So the Spring installment of that uber hip hop platform Luv Ur Hood finally took place over the Heritage Day weekend. And as they love to say this side of the equator, rune re ya phapha, which means ‘we are tjatjarag’ – which means we are quick on our feet and there was no way we were not going to be there – an hour earlier as if we needed a set-up and soundcheck. Themed Marope Re Ya MaJa – which actually has no English definition but has a lot to do with some protein rich indigenous herb being munched – the session lived beyond expectations.
Freshly pimped into the pages of HYPE Magazine, which also recognised that there’s no way one can talk about Mpumalanga hip hop, especially the development phase of it without mentioning this seminal session, the Luv Ur Hood brand owners Hlompho ‘Masta H-Lepulana’ Lekhuleni and Khutso ‘Katsuko’ Malele were at their element. Among the hordes of those who flocked to the session the dodgy faces were still dodgy, the familiar ones were rocking bonkers, the shy ones (like emcee Software) were still waiting for darkness to fall so that they can flip their rhymes, the b-boys, who for a reason known to fans are called the bourgeois were tossing it up.
To a larger extent the b-boys stole a sizeable portion of the show. Ladies love them too. The Luv Ur Hood patrons have a tendency to enjoy observing emcees spit venom from a comfortable twenty metres. Maybe it’s a side-effect of strong speakers which rob the fans of an incentive to be closer to stage. Maybe they’ve got serious hearing problems (sensitive) caused by too much 2010FIFA World Cup vuvuzela blowing.
An interesting display of skill was from a rap crew from Graskop (that’s AB-Crazy’s G-Town if you’ve never been to this town with only one season) which flowed over AB’s Mama We Made it beat. There was too much love given to AB-Crazy whose songs from his Gossip Folks Mixtape alternated with EMINEM, Prokid, Drake, Kanye West, AKA, H2O, Rick Ross throughout the whole afternoon.
However the best way to see patrons coming closer to the stage and flipping their cellphones to record proceedings is when there are b-boys twisting their torsos to crunk beats and yelling from Uncle Lil John and his soundalikes.
However there’s no Luv Ur Hood without the emcees who come out at every session to blow their lungs out in languages that make South Africa’s constitution look seriously flawed. You count them, 3G, H-Lepulana, Mr Do, Caliber, Math, Zero, Chiggz, Dialetic, Kfbee, Vulga G, Respo 87, DJ Sparkle, Katsuko, Black Pear etc flip the script you’ll swear there was some drunk during CODESA. Sepulana se kae ga diofficial languages [where’s Sepulana among the so-called official languages?]
This time the session was so ‘over-subscribed’ that it had to extend hours until 19h00 – that was five hours of raw hip hop and b-boyying right there. And people were still yelling when a wrap was called.
An element that stole the hearts of many people this time was the first real cipher in a long time. Two rappers battled each other; first in vernacular until the other rapper settled for English which made it worse since the vernac rapper had the crowd on his back and he had them in stitches. The climax of the cipher did not come when the beat died but when the last word was, “you don’t even have a girlfriend you masturbate with Rama (bread fat spread)” was uttered.
Katsuko and H-Lepulana say the next installment is in December and it if this Spring one was anything to go by it promises to be a real blast.