CASSPER NYOVEST

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6min1200

A MUSIC video is to a song, what an image with a good caption is to an article. It takes the story forward.

Just five months ago Riky Rick said he was taking a break from the spotlight in the music, but last Friday he surprised most with the release of a spirited track, I Can’t Believe It (Macoins) with gripping visuals.

The song and the video presentation is currently being slept on in the country. According to Riky Rick, some television channels won’t air the video because of the content. He said this while thanking MTV Base on Twitter, for playing the video on their platform.

The ill-judgement of some of our broadcasters is perplexing. Local broadcasters aren’t proactive in their presentation; they always prefer to follow a trend instead of being the ones to initiate the conversation. This is just one of the reasons why television lags behind the net, but not everybody in South Africa can afford to watch videos on YouTube due to exorbitant prices of data.

I can imagine an ocean of people chanting the chorus, when Riky Rick performs this joint live. He repeatedly says he wants more money, then sounds in disbelief in the hook, not because he has gotten what he wants, but at what it cost him it seems. That’s what the visuals relayed.

But instead of money, a group of eccentric individuals seem to desire freedom more than anything- to be themselves within an uncomplimentary society. The freedom comes at a cost though, as one of them commits suicide, which then sparks the revolt. The interesting part is that, everyone fighting for something is part of the riot, not only the small group of friends who lost a comrade.

Directed by Adriaan Louw, the video took the conversation stared by Riky Rick in his rhymes, to another level. They chose the perfect time to shoot this, managing to capture beautiful light under Joburg skies, while Marco Filby’s Art Direction was complimented by the cast’s believability and wardrobe.

With the abrasive, in-your face beat Riky Rick reminds everybody who he is in the music and creative space. Steeped in Hip Hop braggadocio, from the first verse he states why 10 years in the game, he still manages to remain relevant throughout the country. But it’s his second verse on which he bluntly raps

I’m in my element, my regiment

Taking over is imminent,

Drop one song per year, and stay prevalent

Old niggers say my name to stay relevant

I couldn’t help but think of Stogie T when I heard those lines, despite the fact that the two recently settled their feud, which was sparked by Cassper Nyovest saying Stogie did nothing for him, during an acceptance speech at the South African Hip Hop Awards last year. iVenda LaKwaMashu, as Riky Rick is known on Twitter, was in Nyovest’s corner and also slammed Stogie for claiming other artists’ success.

The song has a similar refrain as Pick You Up, which came out earlier this year but unlike that joint, he raps in vernac on I Can’t Believe It (Macoins) and sounds original, rejuvenated and grimier. iVenda LaKwaMashu isn’t the lyrical-miracle typa rapper who will get battle kats like Kriss AntiB and Don Veedo salivating at his every line. But his hooks are catchy and he speaks his truth and a lot of people can relate to that shit.


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7min1761

FEELINGS come and feelings go, but I’ve had this resolute one in the midst of the tussle for the #FillUp phrase, between Cassper Nyovest and Benny Mayengani for the past few days now.

From the word go, intuition said to me Cassper was only making noise because Mayengani is Tsonga. We live in a country that has, for so long subjected Tsonga people to extreme constant discrimination. Often coming in the form of crass jokes, about how they look or insinuating that the Tsonga nation is less human than other tribes is something commonplace in South Africa.

This is why I thought Cassper was being a typical South African when I heard he was complaining about the use of #FillUp. It’s undebatable that Cassper popularised the #FillUp concept, through his annual concerts in the last three years which he personally invested in. But a number of artists have used the term, directly or indirectly. Gospel artist Dr. Tumi for example; he filled up the Dome last year at his show, The Gathering of Worshippers.

In interviews and on social media, he punted the #FillUp, to help build momentum to his event.  Mayengani’s Fill Up Giyani Stadium, without the knowledge of who is behind it, one would rightfully assume that Nyovest is the one filling up Giyani stadium.

Having said that though, it does not justify the noise Cassper made last week especially after a Times Live investigation revealed that Nyovest doesn’t even have ownership of the #FillUp, yet.

Using his full name, Refiloe Maele Phoolo, Cassper applied for the trademark with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in November 2016. The application was processed and “accepted with conditions.” Cassper received a letter after seven months stating that there are conditions he should meet, should the trademark be granted.

CIPC’s Head Of Trademarks Division Fleurette Coetzee was quoted saying “The trademark applicant needs to respond in writing to the office agreeing to the conditions in order for the application to proceed to acceptance.” Cassper has not not responded and, as a result, the application has not been advertised.

Mayengani probably felt vindicated after reading the Times Live article, the same way I did to write this piece.  I had a conversation with friends Friday night about my take on this matter, and was advised not to write this piece, because it would imply that the Mahikeng rapper is pushing a tribalism stance. But I think it’s ignorance more than anything.

I found Cassper’s actions to be petty quite frankly. I don’t think we’ve seen anyone as unoriginal in the South African music space as Nyovest in a long while. His music, branding as well as his rhetoric on social media are seething of other people’s creativity. What would he do, if Cartoon Network sued him for using their branding?

In a tweet, Cassper said “A lot of artists die broke because of the issue of ownership, they are mocked by fans& media yet when we educate ourselves, own our talent& ideas we’re attacked. I hope you’re learning through me. We’re about to #FillUpMosesMabhida on the 1st of December. Tickets at Computicket!!”

Really?

What’s more annoying is that he went for Mayengani because Tsongs people are the easiest target for other black people, in South Africa. Mayengani is a Tsonga musician with more than three albums to his name. His concert at Giyani stadium was successful, with an attendance of over 25 000.

More than personal stats, the Tsonga nation is officially part of South Africa, like seTswana, isiZulu, isiXhosa or any other tribe whose language is one of our official lingos in the country.

In Mozambique, there’s also a great concentration of Tsonga people in the southern province of Gaza. Smaller concentrations live in the provinces of Inhambane, Maputo, Manica and Sofala. While there’s also a huge number in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Black on black hate is a consequence of colonisation and apartheid. But we know better as a people now. Especially us, the new generation. We have the responsibility to teach, respect and support each other as fellow black people-it’s saddening that this has to be preached in a month where South Africa celebrates its heritage.


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3min2911

Sjava became the first South African musician to win the BET Viewer’s Choice Award last night at the international awards ceremony hosted at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles California, US.

 

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In 2016 South African DJ and producer Black Coffee won the Best International Act, which last night was won by Nigeria’s Davido. A number of South African artists have been nominated in the Viewer’s Choice Award category in the past, but failed to get enough fan votes.

The difference between the two categories is that Sjava’s award was voted for by fans using a designated hashtag for each artist on BET.com, Tiwitter and Instagram. With his #IPICSJAVA18 hashtag, the artist from KZN trumped, among others, UK singing sensation Iamddb, France’s Prince Waly and Sik-K from South Korea.

Felicitations have been pouring in for Sjava from fans all over. Maps Maponyane tweeted “Siyak’bongela Sjava.”  While Cassper Nyovest who lost to Davido, tweeted “Congratulations to King Sjava for the win. SA Hip Hop doing big shit.”

Unlike Best International Act category which was handed out to Davido during the main event, Sjava was presented with his gong in a ceremony held just before the main one.

Draped in isiZulu attire; Sjava wore Umqele on his head, Amambatha covering his shoulders and ibheshu, icansi in hand and to top it off he walked in bare foot. The look was authentic and flamboyant enough for him to be on the main stage with the rest of the acts. He did the country and the rest of Africa proud in taking the award and in the manner in which he did.



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