WINDHOEK - After creating a platform for rappers to showcase their lyrical skills at a well-organised event, the organisers of Rap Battle Namibia decided to pull the plug and postpone the event to later this year because of poor response from the artists/contenders.
The brains behind the show and co-founder of the event, Sabati Popyeni, said they had created a platform where three winners would be crowned and win cash prizes for excelling in their respective categories. The show was divided into three categories, that is, Battle Rap, Freestyle and Beat Battle. In these categories, there would have been six contestants in the knock out rounds.
Battle rap (also known as rap battling) is a type of rapping that includes bragging, insults and boasting content. Rap battling involves lyricists spontaneously reciting or freestyling lyrics in live battles. They usually perform on the same stage to see who has the better verse.
The auditions were to choose the best six contestants for the main show. Unfortunately, only one artist showed up for the Battle Rap audition. For the Freestyle category, only four turned up from the eight they needed. For the Beat Battle, they had five when they needed six. In the end, it did not make sense to proceed as there were not enough opponents.
‘’The auditions were different per category, the first time we had auditions on different days as per category. We did this to avoid a whole day of auditions. In a way, the separation of different days might have made some rappers distance themselves as not all rappers are based in Windhoek. In terms of marketing there’s room for improvement,” he said.
The co-founder feels that hip-hop has always been the stepchild of music in Namibia. It has always been treated as a nice to have in a feature rather than respected as a full genre. Namibia has fewer platforms to allow them to be heard.
He lamented that: “The hunger to go hard is lacking but again reasons can range from lack of money in the game, unpaid gigs or lack of interest from corporate Namibia.” A total of N$4,500 was up for grabs, which would have been shared between the three categories, with each taking home N$1,500.
Popyeni and his team are very optimistic about Namibia’s rappers. They feel that there is no doubt that the talent is there. Right now, it is just a chance they need and Rap Battle Namibia is just an idea that will eventually manifest in the audiences' minds.
One giant leap would be for an artist to feature with American and European artist as it is becoming a common practice in neighbouring South African.
‘’Right now, we will continue doing what we need to do to contribute little by little. Take every chance there is to be heard and be seen. Go out and support other rappers and vice versa. It’s not easy to put up an event, it’s time, money and effort all for your fans’ enjoyment. Sometimes fans are just happy to see you in attendance as well. The man in the mirror voices must go through a microphone to be heard and appreciated,” concluded Popyeni.
2019-04-18 10:07:30 5 months ago