Hip hop has always derived its strength and glamour from emcees proudly representing where they come from. The territorial mentality is wholly about the emcee telling the rest what’s so good about their ‘hood. Sometimes the fact that there’s too much crime can be a plus since street credentials are the only honour rappers can carry to the next ‘hood.

So, the second out-of-Shatale instalment of Mpumalanga’s only hip hop movement Luv Ur Hood saw a lot of Thulamahashe’s emcees coming out to drop their verses and share stories about their sprawling township with other rappers and patrons. The show on in early July, themed Mangozi Ya Tala ka Spice, exposed the raw talent that remains hidden in the periphery provinces of this country. Gauteng has nothing on some of the cats that prowled the makeshift stage.

On decks was the province’s only hip-hop DJ, SK, who also dropped a verse with his Krazy Doggz crew which includes many emcees amongst them C-well Shogun, Tazzy Tazz etc. While every DJ is going the house music direction - SK is the Funkmaster. They had the crowd which is familiar with their songs, which are contained in their mixtape, repeating every hook as they ripped the stage apart. The mood was only poisoned by one emcee who saw his moment of glory as an opportunity to push his political party's hustle.

Thulamahashe also boasts arguably the youngest female emcee who, the way she was delivering her raps it appeared that if she’s not genius she has an intelligent ghost-writer. Methinks her hypeman who also happens to be her sister is the writer behind the juicy rhymes.

Lydenburg and Burgersfort were represented respectively by Oscar (Pedi Swagg) and KG who together dropped powerful lines over a beat produced by AB Crazy of Man of the Moment fame. “I like the fact that there are shows this side of town. Quite honestly where we coming from you don’t get rappers meeting like this to share in the music and culture” said Oscar in an interview. We ended up having an hour-long chat about hip hop both local and global.

The regulars were there as well. Mr Doo sampled from his upcoming mixtape. He comically rapped what has become his signature tune, Leya Thoma go e Kwa while Masta H also dropped a song from his upcoming mixtape titled Lepulana Volume I.

Katsuko mounted the stage and delivered his stellar song Re Tswa Bush which has become an anthem with a music video on YouTube. Dialectic was also there delivering decapitating punchlines, first with a Krazy Dogg member then on his own flowing over a Nas and Damian Marley beat.

While Shatale remains the spiritual home of the movement organisers Katsuko and Masta H say they have serious plans to put it on a road show and give it that Made in Mpumalanga identity.

“The next show will be at Mkhuhlu, followed by Bushbuckridge. We are looking at how we can take it to places such as Kanyamazane, Ngodini, Matsulu and others”, Katsuko told the patrons who came to feed off the raps on offer.

Luv Ur Hood, Mangozi ya Tala ka Spice is also used to merchandise and the organisers say it’s now on Facebook, where other people can join to follow the growth.

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