I was in two minds when I first heard Hype was gonna do a second Hype awards. I thought, “Oh shit here we go again. False representation and Hype’s personal favourites are gonna scoop all the glory yet again. But maybe just this once they would prove me wrong and acknowledge some of the fine SA Hip Hop music that always seems to fly way under the radar.”
After first glance at the nominations my concerns were confirmed with the majority of the nominees I’d never heard of before and some artists that I really would never expect to be there but quite rightly deserve all the attention they can get for their contribution in a local industry that is unrepresentative.
Taking nothing away from the nominees, as some of them were well deserved, I then found out that one could actually nominate oneself if so desired, hence the bunch of nameless people flooding the lists – error number one. Secondly how could one just keep tapping that vote button until you get tired and guarantee a spot for yourself in the top 5 nominations? Error number 2. By now I had lost interest and realized that this was gonna be another Mickey Mouse affair. Over the next 3 months or so the nameless votes grew and grew into what anyone with any noticeable knowledge of what’s going down in SA Hip Hop would simply rub off as a joke.
Eventually a week before the awards I decided to participate and see if they could actually prove me wrong and confirm that I’m just a hater with a chip on my shoulder. So I went to the awards and well, after the first nomination taking a while to fall on cue I thought, here we go again, just as I thought but let’s see anyway…….
Loyiso Gola was the host for the evening and one of the very few highlights, taking subtle shots at some of the larger names in the industry and adding a much needed energy to this very tedious, slow moving, unprofessional attempt of an award show. The night went on even slower with each award and I found it hard to figure out what the criteria was for some of the artists that won. Was it a popularity contest or was it based on something like skill, the one thing that differentiates good from bad.
For instance, the best B-boy and Graffiti places had to be based on pure skill as there aren’t measures for those art-forms like album sales or good marketing. Luckily those were justifiably won by B-Boy JED and long time Graffiti King, Falko. The best solo artist award was won by TUKS, much to the confusion of the crowd; he also took away the Best Album award for his The Monoploy L.D.I.O release. Best new comer went to AKA, who’s hustle was strong in 2009, which I thought was based rather on his media sensationalized BEEF with former attention seeker L-Tido than his music. Octave Couplet – best producer, Da L.E.S – best video We on Fire, Gorgeous George won the beat-boxer award, Khuli Chana held the best song Tswak stick ’em, DJ Lemonka for his Motswako Tape mixtape, Best Dance Crew award went to Freeze Frame, Abdus won best Lyricist, Switch became best DJ and best group went to “Last Days Fam” taking it from big label shots like TearGas and Jozi. Ready D took the much deserved Grandmaster Award even though he himself didn’t attend.
Tumi held down the performance of the night with his Victorious call out track, the hidden cut off his new album and then along with Bricks and Zaki Ibrahim killed the Bambezela track blowing everyone out of their seats, including me, leaving us thinking why the hell wasn’t he listed in the top 5?
Overall I think that the production value of the entire event was that of a High School play, at times even worse, but if you look in relation to the publication that is the Hype Magazine, then this was a true reflection of that in every regard.
Or maybe I’m just a hater after all.
Written By : DJ Raiko