Yello SAMA

It is going to be the kwaito industry beef of all times and fortunately for the South Afrikan music lover they were there when it was first cooked. In 1996, during some glam awards (MTV or Grammy) in the United States then rap mogul Marion Suge Knight used his few minutes on stage to urge ‘all rappers who want to make money and to have glitz videos and to not have the CEO dancing on their videos to come and join Death Row Records’. It was a spite on Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs’ Bad Boy Records who was sitting somewhere with his posse. That was the beginning of what came to be known as the East-West Coast beef. Many deaths later Death Row went under and only two men prevailed – Dr Dre (who left to form Aftermath) and Combs.

And watching the SAMA ceremony on Saturday brought that bitter nostalgia to the fore. First it was cocaine-addicted and convicted kwaito act Briggz who when it was time to receive his award decided to use the opportunity to gloat at his former producer DJ Cleo. “Thanks Bra TK (TK Nciza) for removing me from a bad situation (Cleo or coke?). To Cleo, once again you lose. No bad blood, but I love you dog (Judas and Brutus acts)”.

Literally that’s what he said. I saw Sbu Leope (aka DJ Sbu aka Mzekezeke), who wears sunglasses even at night smiling naughtily. Now fast forward to five minutes later and Cleo (who’s also wearing glasses) mounts the same stage and you could cut the tension with a blunt knife from the moment he took off from his seat. ‘Ubani o-losile?’, first words out of the mouth of a hitmaker scorned. Then he goes on to gloat about having won two awards and soon making a decision stage an after-party in Springs. Actually what he was saying was that Briggz has to wait for someone to decide on his after-party but he (Cleo) can do so at the blink of an eye. Remember what The Game said, ‘I’m Game, CEO of my own shit/ no more this G-Unit bullshit’. Yeah, Cleo does not need to thank anyone because he’s sucking nobody’s dick or taking anybody’s up his ass while skinny Briggz needs to send a shout-out.

Okay, more stuff about the SAMAs. I don’t know if I’m the only one who thinks that the fable of Rebecca Malope winning the Gospel Category has come to suck. The woman wins even when her album is not the best out there. It’s like there’s a law that say that award should go to her. A little information about Rebecca; she comes from Mpumalanga; used to sing disco and then switched to gospel. She has since released 29 gospel albums and has been in the music industry for a whopping 24 years – talk of staying power. And now for the killer; the SAMAs are 15-years-old and she has won them 12 times while I’ll have difficulty telling you on one of her songs, let alone albums. It sucks, time for her to say ‘NO’.

One other interesting revelation was Lira’s white token. I have heard that she’s doing whites and have always wanted to see ‘the boyfriend’. And when I finally did I couldn’t tell if the dude has legs or not since he couldn’t stand up and join the madam even when she invited him. They say shyness is unattractive – I doubt that Lira shares that sentiment.

Now the biggest winners on the night, Rhythmic Elements decided to bring their godmother to the stage and the whole extended family. One feels that they badly managed the sad news of the passing of one of the group members’ sister. They could have made it a sombre moment and dedicated the award to her and then explained that she passed away ‘due’ (not ‘because’) to cancer.

The first loser was Unathi, whose radio station gave her a token award and she couldn’t compete fairly. The biggest loser, apart from Unathi and who Briggz said it was has to be Bongani Fassie because quite frankly the dude went there with his posse hoping to scoop multiple awards. His protégé, Da Les’ album rocks, the production is super but if groups like 340 ml and soloists Thandiswa could not win, why could digitally manufactured beats walk away with an award? Even Zuluboy looked out of place with his traditional gear that would irk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

And finally, Sbu, as DJ Sbu lost badly. His protégé’s didn’t shine except MaBrigado. His alter-ego didn’t shine. He couldn’t host the after-parties he’s known for given that MTN doesn’t give Vodacom sponsored acts the opportunity to paint Sun City navy blue when Yello is the in-thing. The only thing remaining with him, which is what we’ll remember him for is being Jacob Zuma’s sidekick at the Siyangcoba Rally, wanting to be JZ and dating Terry Pheto.

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