HYPE stands by its TOP 50 lists

So, by now y’all have see the Twitter quake we caused with the top 50 lists, most notably the TOP 50 SA rappers list. We have noted everyone’s comments – the good, bad and the ugly. We respect every single opinion. We knew that publishing this list would cause controversy. Simply because there is no calculation or science when it comes to measuring the impact, influence, skill, technique, and overall colossal as an MC.

When we started our journey with these lists, we called on some people who chose to remain anonymous out of fear of attack from the general public (because let’s face it, we have the REALEST and most opinionated fans as a hip hop culture). We also called on the public to help us collate the lists and what resulted was a top 50.

HYPE stands by its Top 50, and the only thing that I regret is not being in the YFM studio myself last night to help my colleague Fred Kayembe manage the onslaught. And let me just mention something important… some of those attacking Fred and HYPE were the same people that told me to my face that our list was good. So what does that say about our hip hop familia? That we lie to each other’s faces and then talk smack when the lights come on and the show begins? Or that we like ganging up against one person when we’re in a group setting and then behave in the opposite way with that person the next day? But I’m a professional about my business so I’m not going to dwell on the negative. Being here for the past 7 years, I know that rappers catch feelings when it comes to being rated in any kind of way. We have to respect that. This is their livelihood, their heart, their soul. We need to give them room to breathe.

What is true is that every rapper believes they are the best. They’ll justify it with their awards, nominations, album sales, accolades, tours, performance game, lyrical capabilities, hell they’ll even justify by the amount of groupies they have. What is important to note is that we all have our own opinions that are subjective. What is true to you may not be true to the next man. Everyone roots for different artists. If everyone loved every single rapper and hip hop was filled with cute little pink bows and sunshine, then rappers would be selling huge amounts of records and selling out shows – and nobody would ever disagree. But this is hip hop y’all.

We did not set out to create controversy, nor did we want to anger any rappers. It’s our 50th issue so the list was us saying: “cheers to 50 of Mzansi’s greatest rappers”. We love Hip Hop and all the players, whether no 1, 50 or 245…it is not about a list. So let’s build together in the name of hip hop and keep it moving.


Editor, HYPE


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