Words by Charles Rupare a.k.a Manifesto Shallah
Pictures by Thulani Mabaso & Eric Motloung
Open Mind Sessions Volume 2
Sunday the 22nd of July saw the second Open Mind Session taking place at the Bassline in Mellville. Organix hosted the session, which is now a monthly event. As the Bible says, on the seventh day God rested and, staying true to this, Organix set the perfect mood to sit back and enjoy good, clean Hip-Hop.
The show kicked off at around 15:00pm with an opening set by 340ml, who set the stage for what was to follow. The Hosts for the evening, Kaya aka Bhubesii and Zack created the holy 'erb ambience with Bhubesii dropping a tight verse over tight beatboxing by Zack. Bhubesii and Zack proceeded to introduce the first performer for the evening, a female wordsmith by the name of Keesh, who blessed the crowd with conscious words over a beatbox by Zack that left everyone begging for more. Strong on the heels of Keesh was the one and only Waddy (Max Normal) accompanied by DJ Sibot on the decks. Waddy had the crowd eating out of his hands with a tight chorus over mind-bending lyrics. When Waddy was done enticing the audience with honey -coated words Jessica took to the stage and had people pondering her two well-constructed poems. Bhubesii closed the first set with a tight rhyme that surprised a lot of people in the crowd
After the interval the hosts proceeded to introduce a gifted brother - Edward aka Ola Obita from Zambia who had people nodding as he instilled knowledge of self within the minds of the crowd, living up to the expectation of the day which was to open up minds. Christian who laid a few words on the contrast of black and white followed my Brethren from Zambia. Next on stage was a Sistren, Palesa, who was introduced as being shy but laid a moving poem followed by a mellow song that had me reminiscing on Tracy Chapman. The soulful Sister was followed by intoxicating words from a brother named PAW (People of Africa Wiseup) who dropped one of the illest poems of the evening on the beauty of the Phoenix. The words were laced with seductive undertones, which had sisters nodding with appreciation.
In between the puffs and pounds from friends the show resumed with Bhubesii and Zack introducing the DJ for the evening, Kenzero who had heads bopping back and forth to underground Hip-Hop. The segment was set off by Swati and Proverb, a couple of brothers who dropped a track that to me seemed a far cry from what the crowd had experienced throughout the course of the evening. What disappointed me about these two guys was that they performed with a pint of beer in one hand and almost spilled the contents onto the guy controlling the sound. Tongues took to the stage immediately after and stood seven Brethrens and Sistrens strong while engaging in a wordplay called 'Brainwatch'. I was a bit disappointed with their co-ordination and Mic control but overall, they represented. C4 Tupperware From Mars took to the stage immediately after Tongues and had the crowd cheering and swaying to their unconventional style of poetry over a clever array of beatbox sounds and rhyme style that had me thinking of Saul Williams. A dreamy lifted brother by the name of Anthony laced mind-provoking words that questioned the state of South African society. The segment was ended off by our host dropping one of the highlights of the evening, a tight joint hailing the holy 'erb which had the whole crowd singing along.
After the 'erb break the hosts proceeded to introduce the featured artists for the evening, Basemental Platform and 340ml. The collaboration of the two bands took the session to another level with a member of Aphrodite setting the stage with well-orchestrated words. Basemental Platform lived up to expectations and delivered what the crowd had been waiting for. After a series of intelligent verses and professional Mic handling Basemental Platform left the stage to a series of encores. 340 ml carried the session until the end with drum kicks and bass snares that had people twitching and drumming on tables. The band created vibes reminiscent of Jamiroquai in a smoke filled saloon.
Overall the evening was a success and, once again, everyone left with a satisfactory dosage of Hip-Hop. The day was a perfect choice for such an event and this should become a permanent fixture. My only concern was that we did not have sisters and brothers dropping neo-soul type songs and b-boy artists breaking to complete the artform. Open Mind Session is a top-notch Hip-Hop offering and more heads should participate to uplift Hip-Hop in South Africa.