Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

In Photos: The Spectacle That Was Riky Rick’s Cotton Fest

Riky Rick's inaugural Cotton Fest exhibited professionalism and the spirit of youth.

I've attended a lot of hip-hop festivals over the years, and the one thing most of them have in common is unprofessionalism—the performance running order is hardly ever followed, time is never kept, artists show up late, the sound quality is trash and sets are cut short in an attempt to keep up with time.

Riky Rick's inaugural Cotton Fest was the opposite. The performance running order, which was posted in the venue for everyone to see (unlike with most hip-hop festivals I've attended), was followed religiously. Access into the venue was never a hassle, too.


Both of the festival's stages were perfectly setup, and the sound quality was top notch.

Cotton Fest brought the trendy Joburg cool kids together. And the festival being of the rapper and fashion killa Riky Rick's making, all the cotton eaters showed up dressed to the T.

The outfits ranged from minimal to straight up outlandish (in a good way).

Performances on the night came from the A-listers of South African hip-hop (AKA, Riky Rick, Nasty C, A-Reece, Emtee etc.) alongside some up-and-comers and South Africa's new wave (The Big Hash, PatricKxxLee, Rowlene etc.) and the country's top hip-hop DJs (Maphorisa, DJ Dimplez, P Kuttah, Speedsta and a lot more).

Sets that moved me came from Emtee, AKA, Stogie T, P Kuttah, Nasty C, The Big Hash, PatricKxxLee, Mzambiya (the surprise act), and Moonchild Sanelly, among many others.

I had to leave the venue before all the acts had performed because of a personal emergency, but I was deeply impressed and satisfied with the professionalism exhibited by the organizers.

I'm hoping more festivals this side of the world can learn a thing or two from Cotton Fest.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.


The Big Hash. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.


Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Stogie T. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Nadia Nakai. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Nasty C. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

AKA. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Manu WorldStar. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Lunah Florentino. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

2Lee Stark. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Emtee. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Distruction Boyz. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

P Kuttah. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Una Rams. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

KLY. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Priddy Ugly. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

PatricKxxLee. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Nadia Nakai. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Tshego and Gemini Major. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

YoungstaCPT. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Scoop Makhathini. Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.

Photo by Sabelo MKhabela.


Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.