Last week, nominations for the sixth annual SA Hip-Hop Awards (SAHHA) were announced, with the aim of celebrating achievements on Mzansi’s rap scene. It’s no surprise that the men in the game were the most nominated across the 32 categories. AKA received 17 nominations alone. While I look forward to the cypher element of the awards, The Corner, I’m hoping they’ll put on a good mixture of the talent that didn’t excel at product placement and creating “buzz”, alongside those whose albums are apparently the best of the year. Here are six things we would change about the awards:
1. Let’s start with the home of the SAHHA – The Lyric theatre. Why have the show there again? Last year peeps looked like they were at a matric dance. I rocked up with a customary sag in my pants and was looked at like I was the weird one. Why not make an event that celebrates the culture on the streets and is accessible to everyone?
2. Please tell me why we need an International Brand of the Year category? The only times I’ve seen brands do anything for the culture is when they get something in return – and by that I mean more. Why don’t we just give out awards for best product placement and be done with it?
3. Then there’s an MVP award. This list looks to be made up of those who moved the most units and not necessarily of the best lyricists. Also, everybody nominated has at least one trap beat to their name … you might as well call it The SA Trap Awards. What happened to style?
4. There’s this idea on the streets that rapping and lyricism are two different things. How does that work, you can be a good rapper but have zero bars? The lists for best male/female rapper and lyricist of the year only have one name in common, Shane Eagle. How about a best rapper? It would shave a good half hour off proceedings and bring to light certain truths, for example that Rouge is better than at least three of the men on the male nomination list.
5. In the disciplines of dance and graffiti, organisers only managed to scrape together three nominees for each. These are currently the purist branches of local hip-hop, so why not give more artists recognition?
6. I’m gathering The Hustler of the Year category must have something to do with how good you are at business. Cassper Nyovest has been nominated and so has veteran rapper ProVerb. On the real, ProVerb went Ryan Seacrest by hosting Idols and now we’re calling him a hustler? Basically it’s about celebrating those who got in bed with big brands.
Rather give artists who went from nothing to making something of themselves, like Youngsta CPT, some recognition.