Photos

In Photos: Back To The City 2019

South Africa's annual hip-hop and street culture festival Back To The City came back strong this year.

One of South Africa's longest running and biggest hip-hop and street culture festival, Back To The City took place last Saturday on the country's Freedom Day, as is the case every year.


As usual, it was a celebration of hip-hop and all its elements. On the main stage, the country's biggest hip-hop artists alongside up-and-coming acts kept heads entertained throughout the course of the festival. This happened while aspiring rappers, producers and dancers battled it out on the Play stage, while street artists conjured colorful characters on the pillars of the bridge above Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, which is located in the Joburg CBD. The hip-hop summit also took place as part of the festival, and aspiring artists, managers and fans gathered to discuss the industry's goings on.

Back To The City will always be a unique festival in that the organizers make an effort to include the most popular acts to the most niche, all on the same stage. You don't see that with many hip-hop events in the country.

Outstanding performances this year came from the likes of Stogie T, Riky Rick, YoungstaCPT, Moozlie, Nadia Nakai, Touchline, Cassper Nyovest, among many others. This year's international headliner was EPMD, who entertained fans of the golden era. Below are some pics from the festival.

Performances

EPMD. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Stogie T. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Otarel. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Lex LaFoy. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Bantu Speaking. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kay-E. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Jimmy Wiz. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

YoungstaCPT. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Nadia Nakai. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

2Lee Stark. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Champagne 69. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Touchline. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Boity. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Moozlie. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Emile YX?. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

MegMafia. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Morafe. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Siba. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Faces, Street Art and Basketball


Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Jay Stash. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Kay-E. 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.

The Play stage. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Assessa. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.



The panelists of the hip-hop summit. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Interview
JimmyWiz. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Interview: JimmyWiz Quietly Released One of the Strongest South African Hip-Hop Albums of the Year

We chat to South African rapper JimmyWiz about his debut album, Accordin' to Jim.

JimmyWiz channeled his life story into his biographical debut record, Accordin' to Jim. At just nine songs, the album is a self-portrait of the artist as he shares the stories that contributed to how he makes sense of the world. Even the accompanying music reveals an aspect of Jimmy's childhood.

In his chat to OkayAfrica below, the MC from the East Rand of Joburg, explains that sonically, Accordin' To Jim was influenced by the music he grew up with. The project is built on smooth jazz samples and compositions by SP Dubb, a prominent producer in the East Rand and the rest of the country.

JimmyWiz is part of a huge network of South African lyricists who may not be on everyone's radar, but have built solid niche fanbases and are striving in their own way and own terms. JimmyWiz just happened to get a boost that a very few young up-and-coming rappers are afforded.

In 2015, the rapper appeared on the reality show The Hustle on TV channel Vuzu. His class included the likes of Bigstar Johnson and ShabZi Madallion, the latter who is still a close friend and frequent collaborator of Jimmy's. JimmyWiz has stuck to his path—instead of jumping on the trap bandwagon, he has always shown a liking for production that leans towards traditional East Coast hip-hop, multi-syllable rhyme schemes and rich lyricism.

In the interview below, JimmyWiz tells OkayAfrica about his take on popularity waves, witnessing gender-based abuse in his household as a child, his plans for the future and many other topics.

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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"Fetch Your Life" by Prince Kaybee and Msaki was the most Shazamed song of 2019 in South Africa.

Apple Music recently released the statistics for the most streamed songs, artists and genres on their platform by South Africans. The country's Apple Music subscribers stream a lot of Post Malone, as his song "Sunflower" was the most streamed song on the platform in the country.

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Cardi B Teases New Remix of Davido's 'Fall'

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Cardi B has teased her apparent upcoming remix of Davido's "Fall."

Posting from a private jet, as she was on her way to New York before heading to West Africa, Cardi B shared a video of herself rapping and dancing along to the unreleased remix.

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Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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