Let's talk hip-hop

14 June 2019 | Columns

I remember mockingly being called a ‘n*gga’ in my location for my dress code, choice of music and how I chose to carry myself.

Today I walk up to sneaker stores and the Nike Air Force One, which is a must-have shoe for any hip-hop head is out of stock. I tune into Trace Africa and I see Namibian hip-hop music videos being aired. I attend music concerts and most of the time there is always a hip-hop artist on the line-up. We have come a long way as hip-hop lovers, it is crazy. But let’s keep it real; if you do not purchase albums by Namibian rappers - both old- and new-school and you do not attend their shows, you are not all the way hip-hop verified.

I feel I have to say this as a hip-hop fan, because as a hip-hop fan I do my part in contributing to the culture. Print media in Namibia has played a major role in my life in terms of inspiring me at a time when the art was not getting sufficient recognition. My problem is hip-hop fans who keep saying the genre back then was real rugged and raw, yes we had the likes of Jericho, Catty Cat, Kanibal and Mappz, to mention but a few. Too bad hip-hop artists did not get major radio airplay and print media attention back then like they do now. The only thing we should be concerned with is not losing that essence by encouraging the current rappers to continue building what those who came first started. As a journalist I am reminded from time to time of how the media should be a vehicle to mobilise this genre, but there are standards to this thing and we will not just give coverage to anyone just because they are from the streets.

Here is the thing, with respect to all the ones who helped build hip hop in Namibia, being from the streets or being an old school rapper does not automatically makes you the best rapper. For so long, we have been misled into believing that there is a link between struggle and realness, as far as music is concerned. I view it a positive that the current generation is less concerned with where you are from and if you have battled, and more concerned with whether the music is good or not. I strongly believe there is space for many brands of hip-hop to exist simultaneously and that is why KP Illest and Skrypt can flourish at the same time as Lioness, MIG and Phred Got1. tjil is here for all of that.

In this edition, we cover newbie Yessonia who recently launched her music career but is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with with her work ethic and the type of shows she is being booked to perform at. We also join the world in celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday with a piece on what Father’s Day is. We spoke to a few of the fathers in the music space. The Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) also announced the judges and that is one feature to look forward to so that you may familiarise yourself with these music authorities. This and more in this edition! Enjoy, until next time its goodbye for now!

[email protected]; MichaelMKAY on Twitter

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