There have been some not so flattering opinions about the South African Music Awards since the longtime former title sponsor that shall not be named pulled out a few years ago. Questions of quality, production, legitimacy and even fairness. And though it is a healthy practice to keep questioning the committees that represent arts and public opinion, after last night’s 2015 SAMA XXI, one is hard pressed to label the awards anything but dope.
First thing’s first: HHP the best host the SAMAs has ever had; let’s just get that out of the way. The big homie was funny, entertaining, energetic, musical (who the hell knew Jabba could sing like Celine Dion?), rocked a phat rope chain and a Kangol hat, and completely engaged the crowd; all of this while staying true to his Motswakolista persona and bringing an element of hip hop to the diverse public.
The production this year was relatively modest and more intimate, but simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. The stage and lights achieved what they needed to, with artists making smooth transitions between performances. Of the most hair-raising of the night were the collaborations between The Soil and Wouter Kellerman and Prime Circle and Cassper Nyovest, which were so well put together they made everyone in the crowd do the nae-nae in through out. But the most impressive show, if we’re honest, came from Jeremy Loop, who put on a Wayne Brady-like performance using a loop an mpc loop machine while also playing guitar and harmonica.
From AKA’s 11 push ups celebration, to Cassper’s very green outfit, to our newly discovered South African Riana, and the homie from AKing who cussed like a drunken sailor when he won, SAMA XXI was very entertaining.
When it came down to it, Beatenberg walked away as the victors winning a total of 5 awards, followed by instrumentalist and Grammy winner Wouter Kellman, who took away 4.
Last year the best rap album award was given out during the non-broadcast part of the show like we were an adopted child receiving the dregs after the mains had eaten. This year, hip hop was not only the most nominated category across all categories, it was also the most anticipated. And this mirrored in the wins. 2015 marks the first time that a hip hop song has won Record of the Year. Also, Ringo lost to a hip hop artist, which, when you consider that ‘world music’ almost always comes up on top, is quite mindblowing.
Big up to the artists and entire hip hop community; the nation knew we were in the building last night, and forever!
A big that you to Amstel for the having our backs for the entire V.I,P experience! Make sure you follow them on @AmstelSA on Twitter and Instgram and keep up to date with all the dope things they’re about to do!