I didn’t understand why Priddy Ugly joined Ambitious Entertainment, he was already getting traction without the backing of any record company.
He left the company in July this year, after having signed just a year ago. During his short stay at Ambitious, he released his debut album E.G.Y.P.T. But now having left the company, Priddy has repackaged the project and dropped a deluxe version a few weeks ago. The title is an acronym for Everything Godly Yearns Patience and Timing.
E.G.Y.P.T is very personal album which reveals a number of things about Priddy Ugly; his closeness to his family, his ambitions, his sense of spirituality and his fondness for cars. The latter is clearer on the song Karapao. At times, he worryingly sounds like AKA on the track though.
This deluxe version is missing tracks he did with former stable mates at Ambitious like Saudi and Emtee. Including the song he did with Shane Eagle. Ycee, who replaces Eagle on 02Hero is nice on this version but the first version had more weight with Eagle’s verse where he flexes about being a successful independent artist. Which made perfect sense, because Priddy Ugly came up as an independent artist too.
When the Karrots beat dropped, I immediately thought of Nasty C’s Do You Dig. The Naija-sounding Look Alike should be pushed as a single, it would be a favourite for a lot of South Africans who have this new found appreciation of modern Nigerian music. Priddy Ugly sings throughout the song.
Priddy probably hates himself for the decision to join Ambitious because it’s a really messy and confusing situation due to the missing songs. I think he should’ve rather released an EP with new tracks and a different title.
One of the new tracks for this deluxe version is, HO$h HO$h which features Wichi 1080 and Youngsta CPT. It is grimy as the track he did with the Cape rapper, Come To My Kasi a few years ago. Youngsta’s verse is purposefully dope, but I would like to hear him switch up his flow once in a while. But nice as the song is, I don’t think it fits into the E.G.Y.P.T concept of the album.
Bontle’s contribution into this album was a pleasant surprise. I liked the texture of her voice, especially on the title track, E.G.Y.P.T. I thought the poetry by Candice Modiselle at the end of Lucky’s Interlude should’ve been made an interlude on its own, not at the end of the track.
It’s a decent body of work, but I still concede that he should’ve rather put out new songs as an EP or mixtape. It’s the kinda project that’ll please those who like rap, but also not too heavy for someone looking for catchy joints.
SOUTH African Hip Hop Awards submissions for this year’s ceremony are open, and anyone can submit. Even Nasty C.
“There’s no one we actually have a problem with and speaking on the Nasty C issue, we’re still not aware why they chose not to send, but it’s always love. The awards are for the community,” founder and organiser Osmic Menoe says.
Speaking to Tha Bravado, the man known as Ace Of Spades says the air is clear for even those who boycotted the awards in the past. Last year rapper Nasty C snubbed the awards, by not submitting any of his music because he felt unappreciated by the organisers in 2016.
Four years ago, K.O together with his whole CashTime Company pulled the same move, because they felt as though the awards weren’t transparent enough. But K.O has since ironed issues he had with Ritual Media and he submitted last year.
The submissions have been open since Monday and will close in two weeks. “The nominated art form must be released or occur in South Africa”, the press release read. “Any SA Hip Hop album, mixtape, video, event or song that was released, impactful or effective during 15th September 2017 to 15th September 2018.”
The awards are taking place at the Lyric Theare in Gold Reef City for the seventh consecutive time. Those who believe in that number as being a symbol of completion, would suggest that this be their last year hosting at the venue.
Although Ritual Media doesn’t have a contract with the Lyric, it just so happens to be a place that has accommodated the awards. “We have made a home out of the venue, we appreciate the professionalism and love they always show to the awards,” says Osmic.
The awards have settled on an abode to broadcast the ceremony in the SABC 1, after being on e.TV and MTV Base in previous years. “We still with SABC 1 after the good numbers last year of 2 million viewers. We felt at home and appreciated the fact that they were willing to take a chance.”
I never really knew who Billie Ocean was, but the name has always been familiar because people in taverns, taxis or anywhere else are fans of his music. I got a front seat introduction to the man, his music and his adoring fans.
Billie Le Watle, some would call him here in the township. Gogo Joyce, my late gran from Pretoria took it a tad too far, telling my older siblings when they were young , that Ocean is actually a South African from her beloved Mamelodi, who went abroad to pursuit a career in music and ended up changing his last name.
This and other anecdotes come out, as my family finds out I’ll be working at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz where Ocean is one of the headline acts. This is 2014.
Like the brisk movement at any taxi rank in the morning, the festival attendees make their way to the Mbira stage where Ocean is to perform. The audience is often a giveaway of the kinda performer that’s to get on stage.
‘It has to be Billie Ocean’ I think to myself, looking at the number of elder people. My suspicions took a chill pill when host, Lupi Ngcayisa said in his introduction, the late Metro FM DJ Eddie Zondi would’ve been here on the night- this somehow eliminated worries that Ocean might perform songs I hadn’t heard before.
I’m sitting at the feet of those with the best seats, my legs crossed like a child at a crèche waiting for his meal. The crowd roared when the 64 year-old Grammy winner got on stage. Stay The Night had a lady on my far right, who must be around the same age as Ocean, beaming like a 16 year-old blonde American girl at a Justin Bieber concert.
I was only three when he was last in South Africa 20 years ago. I’m impressed by how good he sounds, seriously. Some artists get to only sound like him live, when they’re in studio, there are no glitches. Ocean is also a fine performer, he moves more than you’d expect his body would allow.
In his blue suit and striking grey dreads, he is a gentleman who takes his art very serious, hence his longevity. He engages with the audience, who connect with each song in a meaningful way.
One of the ladies dancing adjacent the stage, exclaimed “Yoh, where’s my mother,”when Ocean sang Colour Of Love. Sweat found its way down Ocean’s suit but still, I hadn’t yet heard a familiar song although the crowd was enjoying every minute, singing along to the legend’s tunes. Not to suggest I wasn’t.
But unexpectedly, the 1984 classic Suddenly was being belted out by Ocean. I suspected I must have heard the song on one of Zondi’s compilations and shows over the years.
The other track that wasn’t novel to my ears was Loverboy which brought out the rockers at the Jazz. Even Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor was having fun, a lifetime away from the woman who has to defend the ANC in Parliament.
It felt like gate-crashing a senior citizen’s party, but I enjoyed Ocean’s set. The musicality and his performance level. I was taken by the music and the whole experience of seeing older people, genuinely having a good time.
HUGE DA ORACLE’s debut album is fittingly titled Rusty Soul. The rapper from Rustenburg is putting the final touches to the project which has been long overdue now.
“The album got a wide range of sounds, the people can expect way more than what they heard on June July. I can say the album is 70% done. I just really wanna take my time with it,” says Huge, speaking to Tha Bravado.
Real name Thapelo Khupari, the 27 year-old just released the first video of the album June July which features KidX. Directed by Kuda Jemba, the video is shot in the Johannesburg CBD at a barber shop and a scrapyard garage, it’s apt visuals that go with the Kwaito-infused beat with satisfactory bars on it. “It was just inspired by the mood of the song- dark grimy
and rebellious. The locations capture that sense,” Huge says.
Those in the Hip Hop scene knew Huge as far back as nearly 10 years ago in the underground scene, when he was in duo, Huge Impakt with rapper Impakt. But last year, while on the second season of reality television show The Hustle, he introduced himself to the rest of South Africa and the continent. Although he never won the competition, his brand became more familiar with the masses and he too, became a better artist having come third at the end of it.
Since then, he’s worked with Motswako’s gods, Kaygizm and Towdee Mac from Morafe as well as producer, Gobi Beats to which they released a video for his single 5IVE DIGIT$ with multi award-winning cinematographer, Ofentse Mwase.
He hasn’t given an exact date of when Rusty Soul drops, but he and his team are looking at releasing it before 2018 raps up. “My biggest inspiration while working on Rusty Soul was that I knew that people are finally waiting for the album. The demand is finally there.”
“That made me reach places I never thought I could reach musically and creatively. It was also wonderful to finally come up with a new sound that fully defines Huge as a brand and artist,” he says.
Rappers are usually great orators, thanks to their inexorable use of words and spitting them out in ways which should be audible and interesting. Similar to comedians. And there’s a sense of confidence that comes with the gift of public speaking.
Rapper Joe Budden made headlines last month, when it was reported that he just penned a contract with Spotify, not for his music but for his podcasts. The partnership with Spotify will see Budden’s popular series exclusively on that platform. I wasn’t amazed by this, Budden is a good speaker who can handle himself in front of the camera. He’s a good broadcaster, who knows how to articulate his opinions in a constructive and authentic manner.
Not every rapper can make that jump though. It’s not as easy as it looks. You find dope kats who can’t even handle being interviewed, let alone interview someone. But for some rappers, they didn’t reap what they sowed in the game so they found luck in the broadcasting world. Thanks to their gift in public speaking. Here’s a list of some South African rappers, who’ve gone into broadcasting and found it more rewarding. If you’re a struggling emcee, maybe your (financial) calling might be in broadcasting.
Not only did this kat go into broadcasting, but he started his own online platform, SlikourOnLife. He was never a lyrical beast, but he can make music. His platform has been running for a number of years now and seems to have overtaken HYPE Magazine as the go-to local Hip Hop publication.
Does this nigga still rap? He’s a dope presenter and a decent actor who just has entertainment vibes flowing through him. But unlike a lot of people, I thought he was a cool rapper. His last album, Inqolobane was slept on. Before he had his own show on Ukhozi FM, he was contributor on the station’s drive time show with Linda Sibiya. He was also host on SABC 1’s Fan Base.
If you ask him, he’ll probably tell you that he’s still an active rapper. But the broadcast world has embraced him, probably more than anyone on this list. He’s the host on Idols SA and one of the producers and simultaneously holds two slots on Kaya FM where he hosts two radio shows solo.
He might be the slick dressed sports anchor on eNCA, but this fella went by the name Seida Crook in his day and was a hostile emcee on the mic leaving no chance for imposters.
He started out with Pretoria clique, Ba4za in the early 2000s. He then carved out his own career as a formidable live performer in the last few years. But the rapper is now an online personality on T-Bo Touch’s online radio station, TouchHD. He hosts a show that talks everything sex in the explicit mid-morning weekly program, ThePlayroom.