LAST YEAR’S OPPIKOPPI was a crime scene. And like any other misconduct, the black man is the suspect, but this time it’s him and his music that are to blame for ruining the vibes at long-running festival OppiKoppi. Or at least indirectly.
“Stop trying to cater for everyone. Keep [it] at a targeted audience. Don’t fix what isn’t broken…Oppi was and should stay a Rock festival,” said Marina van der Walt on Facebook.
Despondency came over hippies across South Africa last week when it was announced that this year’s installment of the OppiKoppi music festival has been postponed due to the ridiculous high rate of crime in 2018. The festival has fallen victim to a syndicate of pickpockets that have rampaged South African music events over the last two to three years. From Hip Hop festival Back To The City to the annual youth month celebrations at Basha Uhuru where I was personally a victim of pickpocketing- it’s become a headache for most South African event organisers.
Founded in 1994, OppiKoppi started out as an Afrikaans indie/folk Rock festival attended by a few hundreds of Caucasians from different parts of the country, in a small bar. The line-up would be dominated by alternative Afrikaans Rock artists who were in line with the Voëlvry Movement, which was an Afrikaans movement that sang anti-apartheid songs in that language in the late 80s and early 90s. The kinda boere that would chuck away Die Beeld for Vrye Weekblad.
OppiKoppi has substantially grown over the years attracting alternative African artists, who together came with a bigger and a more diverse audience. The site of Lucky Dube, Vusi Mahlasela and Zim Ngqawana sharing the stage with the likes of Karen Zoid and David Kramer did not make long-standing patrons uncomfortable. It’s the introduction of mainstream African acts such as Afro-Pop trio Malaika, HHP and AKA that left a bitter taste on most people.
“Somehow the Voëlvry Movement that started all of this has been forgotten in the static. OppiKoppi is a living creature born through the wail of the electric guitar man. You can’t change the nature of the beast. You want AKA? You want Cassper? You want all that Hip Hop? Then a new festival must be born that shakes to that rhythm. Why do you want to force the spirit of Rock ‘n Roll to be untrue to itself?” asked Ni-Lou Breytenbach on Facebook, responding to Oppi’s statement of postponement.
Speaking to Tha Bravado, Theresho Selesho who is the CEO of Matchbox Live which organises OppiKoppi, doesn’t think the festival’s growth has also been its Achilles heel. “The Festival has always been about freedom and fostered a safe environment where people can be free to connect, discover new acts, genres and have a great time out in the bushveld, which is a precious experience. We strongly condemn racism, sexism or any other form of discrimination at OppiKoppi. We are very happy with the strides that the festival has made over the years where a diverse audience can all enjoy OppiKoppi.”
But this amalgamation of cultures hasn’t been enjoyed by everyone though. “OppiKoppi has sold out for 20 years running before they took over. Still, the response is ‘genre diversity is something we have always welcomed’ their historical cult-like following is based on a Rock festival, not genre diversity,” said Peet van Wyk.
Over 80 cell phones were reported stolen last year, with items in people’s tents and cars taken, it’s by grace that no sexual assault was reported at the festival. “The crime incidences and stats nearly doubled in the previous year,” Selesho says. “This has in turn taken a lot of freedoms away from our fans and the safety of our audience and their belongings is our main priority.”
Selesho and his team have promised a return of Oppi next year, giving them sufficient time to find ways of guaranteeing people’s safety at the festival. Whether that’ll mean no Hip Hop or even House act, it shall be seen on the 25th chapter of OppiKoppi next year.
IT is like the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. No, it’s similar to what that Idabala track did to people over the festive season. Actually, it’s a combination of the aforementioned plus the eagerness of an avid drinker at the site of an open bar. That’s what an election year does to politicians- it brings out their silly side.
We’ve only 10 days in the year but we’ve already seen and heard some ridiculous things spewing from candidates’ mouths. This article is not about the sound decisions you should make when you get to the ballot box come vote day. No. It’s to help you see through the bullshit that will be dished out, in the lead up to the country’s sixth democratic elections. The IEC hasn’t announced the date for this year’s voting, but it’s expected to be in May.
BELOW ARE FIVE RIDICULOUS THINGS YOU’LL SEE POLITICIANS DO TO GET YOUR VOTE:
THE EMERGENCE OF NEW POLITICAL PARTIES
Hludi Motsoeneng has big dreams of becoming president of this country one day. The discredited former SABC boss launched his party, the African Content Movement party last month. “The new animal, ACM, is [an] African first. Anything that we produce in South Africa will be 90% South African because it is very important to empower people of South Africa. We need to start here at home,” said Motsoeneng at the launch of ACM.
He has an interesting affinity with 90%. This is the same percentage he insisted on a couple of years ago while at the SABC, when he pushed for a quota for state radio stations to play substantial local music. There’s a common thread between these newly found political homes, besides the fact that they die out a year or so after an election, their party names usually sound like incomplete slogans or sentences.
Gupta-associate Mzwandile Manyi hinted at launching a political party too this year. But yesterday he announced that he’ll be joining the ATM-African Transformation Movement, a party formed by displeased Jacob Zuma supporters.
THE SHOW OF SUPERFICIAL AFFECTION TO THE PEOPLE
Yes, it’s that season where the lips of presidential candidates get busier than that of teen girls pouting for selfies. The kissing of babies while on a campaign trail is a US tradition which political contenders from around the world have adopted. Here in South Africa kissing babies isn’t the only way to show warmth and kindness to hopeful voters.
Smooching senior citizens and going to the homes of the impoverished is also a card that politicians play. As a way of being ‘in touch with the people’ some politicians will actually go out of their way and butcher people’s languages while addressing them. You should hear a Mmusi Maimane promising a better life for rural people in the KwaZulu-Natal, in the most uncomfortable isiZulu you’ll hear.
STUPENDOUS HAND OUTS OF POLITICAL REGALIA
Maybe it’s that track by Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, or that line from Kanye’s Good Life… but whatever it is, people sure do believe that the best things in life are free. Politicians take advantage of people because of that very fact. Citizens are always ready to get on a free bus ride to a stadium, where they’ll be handed free T-shirts just so the arena looks like it’s filled up by active members of that party. Caps and lanyards are also handed out at these mass gatherings.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ANNOYINGLY TRYING TO BE COOL
I cringed at the site of seeing former President Zuma rocking a straight cap dabbing with fellow comrades his age at a rally, campaigning for the 2016 Municipal elections all in a bid to lure young voters. Another trick they’ll pull, is of a celebrity’s endorsement. Photos of EFF Chief Julius Malema and rapper AKA at an event circulated social over the festive season. That was no coincidence.
The likes of AKA, Kwesta and Nasty C have millions of followers who some will be voting for the first or at least second time this year and politicians are very much aware of that. Just like any brand, political parties will lure artists with big cheques so that they encourage their fans to vote for a particular organization.
THE BIG PROMISES THEY MAKE AT MANIFESTOS
You know that friend who’ll randomly call you and suggest y’all go out. You get there and after the bill arrives, that person decides to tell you that they actually don’t have the money to pay because of personal issue. That’s how these political fellas will make you feel post-election.
It’s sad, the promises they make to desperate, destitute and gullible civilians who’ve religiously given their vote to them but have received nothing significant in return for their trust. It’s the major reason for young people’s disenchantment with the elections because history has taught them to never trust politicians’ hogwash.
JUST as those South African political activists stuck in exile years prior 1994, Reason’s fans are eagerly waiting for the release of Azania.
Yesterday the kat from the Eastrand asked his followers on Twitter, if they’d be mad at him should his album come out next year.
“The whole point of me actually putting out this tweet, to be honest with you was to create a dialogue between me and my fans. I think in the business world they would call this market research,” says Reason speaking to Tha Bravado telephonically.
Recording of the album is finished and getting mixed and mastered as I type this. “At the end of the day, as great of an album you may have, the business aspect always has to kick in, you know. Because you have to follow through with a launch, you have to follow through with marketing it, shooting videos, taking those videos out, making sure that you have maximum reach, radio airplay…there’s a lot to consider.”
Just a day before Freedon Day Reason released the heartfelt album title track Azania, which has US producer Swizz Beatz and renowned songstress Sibongile Khumalo on vocals. He’s also dropped the grimy Wu Tang featuring Frank Casino.
“We live in a world where, I could’ve asked that question, and people could’ve said we don’t give a damn about your album. Because there’s so many artists out there and so many albums out there, it was very easy for the consumer to turn around and say to be honest with you, we don’t really give a fuck when you’re dropping this record.”
The rapper’s fans clearly do give a fuck, looking at the salvo of responses to Reason’s tweet. “Uzakube uyaseqhela,”tweeted Linda Majuba. While one Malakia Motaung said in a tweet “No need to drop this year, early next year would do sir. Although the world need this project, we are patient.” An unforeseen fan and clear competitor, AKA said “end of April…we will be cool.”
But Bheki Nondabula’s suggestion is what Reason seems to have heeded most. “Release a young single to keep our heads ringing till you’re [sic] ready G…so unfortunate that the Azania single is so slept on,” the tweet read. In a few weeks Reason will release Gemini Major produced Osuna Mang. Just as the song Azania, Osuna Mang sees the rapper embracing a group effort again, in the form of roping in Kwesta and Kid X.
“Funny, the next single was supposed to be a single I do by myself which is a song called Nkosi Yam’ and it’s only recently when we added two songs to the album, that Osuna Mang ke le teng came out. The sentiment of Azania (the album) was built around collaboration though, but not just collaboration with artists, but collaboration with producers, collaboration with writers, and collaboration with singers,”
Recorded on a farm in Magaliesburg over two weeks, he says creation of his fourth studio album was guided by accepting and receiving advice from the aforementioned collaborators who came to add to the project. “It’s such a strong album because it has so many ideas, from so many different people.” Reason says.
He didn’t say when the album would come out, but if the first song that came out is anything to go by, then this album is indeed a strong project that should be worth the wait.
I know that sometimes one has to fake it until they make it, but I just cannot deal with the fake, especially those who are fake for their own sake. Kiernan Forbes is not AKA, he is too calculating to be such an unapologetic asshole with a narcissistic personality disorder, and I cannot listen to this public persona for 16 songs straight in a single sitting. Fuck that!
AKA’s boastful swag is taken as inspiration by most of his youthful fan base and I don’t mind it when someone takes pride in the fruits of their own labour but everything has its limits.
This is made worse by the fact that almost all the songs in his new project, Touch my blood, are over four and half minutes long and filled with conceited and egomaniacal verses, which I suspect is due to the fact that it has been almost four years since he dropped an album, leading to an overdeveloped body of work. The man cannot stop telling us how awesome he is, making it clear I’m the one they aim at…we don’t pay the same tax…we ain’t in the building! …rappers in a wack place…niggers got bad taste…try to give me handshakes…I don’t ever feel them on the curiously named song Magriza, which is a boom bappy juggernaut of a joint.
On the record Fully In he stays flossing Niggers askin’ were your hands at…Phillip Ndoe…my closet is full of carture…yours is full of manure. I understand that AKA’s boastful swag is taken as inspiration by most of his youthful fan base and I don’t mind it when someone takes pride in the fruits of their own labour but everything has its limits. He exceeds these limits in his latest offering, always referencing his greatness relative to how shitty everyone else’s life is. I can take it in small doses but I cannot do it over an entire project, especially a project this long.
Don’t get me wrong the man is an aesthetic genius, his visuals are top notch and the melodies he selects almost always deliver in the dimensions of uniqueness and bounce. I personally would have preferred him giving us more pieces of himself in his work beyond the consistent references of his heart break and love for Bonang, which is done almost purely for its marketing value.
With all that said this is one of the best Hip-hop projects to ever come out of Mzansi and I predict that Kiernan will be stacking them madibas to the ceiling in the coming spring and summer, which unfortunately means we can look forward to more conceited content in his records.
Kiernan Forbes is a little bitch. His side chick, who stole him from his baby momma, to become his main thing, was smashing other ninjas while they were in a relationship, and now he is surprised. Now he is reading us a passage from his feelings-diary over a dope beat, throwing shade, shit and shame around like a PMS’ing teenage girl. Pathetic!
It has become clear that the oppressive patriarchal gender stereotypes of the twentieth century will not hold in the twenty first century. Generally, the natural and harmful reaction by a man to relatively drastic changes is anger and confusion. We do not know how to deal with women owning their sexuality by behaving in the same manner we have been behaving since time immemorial. Which is evident in AKA’s new single Beyoncé.
To all my black brothers out there, learn from Kiernan’s bitch assary.
He nostalgically takes a trip down memory lane, lyrically painting pictures of bliss between him and Bonang, globe-trotting and living the high life as a young black power couple. You can feel his confusion as he has an imaginary conversation with Bonang asking “how you think you gon be my fiancé…acting like Rihanna. Thinking you Beyoncé…holidays with the small planes…all I wanted was the small things”
Then all of a sudden he starts throwing shade and shit on the second verse. Claiming “all I can do is go get my bread up…I can’t just compete with all your DM’s and airbrush…I can tell you…super quick with the real…waited two years just to see you with your weave off…tell me what that say about your character…we was fucking while I was paying damages…baby momma stressed out” That is some bullshit, this man is acting as if he had nothing to do with Zinhle’s pain when Bonang threw the brick, and this business about the weave and airbrush is just petty. This man is just mad that he could not tame one of South Africa’s original bad ass.
To all my black brothers out there, learn from Kiernan’s bitch assary. Do not go into a situation with a bad bitch hoping that you can tame her because the truth of the matter is you will lose either direction. If you succeed in locking her down there is a good chance that you will end up resenting her because her wildness was one of the major things that attracted you to her. If you fail you’ll end up resenting her anyway for turning you into her little bitch. Love should be free of social expectation and the limitations of time. If it isn’t, it becomes a source of pain, shame and hate, as Kiernan Forbes has undignifiedly showed us.
With that said, the joint is dope as fuck. The wobbling synth and his add lips are the stars of the record. What truly impresses me about AKA over the past seven years is his ear for beat selection. They are urban and modern, without being completely imitative of American popular trends. Which is what you get from a Nasty C or a Frank Casino, they are dope, no doubt about it but their sonic preferences come across as unbearably imitative to me, which is not the case with AKA. While people complain about AKA’s consistent use of automation on his vocals to cover up the fact that he can’t sing. I feel it is necessary considering the personal nature of his music. Nobody can deliver those bars with his interestingly unique swag and presence. It seems to me he got a hit with this Beyoncé joint.