Will Cassper fill Or­lando Sta­dium?

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

“THEY said I couldn’t do it,” Cassper Ny­ovest says to a crowd of just more than 20 000 rev­ellers. He’s just per­formed two songs and is catch­ing his breath and the mag­ni­tude of the mo­ment.

“They were telling the truth,” he pauses, then says: “I couldn’t do it.”

Then he points from one side of the Tick­et­pro Dome to the other and em­phat­i­cally says: “We all did it!” The crowd roars. He’s right. Had it not been for the sup­port of his fans and the sheer be­lief in him­self, the rap­per who was born Re­filoe Phoolo might not have lived out his dream to Fill Up the Dome (#FUTD).

I re­lived that scene as I watched the #FUTD DVD which is now in stores. But be­ing at the Dome around this time last year was a feel­ing that no cam­eras can ac­cu­rately cap­ture. Yes, there was a feel­ing that peo­ple had gath­ered to have fun and watch a few

per­for­mances. But it was much big­ger than that.

The en­ergy in the venue was elec­tric. Peo­ple had fol­lowed Ny­ovest’s re­quests to the T — right down to dress­ing in all-white. They showed up in their num­bers and to­gether, Ny­ovest and his sup­port­ers did it. They filled up the Dome. With a ca­pac­ity of 20 000, this was a feat that had never been achieved be­fore by a lo­cal act. And in­stead of rest­ing on his lau­rels, Ny­ovest chose to chase an even big­ger dream: Fill Up Or­lando Sta­dium.

With a ca­pac­ity of 40 000, the home of the Buc­ca­neers will not serve as a soccer sta­dium tonight. I t will be a marker of just how far Ny­ovest can take hip hop. Like last year, Ny­ovest has hand-picked his friends and some of the coun­try’s big­gest artistes to per­form ahead of him.

This time, Ny­ovest’s Fam­ily Tree ros­ter — which in­cludes Na­dia Nakai, Tshego, Gem­ini Ma­jor and oth­ers — will be on stage. So will Ma­bala Noise­mak­ers, Riky Rick, Nasty C, Ma­jor League DJs and Kwesta, Khuli Chana, DJ Tira and Babes Wo­dumo. It’s in­ter­est­ing that in the past few weeks, this new chal­lenge has be­come so­cial me­dia fod­der be­cause Ny­ovest said the stage he used at #FUTD — the one that al­lows him to be sus­pended above the crowd — is the same one that Kanye West is cur­rently touring with. Maybe the world doesn’t like to see an un­der­dog come out on top. But it seems that from the stage to Ny­ovest’s ap­pear­ance on Sway in the Morning in Amer­ica (where he la­belled him­self Mzansi’s ver­sion of West), there are peo­ple who would rather be­lieve that pigs can fly in­stead of be­liev­ing the images of Ny­ovest fly­ing over peo­ple’s heads. “The rea­son why I de­cided to do the Dome is a funny story,” Ny­ovest said at his press con­fer­ence. “When Kanye West came to South Africa — I love Kanye! Yeah, I’m South Africa’s Kanye — I was fight­ing to open for him.” But Ny­ovest’s mu­si­cal arch neme­sis, AKA, ended up get­ting that cov­eted slot. But Ny­ovest con­tin­ues: “At the time, I only had one song that was bub­bling and the cor­po­rates didn’t know me. And who­ever was or­gan­is­ing was like: ‘Yeah, what­ever’. “And it was so painful to know that I’m go­ing to be the big­gest act in the coun­try — I knew it be­fore any­body — and I couldn’t get the chance to per­form and open for Kanye. “So I pledged to my­self that I’d al­ways give peo­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties. Peo­ple who might have a crowd that peo­ple aren’t look­ing at. I’d make sure they get the op­por­tu­nity to be ex­posed be­cause I know how it feels for peo­ple who are tal­ented and have po­ten­tial to be fu­ture lead­ers in the in­dus­try (to be over­looked).” Cassper is do­ing that with the line-up and in the pro­cess, liv­ing his dreams. Cassper Ny­ovest’s Fill Up Or­lando Sta­dium takes place at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto to­day. — Sowe­tan

Cassper Ny­ovest

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