Is HipHop really dead?
Mar28

Is HipHop really dead?

Check out this article from the interesting website AlterNet that poses the question “Is HipHop really dead?”. Alternet is a “syndication service of the alternative press, featuring stories from alternative newsweeklies, magazines and Web publications from across the globe”. The author suggests that HipHop artists in the states are forced by record company execs to stick to the now tired “bling sex and honies” formula to keep up record sales to the largely white mainstream fans who BUY the records. Artists are tied into record deals and payola issues that prevent them from breaking out of the cliched HipHop mould. Here’s a snippet but read the full article here: Hip-hop icon Nas made the provocative statement, “Hip-hop is dead,” in September and set off a firestorm of controversy. It was intensified by the January release of his album bearing the same title. Many questioned why Nas would say hip-hop — a worldwide phenomenon that has generated billions of dollars — could be “dead.” After all, more hip-hop albums are being released then ever before, and the music’s influence extends to movies, corporate marketing and theater. That it’s dead seems absurd — until you realize Nas was looking beneath the surface. He was speaking of the corporate side of the music and the mentality of executives more interested in turning a quick buck than nurturing rap culture. Nas realized sex, violence and bling, as themes for the music, had pretty much run their course. Album sales had plummeted, and ratings at hip-hop radio stations in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere had hit all-time lows. A number of people, including this writer, also had spoken out about mediocre product coming from some of the genre’s biggest stars. Yet such talk was rebuffed by so-called industry experts, who blamed digital downloading and satellite radio. We critics, however, were vindicated by a study published earlier this year by the University of Chicago. Data from the “Black Youth Project” indicated that while 58 percent of blacks between ages 15 and 25 listen to hip-hop daily, most are dissatisfied with it. They find the subject matter is too violent, and women too often portrayed in offensive ways. Such feelings hint at a dirty little secret of the music business: Blacks are used largely to validate musical themes being marketed to the white mainstream. In other words, while 90 percent of commercial rap artists on TV and radio are black, the target audience lies outside the black community. Paul Porter, a longtime industry veteran and former music programmer at BET and Radio One, is now with the watchdog organization Industryears.com. He says the University of...

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Catch ZUBZ tonight at Bassline
Dec01

Catch ZUBZ tonight at Bassline

We’ll never forget the first time we saw Zubz live at the Songwriters Club in Newtown about two years ago… He had the biggest live band ever and the most awesome backing vocalists that included two of our favourite diva’s, Lois and Pebbles who simply blew us away. Zubz elevates hiphop as we know it to another level, adding layer upon layer to his songs, resulting in a multi-layered tapestry of… colourful uplifting music. Good news is his next album is out – catch him at Bassline tonight! Super MC Zubz launches his hot new album Headphone Music In A Parallel World this Thursday the 30th November at the Bassline in Newtown. R30 gets you in to this event that starts at 7:30. Get your ears ready for the surreal sonic trip super talented MC Zubz will take you on with his new album Headphone Music in a Parallel World. Don’t expect the usual hip hop album; this one sees Zubz being inspired by sci – fi and quantum physics as well as the state of the world “I called it that because it’s an out worldly sort of trip where you leave this reality and get into a parallel reality running concurrently with this one.” It’s been two years since this Zambian born, Zimbabwe raised, Grahamstown IT trained and Johannesburg based 30 year old released his SAMA nominated debut Listeners Digest, though during that time he kept on polishing his talent, “I never stopped recording – the songs on this record are tracks I recorded a year ago, and before that I was recording too.” Whilst recording Zubz (AKA Ndabaningi Mabuye) was inspired by his travels: to Zambia for the unveiling of his fathers tombstone; Cape Town where he performed with his band The Origins who also joined him at shows in Norway and Finland. “It was a period of moving around and experiencing different aspects of music, myself and people and so then I ended up seeing things with a broader lens.” Travelling gave him the space and time to think and see things in a new light. “When you travel you approach these things differently, when you don’t travel that much you forget they exist, you focus on day to day stuff that distracts you from the things that this album brings out&” His outlook was altered to the extent that when he returned he changed his album, “Before I went on those trips, I was 80 percent done with my album. But after those trips, I decided to remove certain tracks, because my mind set had shifted drastically, it had really flipped. Those songs didn’t...

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PHOTOS: Morafe and Zola give it some bass @ Bassline
Nov13

PHOTOS: Morafe and Zola give it some bass @ Bassline

Sorry we’re a week late – long story. But here it is – our review of the Bassline gig and the pics that go with it… Thanks Palesa for Representin’! Click here to see our pics of the event and the peeps that attended. What do you get when you mix kwaito’s super legend and hip hop’s amazing new talent? We… ll a concert by Zola and Morafe of course! Two words describe their performance: Crazed fans! Performing to a full house is probably one of the most exhilarating feelings for any musician, but when the fans know every single word and are screaming it out at the top of their lungs- that has got to be even better! Friday 3 November was the next date for the Edgars Music Series at Bassline in Newtown. MC’s Pabi and Dineo and DJ Nutty Nyce of YFM kept the crowd begging for more. The supporting acts Slice and the Motherland Funk boys Jozi stole the show as Jozi lit up the stage literally with Crazy Lu smoking what looked like a joint on stage, his band mates however were not going to let him upstage them as Bongani Fassie bust a break-dance move and a great beat box, Da Les killed the crowed with his rendition of the ‘Snap yo Finger’ dance and Ishmael supplied the backing vocals- If you’ve never seen a Jozi performance you have missed out on great stage presence. Just as the main acts were about to hit the stage Drencko lept out of the backstage in his tight pink suit and his Nik Nak man hairstyle and got everyone hooting with his single Shaya Ama Hoota driving the crowd insane. This month’s Edgars Music Series definitely did not disappoint and we at Represent look forward to next month’s performances! ============================================= You know our money is on Morafe as the Next Big Thing in hiphop – these boys from Maftown work so hard, combined with their magnetism and talent, it’s going to happen. Catch them while they’re on the up. Big ups to Edgars for their consistency and persitence in supporting local music. Good job! Friday 3 November sees Edgars bringing Zola back to the Bassline to lay down the party law at the Edgars Music Series! Last year, Zola launched his range of custom T-shirts at the Bassline with Edgars and this year, he completes that mission with the accessories and foot wear range. He will be joined on the bill on the 3rd of November by Morafe, Jozi, Slice and DJ Nutty Nyce from Y FM. No Introduction necessary really! “We are proud to once...

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African Hip Hop Festival in London
Oct12

African Hip Hop Festival in London

There’s the first ever African Hip Hop Festival AFROLUTION happening in London and we wish we could be there… init? All the best boys – Bigs up to all of ya. Afrolution 8 October 2007 7pm Cargo: 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY Tel: 0207 739 3440 Liverpool Street or Old Street tube, buses 35 or 55 10 pounds… We’re proud to bring some of the hottest African Hip Hop artists on the scene to London. ‘The Afrolution African Hip Hop Festival’, is Europe’s first ever African Hip Hop festival. Our aim is to create a ‘home away from home’ for Hip Hop heads in the London diaspora. London is still one of the biggest destination for immigrants from Africa, and there is a very vibrant scene, but as yet no event specifically highlighting the power of African Hip Hop has ever been staged here. Some of the guys have tracks on Afrolution Vol 1 – check out the site to listen to their tunes and then get your asses down to the show and support the movement! So who’s on board? Migrant Souls – Arguably Africa’s most established and respected MC, Metaphysics from Zimbabwe is an accomplished Hip Hop lyricist, media personality and performer. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in the world (Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey, Slum Village etc), is currently based in Germany and is the MC for the multi platinum selling German artist Xavier Naidoo. Nu-Reggae legend Laygwan Sharkie is the second member of the group and is also a vocalist with the highly successful German artist Patrice. Together their explosive Hip Hop show aims to set the venue on fire. Check out some of their tracks on our site. Wawesh – Robert Wawero Kiboy hails from the notorious Pumuwani Estate in Kenya. He raps in his native Swahili dialect and was responsible for the infectious 2005 single, ‘Mjanja’. This will be his first performance in the UK and will be highly anticipated by the London based Kenyan community. Kimba / Real Elements – Kimba Andersen is the co-founder of Real Elements. This versatile Hip Hop outfit from Malawi are at the cutting edge of African Hip Hop culture, bringing colour and much-needed conscious lyrics to the fore. Divided Kingdom Republic (DKR) – newcomers, Zimbabwean rappers Munyaradzi Nota and Kudzi Mambara are currently based in London and are poised to release a brand new album that looks set to catapult them to the forefront of global African Hip Hop. Galaxy High – Babou Nian is one of Gambia’s most accomplished MCs and has opened for luminaries like Redman, The Roots, Jeru the...

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What is Levi’s Vintage up to NOW?
Sep25

What is Levi’s Vintage up to NOW?

Levi’s Young Guns blast their way onto stage at the Labia Theatre on the 29th of September and they are three more raucous acts performing under the Levi’s Young Guns banner. Even though it’s taking place in Cape Town, this one’s for the Stellenbosch massive, so if you’re in the area then haul yourself down and get fired up by the fastest guns in the South. This is the fourth e… vent of its kind, and the first one in warmer weather, so expect the beats to be blistering and the vibe to get close to burning point. This is uncompromising music at its shameless best – fast, furious and fiery! First onto stage is the indefinable BLK JKS. Theirs is a mad voodoo sound that will rap itself around you and squeeze until you give in to the afro-jazzy alternative rock blend that they churn out with passion and pride. It’s a driving, hypnotic blend of mad rhythms and searing guitars all held in place by a soaring spirit that is at once infectious and rebellious. With a range of influences that traverse a massive musical universe and an attitude that’s firmly rooted in the future, this is a band that won’t take their audience sitting down. Soulja are next to step into the ring bringing with their own unique musical blender that mashes together a range of sounds from reggae to blues to pop, rock, jazz and ska. Add to this a social conscience that flows through the lyrics – urging self-awareness and promoting critical thought. and you have an original rebel crew intent on waking the audience from their sedation and injecting them with their blinding vision. Theirs is an energetic, highly-charged approach that burns with the power of a band that knows what it wants to say. Rounding off this manic night out are The Wild Eyes, a nightmare of noise and power that most others can only dream of. They feed off the industrial age, forging a sound out of screeching feedback and piercing panoramas. It’s a melting pot for everything that’s confrontational, energetic and filled with attitude. Plenty of heart, but not for the faint-hearted. These are the guys you want on stage when your booty wants to be shaken into a mad frenzy. And they’ll be more than happy to oblige. Hosted by Andy Lund, he of The Mission Men, this latest instalment of Young Guns is going to blaze some serious trails form South African music. Tickets are being sold at the Levi’s store at the Waterfront and at the door and cost a mere R20.00 each. Come feel the sounds...

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