Posers and cypher ex­po­sure

Award show hon­ours the best, but the street vibe was sorely lack­ing

CityPress - - News - PHUM­LANI SITHEBE LANGA phum­lani.sithebe@city­press.co.za

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.

PHO­TOS: LEON SADIKI

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

PHOTO: SNAZO NOTO

EN­TER­TAIN­ING Cassper rocked the crowd at The Lyric the­atre

LIVE ACT Anatii per­form­ing The Saga remix at the SA Hip-Hop Awards

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