyaopes took to the stage and were the butt of a few jokes. The Daddys of Sugar attempted to dissuade youngsters from engaging in that type of relationship – I don’t know if it worked, but they tried.
The best moment was Jboboza’s moving prayer on stage to save local hip-hop, pleading with the heavens for artists with “pondos” (ponytails) not to rely on gimmicks and for hip-hop to be a celebration of different styles.
“She” even spoke of a muchneeded shift from this “turn-up nonsense” to more conscious rapping.
Pule dropped the hottest 16-bar rap of the night and he is not even a rapper. Riky Rick and AKA won a bunch of awards, one of which was shared with Cassper, who was otherwise snubbed – this ain’t the Dome. Riky won album of the year for his Family Values offering, while Emtee won song of the year for his burner Roll Up.
The most valuable player, video of the year and digital sales of the year awards will all find a home in AKA’s trophy cabinet.
Lyricist of the year was Tumi from The Volume and producer of the year was the muchhyped Tweezy. New Femcee Assessa won the best female award and local rap legend Flabba was honoured after his tragic death this year.
It was a star-studded occasion. Okmalumkoolkat was out there, as was DJ Sbu, who finally got his drink on stage. WTF and their matching hairdos represented Durban, and former AKA nemesis L-tido was also around.
Tumi, DJ Switch and newcomer of the year Nasty C gave a memorable performance of Way It Go, even in the absence of YoungstaCPT, who is one of the best rappers around.
Riky and Cassper lit up the stage with their banger FUSEG featuring Anatii. And The Saga by Anatii and AKA got a remix that featured Cassper.
What I enjoyed most was The Corner segment, complete with DJ and rappers – the local version of BET’s The Cypher. The cypher aspect of hiphop is a beautiful element and it was refreshing to watch those clips filmed by the overpass in Jozi’s Newtown. Should’ve had the awards there.
DIVA FEVER Mary J Blige was happy to be back in SA RISING RAPPERS From left: Emtee, AKA and Diamond Platnumz during the press conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, Joburg
ENTERTAINING Cassper rocked the crowd at The Lyric theatre
LIVE ACT Anatii performing The Saga remix at the SA Hip-Hop Awards