Ampiano

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8min2280

How far are you willing to go to gain followers? There’s a constant inclination on social media engagement and online activity – online digital media has indefinitely replaced traditional media. Brands and corporates are putting in a lot of money in online marketing collaborative brand partnerships and this has people desperate for followers.

Online viral video content creators and social media influencers are the go to for paid partnerships and advertising. Viral content has become a currency to this generation. The number of followers one has and things such as online presence are factors which play a key role in convergence and metrics such as pay per click (PPC), cost per click (CPC) and cost per view (CPV) determine how much money one could make. Social media influencers rely on clout to attract followers and they use these metrics to lure brand partnership deals and monetize.

The stakes are getting higher, social media is a billion dollar industry and its dominance is spreading at a rampant speed “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company plans to pay out $1 billion through 2022 to users who create content for its Facebook and Instagram social networks. It’s one way the company hopes to attract influencers to create content for its platforms as it competes with other popular services, such as TikTok” (Salvador Rodriguez, CNBC, July 2021).

influencer. Photo by Pixabay
influencer. Photo by Pixabay

Controversy has become more appealing than telling compelling narratives, and this has got kids messed up. I could equate this to how gangster rap had black youths thinking guns and drugs are cool. It’s one and the same thing, the youth is willing to do anything to trend even if it means negatively exposing themselves to the world. Oh, and don’t get me started with social media self-proclaimed scholars who believe their opinions are set in stone. Everyone likes to believe their ideas to be omniscient and omnipotent – it seems as if everyone has Phd of some sort and they are experts and therefore have better acumen than everyone else. There’s no room for constructive open dialogues, things always get out of hand and messages get lost in translation.

Hyper sexualism, antagonism, controversy, hate speech, mockery and trolling have become a part of our lives via social media. Influencers are willing to break an arm and a leg for the sake of relevancy. Just think about the viral video of the young school pupil from Limpopo, Mbilwi secondary school who committed suicide after she was bullied and violated by another pupil on camera. Not only was she abused and violated, it happened in front of the world to see and her perpetrator was cheered by other pupils. What about the recent passing of South African legendary actor Patrick Shai who committed suicide after a social media escapade. The culture of trolling and the hyper sexualization of women is appealing to the masses.

social Media world. Photo from Pixabay
social Media world. Photo from Pixabay

A few weeks ago, a South African young lady posted a picture of her private parts on Twitter and the picture went viral. Unmistakably, her strategy worked, she gained more followers. OnlyFans has become an online brothel of some sort, with users selling nudes and adult explicit content. “OnlyFans is a social media content sharing platform with statistics showing that there are more than 170 million registered subscribers and over 1.5 million content creators around the world. Let’s take a look at some OnlyFans statistics that might surprise you” (Jason Wise, EarthWeb, February 15, 2022).

Often too many times what trends is vile content and sad enough it has become a normality.

I have a love and hate relationship with social media, I acknowledge how it has created a platform for content creators, businesses, marketers and people to connect with the world. Take for example how it has accelerated the growth of Amapiano as a new genre and thus setting it to the world in a short space. Or how entrepreneurs market their businesses and people get jobs via social media. A couple of celebrities also do buy school uniforms and groceries for the needy and giveaway bursaries and or education aid via social media. I love the positive and empowering aspect of social media, what I have a qualm with its negativity.

mobile-phone. Photo from Pixabay
mobile-phone. Photo from Pixabay
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8min18460

Awards and elections have this in common; not everyone who contests walks away victorious. But leading up to any elections or award season, one can make forecasts looking at the landscape.

That the ANC was going to lose its grip on a number of metros in the November 1 Local Government elections was predictable as Priddy Ugly’s Soil album being nominated in a slew of categories at this year’s South African Hip Hop Awards (SAHHA). Yet only the former became a reality as Priddy was surprisingly recognized in just one category in the nominations announced this week.

“Too many good albums were submitted and didn’t make the cut. If we’re looking for five albums, it becomes a numbers game and others will automatically fall short,” said Creative Director of the SAHHA Rashid Kay. He was responding to the absence of the Soil in the album of the year category. 25K’s Pheli Makaveli, Logan by Emtee, Costa Titch’s Made in Africa, B4Now by Blxckie and Big Zulu’s Ichwane Lenyoka are the shortlisted albums of the year.

The 10-track Soil is a good body of work that Priddy Ugly released in July, together with some absorbing visuals to help narrate his story. That this album wasn’t nominated is unfathomable- more so because local Hip Hop has been starved of a consistent album in the commercial space, where temporally hot singles and Amapiano are the order of the day.

“In a case of a tie, we then look at factual numbers from Radio Monitor for airplay, and Capasso for streams and digital sales. It’s not only Priddy Ugly’s album that didn’t make the cut, like Kwesta’s album, Yanga Chief’s album, Zakwe and Duncan’s album, and other dope dope albums that fell short with numbers,” said Rashid.

Creative Director of the SAHHA Rashid Kay. Photo by Rashid Kay
Creative Director of the SAHHA Rashid Kay. Photo by Rashid Kay

Priddy’s solitary nomination came in the form of Lyricist of The Year alongside LandmarQue, PdotO, YoungstaCPT and A-Reece. Similar to Priddy, none of LandmarQue’s EPs were nominated in the Mixtape of The Year category, yet he got the nod for his pen game. “You must realise that every category has a different criteria. With Lyricist of the Year, numbers don’t count but it’s strictly about lyricism, your pen game has to be on point,” Rashid said.

That these awards have been hosted consistently in the last decade is commendable. In celebrating its 10 anniversary, they’ve introduced the Artist of The Decade category where 16 Hip Hop acts were selected, which include AKA, Gigi Lamayne, Cassper Nyovest and K.O among others. “We’re looking for consistency, impact, and achievements within the past 10 years. You don’t necessarily have to have been in the game for 10 years but who fits that criteria in the past decade.”

Another new category is Best International Act where Drake and Ye were nominated together with the UK’s Little Simz, Sarkodie from Ghana and Botswana’s William Last KRM. It doesn’t make sense as to why you’d want to nominate artists from the Western world when they already have such global dominance. It would’ve been refreshing to shine the spotlight on Hip Hop on the continent to help grow the camaraderie among African Hip Hop heads if they limited the nominees to African acts. “If we wanted an African award, we were gonna call it “Best African Act,” was Rashid’s response.

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Tha actual Awards

Amapiano’s unquestionable domination has prompted questions about the strength of SA Hip Hop. “The “SA Hip Hop is Dead” narrative usually comes from people who are not part of the culture and don’t know the difference between Rap and Hip Hop,” said Rashid.  “Hip Hop has never relied on a song or an individual to be “alive”. The SAHHAs have been around for 10 years and they are not here to prove any point.”

This year’s awards are themed The Manifesto, as to coincide with the country’s current political climate. The awards will be streamed live on the third next month and be televised the following day on SABC 1.

You can view the list of all nominees here


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