SA rappers called to unity and feted by fans

This was undoubtedly the year for hip-hop.

Local rappers came out with club bangers and chart-topping hits like Casper Nyovest’s Doc Shebeleza, and AKA’s Congratulate that lit up the music scene.

According to rapper and urban culture blogger, Siyabonga “Slikour” Metane, rappers such as Nyovest, KO and Riky Rick, are leaders of urban culture. It’s not just about pushing songs but about advancing the hip-hop culture on all levels on the African continent.

Last night, contributors to the hip-hop industry were honoured and celebrated at the third annual South African Hip Hop Awards 2014, held at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg.

The ceremony got off to a shaky start, with technical glitches and award presenters who seemed unsure of what was required of them.

Comedian and self-proclaimed s’khothane Nicholas  “Pule” Welch and writer and director Jefferson “J Boboza” Tshabalala were the hosts for the evening and the renowned soul and hip-hop DJ Kenzhero was the resident DJ for the night.

Of parodies, themes and winners
Welch and Tshabalala brought parody to the show, taking jabs at disingenuous rappers and video vixens. 

Welch called out producers and rappers for using old kwaito songs on beats and passing them as new and original songs. The sampling of kwaito tracks for hip-hop songs has been a trend in 2014, with singles such as KO’s Caracara referencing 1990s kwaito group, Trompies and AKA’s Run Jozi (Godly).

The theme for the award show was 20 years of freedom. Throughout the evening reference was made to momentous events in South African history that included the June 16 1976 youth uprising.

Producer and DJ Mpho “37mph” Pholo went back in time with a four-minute-mix of 20 years of South African hip-hop, that affirmed the growth of local hip-hop and just how much the sound has changed.

Veterans of the genre, Amukhelani “Amu” Tshawane and Bongani “Mr Selwyn” Ngwenya also took to the stage to perform some of their hits.

The big winner of the night was All Eyes On Me rapper AKA. He walked away with four awards: Best Collaboration with KO for Run Jozi; Most Valuable Artist; Best Male; and, finally, Video of the Year for his single, Congratulate, a video he co-directed and said was going to make other videos look like they were shot from a cellphone.

Nyovest, who is constantly compared to AKA and who is reportedly beefing with the Run Jozi hit-maker, scooped three awards: Best Digital Sales; and Song of the Year for Doc Shebeleza; and Album of the Year for Tsholofelo

Last year he won album of the year for Gusheshe.

The Doc Shebeleza rapper took to the stage to call on all local rappers to unite. He admitted to being guilty of not uniting with fellow rappers. He asked fans to pray for him, as he sometimes loses his way.

The full list of winners: 

Album of the Year

  • Cassper Nyovest – Tsholofelo
  • Producer of the Year
  • Ganja Beatz

Hustler of the Year

  • Monde Dube

Best International Brand

  • Miller

Best Local Brand

  • Butan

Song of the Year

  • Cassper Nyovest –Doc Shebeleza

Best Dance Crew

  • Freeze Frame

Honorary Award

  • Emile YX

Best Collaboration

  • AKA featuring KO – Run Jozi

DJ of the Year

  •  DJ Dimplez

Best Newcomer (Freshman)

  • Solo

Mixtape of the Year

  • DJ Switch – The Switch Up

Most Valuable Artist

  • AKA

Video of the Year

  •  AKA – Congratulate

Best Graffiti Artist

  • Riot

Best Male

  • AKA

Best Female

  • Gigi Lamayne

Lyricist of the Year

  • Kwesta

Promoter of the Year

  • Pop Bottles

Best Hip Hop Radio Show

  • 16 Bars Reloaded – UJFM

Milestone Award

  • Khuli Chana

Best Digital Sales

  • Cassper Nyovest – Tsholofelo

King of Gauteng

  •  Refiloe Ramogase

King of Mpumalanga

  • Ecks Exodus Nkosingiphile

King of Western Cape

  • Rozzano Davids

King of Northern Cape

  • Kgomotso Modiragale

King of KwaZulu-Natal

  • Brian Khoza

King of Eastern Cape

  •  Yahkeem Ben Israel

King of Free State

  • Thabo Tsasane

King of Limpopo

  •  Culprit

King of North West

  • Ofentse Tapile

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Katlego Mkhwanazi
Katlego Mkhwanazi is the Mail & Guardians arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started her career in magazines, before joining the Mail & Guardian team in 2014. She is an entertainer at heart.

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