Teargas for the past few years has become one of the most resonating hip hop groups locally and internationally. One prominent characteristic about the group members is their business and empire mentalities. From local to international award nominations and wins to Cashtime Fam, Now Or Never Nites and Hansa Legends Tours, it’s evident these brothers are forces to be reckoned with.
Most recently, Bantu Hanabe aka Ntukza has taken on a very bold task of starting his own African Top 50 music chart. Afribizcharts.com was established in early 2010 but I only caught onto its fire this year after seeing constant link updates on Twitter. “The most central reason for starting the online company was due to the fact that many of our African artists do not have an intercontinental chart where they can contest at a high level”, reads the background on the site. It is true that Africans do not know each other’s music well enough and this chart will serve the purpose of bridging the gap. This is the first of its kind in Africa and much responsibility lies on the team responsible to carry out this great vision and task.
There are future plans of turning it into a Top 100 eventually but before that the main mission is to make the music accessible to the world. This is where the new online music store comes in. Music of artists on the charts will be sold as downloads for $1.00. How the music download store on the website works is that every registered user will be enabled to have an account to which they will load money/points on from any bank account as long as their accounts have the VISA emblem on it. When a registered user clicks on any artist song they will be lead to all compositions of the said musician. This move is to break the channel for music in Africa as there is nowhere else anyone can access it easily.
This venture is not for the weak-hearted and if you know Ntukza both personally and lyrically you would pick up his resilient and persistent attitude to tip things over. He plans to open an office and branch into bigger avenues through this chart and is not hasty about its growth as he is aware of the initiation Afribizcharts.com has to go through in order to stand bigger as a business.
When coming to statistics, from January to May 2012 there have been 550 000 hits, making that over 3000 people visiting the site per month. With 2 500 visitors to the site for May alone, one can tell there is a hunger for such an initiative. Check out the chart which is updated weekly on www.afribizcharts.com and follow them on Twitter @Afribizcharts for updates on entries and shuffles on the chart.
(These stats were tweeted 14th May 2012, from the Afribizcharts account)
Whoever said that rappers have no brains was clearly on the wrong jets!