Recently we interviewed Cap City upcoming artist Floydbest and during the interview the young rapper shed some light on VenRap, a movement that started a few years ago and that he said is currently being overlooked in the game. We dug deeper into VenRap speaking to the likes of Mureri Israel (Toofab manager), Nema Wamahunguni (Venrap Radio Manager) and people on the streets, that all had something to say about VenRap making its mark… let’s get straight into it..
Take us through the VenRap movement, how did it all start out? Nema Wamahunguni: It has always been there, its just that there were more oppressions towards people that were doing rap due to the stereotype about how bad we are and that we’re all about swearing & disrespecting other people. When I was just a kid around age 7 or 8, there was a guy called “Shaaba Muyahavho”who had dancing groups that would rap and dance at the same time. I was just a kid and I’d follow them around, watching them rap in English and Venda while they competed all around Venda. Back then rapping was not categorised as Motswako or Venrap, it was just rap. I would watch them rap and later go home to try it out, but I was not as good as they were but that didn’t hold me back.
With Divo Divenja made waves from the sides of “Makwarela”, as early as 95/96, we prayed and prayed that no matter what, our voices would one day be heard. Divo came with his aggressive gangsta rap, never scared of saying anything he felt he wanted to say. RIP to Divo the legend! In 2005 Bomo Unlimitered made history by being the first rapper to actually redefine the way people used to look at the genre. He dropped the track “Ndi Bomo Ido Mudadza”, which was being played everywhere from Venda to Cape Town. Wherever there was anyone from Venda, that song would be played and it was that song that introduced rap to the youth of Venda and showed them that it was possible to rap in Venda.
What’s the main objective behind the VenRap movement? Mureri Israel: Our purpose is to build a rap empire that will be able to dominate and be respected globally as a brand. We want to be able to express our feelings through music and not to be judged because of where we come from. We want to be respected and treated equally with other music genres.
The local hip hop industry is perceived as a hard platform for upcoming artists that can’t seem to find a voice to exploit their music.
If given the chance to change things how would you change our media systems? Nema & Israel: It is not hard, the problem is most artists are not patient and compromise quality for quantity. There is no funding backbone or educational workshops to educates artists on how to package and market themselves. Mpeiwa Thanyani & Ambani Innocent Kutama: If I was given a chance, I would teach artists about steps to take to build themselves as great artists and I would fight to get radios to play our local rap music. I would work hard to get government to throw their weight behind growing hip hop.
What values do you think make a successful hip hop artist? Phophi Mudau: Respect, creativity, studying & reading, allowing growth, passion, having goals, loving what you do, being business-minded and hustling with no limits…
Which upcoming artists should we be looking out for? Jimmy Netshilulu & Jonas Netshipise(Radio DJ @ Phalaphala fm): Toofab (Dopest Crew in Limpopo); Bomo Unlimitered (Winner of upcoming music awards 2013); Cjay The Don (Tshima Award winner 2013 *Best HipHop award*); Floydbest (Pretoria music award winner 2013 *Best rap award*); Mac J; Bamba; Mizophyll; Cashflow and Proheed.
Which local artists would you say are currently winning in the industry today? Tshepo Manyisa & Mureri Israel: Khuli Chana; AB Crazy; AKA & Da Les.
Any other projects that the VenRap movement is currently pursuing? Nema, Cashflow (Venrap radio DJs): We have our own online magazine and radio station. We’re also looking at starting a cartoon rap show. There is a VenRap music site by Cashflow on the way and a VenRap Tour currently in the pipelines…
One word that describes VenRap? Tshidammba (Original venda Hustler): HUSTLERS