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Rappers delight at Victoria

Makhoathi Mantsoe

MASERU — Anyone who came to last week’s show at the Meloling lounge, Victoria Hotel, hoping for a repeat of Dunamis’ explosion would have been disappointed.
But that, however, does not mean the show organisers, Slam Direct, did not do their homework properly. It’s only that putting together a show featuring lesser-known artistes after a star as big as Dunamis wasn’t really going to generate much hype. 
“We were not even hoping to capitalise on the buzz generated by Dunamis. We wanted to do our thing with our own artistes, who are just as good as anyone in their own right,” explained one of the organisers.
By the time the MC took to the stage to inform the few, die-hard fans that things were about to get hot, there were still a lot of empty seats to be filled. 
“This show isn’t going to succeed,” said two ladies, apparently choosing to enjoy the comforts of the chairs and the flowing wine in front of them. It was evident they had resigned themselves to their fate.
However, the night did not exactly pan out as an entire failure, if modest success can be measured by the talent of the artistes who took to the stage to rescue the show.
Cuts-on–raps are a loosely based outfit organised along the same lines as the American super hip-hop group, Wutang Clan. It is a conglomeration of everyone and anyone who can “flow” and “rhyme a verse” as the language goes in hip-hop.
Three highly vocal members of the group, Blk Ice, Blitz and Kislev, got everyone’s attention as they battled each other on stage, in what could easily have been a scene from  a how in the US.
The way the three MCs battled reminded one of the early days of hip-hop, before rap got so corrupted and became a vehicle for gender discrimination, misogyny and commercialism.
Xpress People got a chance to speak to one member of the group, Blk Ice, and asked him how they had developed such enviable rapping skills.
“We have been in the game for as long as this world was created. This is our first love, our passion and our pastime,” he said.
Listening to how easy these “cats” flow and rhyme in Sesotho and English, one wondered why thousands of hip-hop lovers chose not to come in droves to enjoy such free flowing rap.
“I think this show clashed with a number of other shows tonight, but I think people are still soaking in the excitement from last week’s show by Dunamis,” Ice said.
As if by magic, the venue slowly began filling up, giving the duo of K-Mo that was on stage at the time more of a reason to rap even tighter. They gave what was arguably one of the best performances of the night.
Much has been said of the group being just “loud and no rhymes”, but they proved their detractors wrong after last Friday’s performance. They really came out tight and solid.
One of the stars of the night though, who deserves mention, is definitely the man with the most beautiful voice to grace Lesotho’s concert halls so far, Retz Seleke. With a determined focus in music and good management, Retz can surely be snapped up by any big star looking for some back-up talent. This boy can really sing.
Xpress People asked him where he had been all along and what a surprise it was when Retz said it was actually his first stage performance.
“You will think I am lying if I tell you that this is my first-ever performance. I have never performed in front of an audience before,” he confessed.
In attendance to lend the show much-needed support was filmmaker Jeremiah Mosetse, who is currently working on a biographical movie.
“The movie is coming up pretty good because the script is fine and the budget details are finalised. We are now working on the technical aspects of the movie and you will be the first to come to a premiere,” Mosetse said.
As the night came to a close — with the main act, Immortal Phoenix, doing the ducking-and-diving game — it was Skebza D with his gang who put to rest any doubt who was the greatest threat to Dunamis’ reign as the king of hip-hop in Lesotho.
“Skebza D rules this town. Ayoba yo, ayoba yo,” Skebza intoned as he got the fans off their seats, in a fitting finale to what could have been the worst night for the organisers.

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