Still broke, but let’s Party!”
That was the promise local hip-hopper Quido Mohamed made leading up to his modest album launch last weekend.
And while it may not have been due to the potent lyrics or booming sound from the performing artists – some among the country’s most promising emcees - it was a night that delivered much more.
Hosts Garlic and Flower say they couldn’t be more pleased with approximately 150 party-goers packing their restaurant on the night while event organisers Bob Grassroots say it got so hectic at times they stopped keeping count.
The ‘061Music’-stalwart reeled in favourites like Lize Ehlers, AliThatDude, and Catty Cat to set the mics ablaze and get the crowd rocking with contemporaries in the local hip-hop scene, including RUN NAMS, Wambuseun and Nama artist of the Year, Jericho stoking the fires more.
Unfortunately, with nothing more than a PA system, two speakers and two noisy muffling microphones, the music ended up being a mere distraction for most.
“The sound ended up not being enough for that crowd. The sound guys couldn’t really boost it,” he said, “because of the risk of blowing his speakers,” Quido told The Villager.
“To our advantage though was the fact that we billed it more as a launch party rather than a full-out show. That worked for us. Even if you ask folks where they were on Friday, they’re likely to say, ‘we were at that party,” he says.
Takura Matswetu, a founding member of the events organising outfit Bob Grassroots, says that with eight years of hip-hop event organising among other shows, the support is definitely on the rise.
“The following is definitely there. It’s getting stronger. Even your older guys who grew up listening to early hip-hop from the US, they’re starting to come out to the events. They’re getting interested in what the local guys have to say” he says.
“We see hip-hop as a social tool and we feel it needs more exposure in Windhoek at least. All of us listen to hip-hop and some are involved in making music,” he explains.
The Quido launch, he says, is a case in point. “He’s a good artist and there was great anticipation. He managed to create quite a buzz on Unam campus, especially among foreign students who showed up, and we also managed to build some good radio promotion before the event,” he adds.
“Unfortunately we had some glitches with the sound but the success of the night is just testimony to his drawing power and the growth of the movement,” says Matswetu.
Commenting from his position as patron to the event, Jericho says he was impressed by the turnout on the night. “The support is there. The teamwork is there.
The only lacking thing, considering people are paying to come out and see you, is the delivery.”
He also notes the sound glitches, “But we need to look at ourselves like a business. This is business. These people will want returns on their investment. It’s got to be more than just recording and throwing a party for the sake of it. I think our hip-hop culture (locally) is still stuck in the fame. We need to make it a business,” the artist says.