It was the 27th of April and Back to the city 2012 was finally here. The most anticipated event on the hip hop calendar country wide. It has been tagged as the biggest hip hop gathering in Africa as this year 15000 people were expected to go through the gates.
The event started 10am with a business summit at Museum Africa. The topic was music in the digital era and the host were Ayanda and Mr Morena from etv’s shiznizz. There were some power players on the panel like the editor from hype magazine Simone Harris, Spin Doctor Melanie Ramjee, Butan owner Julian Kubel and Thapelo Mokena president of Young producers’ forum. The summit was packed more than last year which is good as it serves as a sign that young people are getting more interested in business.
At around 12pm the summit ended and we made our way to the main event. Our hosts for the day were Mr Morena and Rorisang Thandekiso. The 1st act was Enze the otherness. Enze dropped some poetry and tracks. What grabbed our attention was Adis Ababa. The cop tsotsi hit maker killed it!!! He dropped his 1st track but when he dropped “Cop tsotsi” the heads went ballistic. At the end of his set he shouted AMANDLA and the crowed screamed AMANDLA back. For a nigga dat came late his performance was worth the delay. Watch adis at Mambo records here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHIC5LHqChI
After J-stash, Youngster and Authentic Sunday djs, Morale jump on stage. @MoraleVeritaz stated of with a massive greeting to the masses did a little freestyle and drop “call my number” that’s when back to the city exploded, especially the ladies. The track was a hit with crowed and they sang along. Watch Morale’s vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGAEAqVqXO8
At about 14:45 3rd wave got up on stage. Gwaza Juice started it off with his Zulu freestyle and the peeps that were having their 1st 3rd experience were buggin over Gwaza, who is a white kid killing a Zulu freestyle! 3rd wave is still pushing their table manners ep now available at the Ritual stores. Earl quiz was the crowed favourite as he was dropping mind blowing flows. Watch Gwaza here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLzTE_wRxiI
Our Favourite white boys Articulate Artist’s turn to rock the crowed came and they jump on with crazy energy. Safari and Power of thought are always a pleasure to listen to. The contravercial “umthondo we sizwe” line form P.O.T has been flipped into a track and it rocked back to the city. Couple of weeks back P.O.T dropped his dope joints for pot-heads ep so make sure you get that quick! Safari managed to sign a deal with Grintime to bring us Grindtime SA battle tournament. It will goin down on May 5th at Greyscale, braamfontien so don’t sleep! Watch the AA in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8KU4kdoz8U
The social commentary Forum, The e illest crew from 1852! This crew must be the hardest working underground rap group. The group members are Shynin Armour, Smerf, addict, is, Dark Spark, Joint Pusher, P2daoh, Tux and Blueberry. Dark Spark must be our favourite member of the group. This Homie’s lyrics always cast a spell on the crowed, he had back to the city eating out the palm of his hand. Shyning Armour dropped his Rugged 2.5 in April and the tracks we co-sign is” word play” ft Dark Spark and The Young & the old ft Kay-d and Ace of spades. Grab it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?9o177gwbu8bw8b then watch “Be happy” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU7pEjHk7oo
Then it was most over looked, dope &legendary Hymphatic thabs! Thabs made the crowed go wild, well the real heads that is. He jumped on stage with Robo and Gin I and killed everything. Now these three cats have been in the game for a minute and have paid all they dues and that showed in their performance. Watch hyphatic Thabs @ next movement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_stJ_1-U7WQ
Mhlati’s performance wasn’t that different from last year, However Siya Shezi shut it down! The beginning of his performance was almost spoiled by bad sound but he is so versatile, he kicked an accapela till the sound came right. 1st track was “abo cheri” when he dropped “Bojwala” back to the city exploded! With Deeboi the Chiefrocker as his dj, Siya has the winning combination. On Saturday after back to the city Siya shot the vid for the smash hit so look out.Don’t forget to get “iqaba” from Ritual stores, In the mean time watch him freestyle below:
Dj Switch kept the breakers breaking by the red Bull stage while the graph cats were putting up their murals. There was an issue about people on the scaffolding which caused the show to be stopped a couple of times. P.O Box had to go gangsta and threaten an ass whipping for those on the scaffolding. Later there was mini stampede after some heads bum rushed the gate as they felt the queue was long and not moving fast enough. The Guards used Teargas but fortunately no one was hurt.
Back at the main stageThe federation was on. Neon and Mr Cee gave it their best. Word on the streets is they dropping a mixtape produced by Deeboi the chiefrocker. When they performed the cold of the night ft Dark Spark we caught a case of euphoria ,don’t know if it was the cold of the night or the song “cold of the night? Watch them freestyle here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VVXmXTr9o0 .The Spaza shop boys (pic above) impressed with their alternative presentation, the performances was completely amazing. We like this duo’s very different style.
At the stalls we saw some impressive threads from Sick nature, Butan, Rora and Siyaphanda. Siyaphanda is ran by Desperate Lowlifes from Thembisa we categorised it as urban street wear. Siya Shezi was rocking it on stage when he performed. Another brand that caught our attention is Rora, The Brand reflected a strong African influence. It’s similar to the threads Speech from arrested developement. Some dope sh!t.
During the week before back to the city AKA dropped out of the event and a surprise act was put on. The surprise at was Die Antwoord. The ninja themed duo performed their hearts out and surprisingly people were singing along. They performed the smash hit “I fink U freaky” and some other joints that created a nice vibe at Back to the city. Watch the Vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uee_mcxvrw
Red Button got on the stage and did his thing. Red’s manager Mpho Motswaledi must the hardest working n!gga in the game. We love how Red’s eating of Pro’s buzz from the continua album. Red performed his opening track then was joined by Pro on stage. When he performed "Shikisha" we found ourselves grinning form the amazing stage presence. Pro performed “Makasana” with his new signee Sfs on stage. We glad the album not called aluta continua because the struggle is over for them. Homies were looking good. Watch Red button freestyling on the platform here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyNqfUm7PbI
Zakwe performed much to the crowds delight, but kwesta murked it. The sound issues became worse when he was performing, it got so bad homie almost left his performance but he finished up with a bang. Reason started off his performance with snippets of other artist tracks like AKA’s “office clothes”. Townships frequency’s performance was a big yawn. Why did they even jump on?
Zubs performed his past hits, nothing controversial but some easy listening stuff. Look out for his mixtape with Ace of spades. HHP killed like last year.” Bosso ke mang” is a certified hit. When an artist reaches the level of achievements like Jabba one expects a huge flow of arrogance but Jabulani stays grounded to the floor. HHP bitched his set like a superstar he is. Watch the vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czd8IAlJNuU
Back to the city 2012 was a huge success and we had an awesome time. Bug up to Dj zakes, Dj X, Kenzhero, Herbalis, Deeboi, Dj KGB, The Cutt, for keeping us dancing in between acts. Huge shout out 2 the Ritual store, Osmic, Thapelo Ttp, @leralefa, Mo, Andrew, Siyamazi, Dynamic and everybody who made this wild event take place.
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