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Words by Charles Rupare

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Open Mind Sessions Volume 5

The year is screeching to an end and a lot of us have seen and done things we are proud of and this we might choose to forget. I personally am proud of the superb revitalizing sessions that Organix introduced this year. Open Mind Sessions were without a doubt the best offering of 2001. Once again the venue was the Bassline in Melville and people came in droves to witness this 5th exciting event, billed as the last one for the year.

After long Muse consultations our hosts Bizmillah and Mollo Modise announced the start of a hypnotic journey filled with poetic downslides, vocal magnetism, mic annihilations and sound freeways. First on stage was a newcomer by the name of Paul who blessed the crowd with a pair of poems that set the mood for the evening. Hot on his heels was the ever confident Tristan who recited short but thought provoking words. Mollo announced the entrance of an intrepid MC by the name of Emphatic Tabs accompanied by Dave, a verocious mic strangler. Tabs and Dave proceeded to move the crowd with verbal deliveries that people asking for more. The unstoppable duo seemed to posses the fiery hunger that is becoming synonymous with J-Section MC's. The slot in between was filled by a Cat called Kali, who added a different flavour to the evening as he dropped a verse in German. He seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed because he swore a lot and struggled to freestyle.

Bizmillah introduced a jewel by the name of Black Symphony who dripped choco-coated syllables about her lover and the things they do. Her piece was well written and possessed eloquence that surpassed her age. Next on stage was a Mother of two by the name of Jenny who shared her experiences with foreigners and her son. It was quite refreshing to see the caliber of people that OMS is attracting. Jenny was followed by Righteous the Common Man who took the crowd on an onomatopoeic journey that was topped off by poetry about landlessness and reality. This was by far the poetic highlight of the evening and as a fan of drumming, Righteous the Common Man became righteous the thaumaturge. Master Sip connected the stitch in the OMS tapestry of poetic excellence as he spoke about antelopes eating pizzas and other wonderful collages of words. Sip was followed by Lebo, a Rosicrucian of a higher order, and I say this because her command of poetic Raphaelite set her apart from others, as she spoke about "these hands", specifically the hands of women who shape and mold our exsistence. Mpho sang a song titled Pluto's daughter, which echoed into the first intermission.

The second half was ignited by Keish, a regular OMS wordsmith whose words were deeper than 1, 2. Heads They Felt took over from Keish and went on to deliver a fluent track with on-point lyrics. A fourth female performer for the evening by the name of Modjaji Queen ascended the stage to cheers that showed much adoration. Her performance was excellent and the crowd responded with enthusiasm. Watching her and listening to her words transported me to the old days of Miriam Makeba and all the greats before her. MXO from Roots 2000 continued the journey and introduced the audience to a style of singing that had me reminiscing of D'Angelo and Bilal. Tumi a.k.a Fatboy took over from MXO and proceeded to bless all heads present with the illest Hip-Hop performance of the evening. Accompanying Tumi was Jurassic Marc and the band and as expected, this Kelis MC tore the roof off and cemented his place in OMS history as a true mind opener and a superior MC.

After a short break, Mozambican born Jabs Trio took a detour from the norm and introduced the audience to a live sound that was mellow and deep as it filled the venue and mixed with the smoke from the green 'erb. Mollo interrupted proceedings with a mood dampening announcement that due to persistent graffiti tagging in toilets the management of Bassline decided not to host OMS in the future as they had warned heads about this. I say to whoever tarnished the image of OMS: please do not destroy what is not yours! We love OMS and if you have twitchy hands then go tag where the sun don't shine! After this appalling display of unopened minds, Mollo introduced Sami, a songbird with the ability to enthrall the darkest of minds. Her beautiful voice and delivery traced euphony that had me thinking of Billy Holiday and Nina Simone. I thoroughly enjoyed her performance and at one point, the highs and lows sent shivers through my body and I could see the same reaction in the audience as she gracefully bowed off to an eclectic clapping.

Em Ne Gee brought the audience back from galaxy farsights with their brand of ekasi Hip-Hop as they fused English with Zulu and other languages. The ever-popular C4 Tupperware from Mars took to stage with humour-fused poetry. Although their delivery did not excite me, Makgabe shined bright as he beat-boxed his way to OMS glory. Shorty Skills blessed the audience with a popular track that had the audience singing along. Soul Fire Town resumed the live sound presence and took the audience on a journey filled with Saxophone melodies and guitar rhapsodies. Optical Illusion set 3rd eyes fluttering and they optically fed the crowd their brand of Hip-Hop. Ex Ghetto Ruff recording artist Wanda honored OMS with her sweet voice and was then joined by a fellow Ghetto Luv member who tried to rap, but could not quite match the previous performers. 5th floor, accompanied by Dave rounded off the Hip-Hop segment with a performance that surpassed their debut at OMS last month.

To end this exciting and underground star studded session, OMS revealed its trump card for the evening in the form of world-renowned musician Gito Baloi, who was accompanied by the Jabs Trio. Gito let lose the muse of music as he seduced and flirted with his bass guitar and added a touch of authenticity and recognition to OMS. Gito's performance was off the hook and I still could not believe that he was performing at OMS!!

Overall, the show was fantastic and I'm sure all those present left with a satisfied grin on their faces. 2001 is drawing to an end and OMS has created an outlet for heads and the alternative culture community to meet and enjoy a day out. We hope we will have OMS next year and to Organix (Kenny and Eric), keep pushing Kush and show dem industry heads that we can make things happen on our own and help underground artists taste the fruits of their labour

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