If you had asked me to write about anything even remotely related to hip hop before this past weekend, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. I kid you not. I’m very clueless when it comes to the genre. I’ve always thought it was characterised and supported by angry black men with mommy issues. The #ProjectMaboneng concert proved me wrong. With top local acts like Cassper Nyovest, Kid X, OkMalumKoolKat and Ifani and international superstar, Ace Hood, Project Maboneng was everything a beginner like me SHOULD experience.
The crowd left much to be desired but they were the proverbial small package fully loaded with dynamite. It was a very diverse mob too. Think white South Africans don’t listen to local hip hop? Think again. A few celebs were in there too, naturally. Spotted K Naomi who looked ready to sucker punch whoever approached her. Got to hang out with the gracious Moonchild Sanelly and enjoy the music with her. It was also quite cool to get a shout out at the end of the night from the MCs.
The performances were amazing. Well, most of them. The show began with a lacklustre performance from Blayze. It felt like he was doing us a favour. Barely broke a sweat. Kid X came on next and my goodness, what a f*cken’ experience. The crowd went wild when he performed stablemate K.O’s smash hit, ‘Cara Cara’. Even I attempted doing the Cara Cara. Me, who can’t pull off the Crazy Chicken. Ifani’s ‘Gogo’ or ‘Ben 10 Anthem’ as it’s known was naturally very popular with the youngins. If that isn’t an indication of how many young people like older citizens, nothing is. Okmalumkoolkat gave a performance which certainly left a mark on me. Kwesta asked us to do like he did and you had better believe we did during his world class performance.
Cassper Nyovest got to the stage and blew the house down (that is what the cool kids say, right?). We also got a performance from a dancing little person named Oscar. I still don’t know how to feel about that but I’ll tell you this: The brother can move!!! Ace Hood came onto the stage and from that point on, It was just a proper jump. When he performed Body to Body (a hit featuring everyone’s fave bad boy, Chris Brown), a lot of girls (and some guys, myself included) wished he’d just get rid of his shirt. Unfortunately, he didn’t. He performed his biggest hit, ‘Bugatti’ and the whole place was dancing, most of us like morons.
What We Loved
Let me name the ways I loved #ProjectMaboneng: 1. The staff and crew were surprisingly friendly. One expects stuck up personnel at these things and fortunately, we didn’t get any of that.
The atmosphere. One thinks of hip hop concerts and jerky trust fund kids in oversized clothes come to mind. We had none of that at #ProjectMaboneng. Celeb and Pleb alike partied together and it was amazing!
Space. It wasn’t a typical sweaty mess. We had actual space to breathe and interact without falling all over each other. Although my friend Palesa did spill a few drinks…
The Music. Expect a few minor sound glitches, we absolutely loved the music. From ‘Holy Oxygen’ to ‘Doc Shebeleza’, every single song had everyone on their feet, dancing.
What We Hated
Well that’s not very difficult. Of the whole experience, one thing bothered me: the exorbitant drink prices. How are the people supposed to get turnt when the nectar of the gods costs an arm and a leg?! We had to pay over R150 for 3 drinks. Why, #ProjectMaboneng, why?! If I or any other person in the crowd were hardened alcoholics, they would have lost a fan for next year. Luckily, everything else just worked and #ProjectMaboneng and local hip hop have a new, hardened fan.
words by @TsheggyZA
Photography by prettipiktures