The Sneakers Hip-hop festival roared to life recently living up to its billing and saw up and coming hip-hop crooners delivering spirited performances and backstage reﬂ ecting on the current state and growth prospects of the genre.
Budding artist Kate-Lynne Kay curtain raised with a barrage of chants setting the weekend evening on ﬁ re at the Khomas Grove Roof-top while revelers wowed the night away in a strong atmosphere of Hip-hop culture.
The packed audience could not have enough of the talented and high-spirited John Gregarious who belted song after song at the backing of a heavy and tight sound system. Back-stage meeting up with The Villager, the crooner, still entranced by his sweltering performance, said Hiphop in Namibia was fast getting on Broadway.
“I believe that Namibian Hip-hop is growing, right now we are some of the few that are pushing with the dopiest music videos,” he said with a rap ﬂ air before lamenting the lack of funding to support the genre growth. “All we need is funding man, public funding, corporate funding whatever we can get, we believe we can get better and deliver more,” he told The Villager Entertainment while describing the Hip-hop Festival is bigger and crazier.
The high-proﬁ le festival which pulled a throng of revelers spotting trendy hip-hop fabric and ﬂ y sneakers had the imposing presence of Namibia’s top-ﬂ ying sizzling Jazz artist Suzy Eises and South Africa’s own DJ Speedsta. By the time she mounted the lit up stage in her svelte posture the audience went ballistic.
Her saxophone sound was enthralling while a backup electric guitar chopped the tune into bits and pieces of melody and rhythm. Her wild soft hair ﬂ ying back at the caressing-blow of the wind, she pulsated on her saxophone with passion, eyes shut, neck throbbing and it was the deﬁ ning moment of the festival. Bubbling at the satisfaction of her tight performance, she took time to express her enthusiasm at the young Namibian talent and how big and better Hip-hop was coming.
“It is really a good event and I think it is really a good way to bring people who love Hip-hop together. This is my ﬁ rst time and am so excited. Hip-hop is not as popular as house yet it has such a rich history. It’s not about dancing only but these young people actually tell their story,” she enthused. Bobby Magogoz showed that he is a lyrical force with her evocative sounds, and shoulder to shoulder with the electric Gregarious they belted out The Same, much to an audience battle cry of excitement. Along the way they delivered Recognition and by the time they exploded in the lyrics of Way Up, it was clear that these young geniuses were on the ladder to redeﬁ ning the entire genre.
“Young Hip-hop artists are fast coming together towards a greater goal. We not there yet, it seems we still lacking something. In terms of creativity, the music is dope, getting the music out there is the major setback,” he told The Villager entertainment.
He however lamented that the Namibian audience has been dominated by one particular genre which has come in time to eclipse other genres like Hip-hop despite the great amount of talented artists. Founding member of the NAMA nominated Doctortainment label, John Doctataimet took time to reﬂ ect on how his event was building the genre at the backing of thousands of dollars which sustained through corporate sponsorships.
“Putting such an event together and bringing Speedsta, Suzy Eises, KK, the legendary Jericho, DJ Finetune costs a lot. Hip-hop has always been a part of the Namibian culture but about three years ago the whole house scene took over. Hip-hop was quite small then but it has indeed picked up and with this event, it surely can get bigger and better,” said the amicable entertainment boss.
Music dominated the night with spiffs of the famed Hookah sweetening the crispy night air, sneakers merchants decorated the whole scene in spurts of color and with a tattoo expert at work, the festival blasted to a thrilling success. Meanwhile Doctataimet has a string of nation-wide events lined up while there are plans to take the entire energy of it off to SA, growing the genre and making a mark in the entertainment industry.