In a resounding crescendo of beats and rhymes, Hennessy, the world’s leading cognac brand, left an indelible mark on the African hip-hop scene during the historic “Back To The City” festival on Saturday 07 October 2023, solidifying its commitment to hip-hop culture. The festival, hailed as Africa’s largest hip-hop celebration, took centre stage on Mary Fitzgerald Square, Johannesburg and became a pivotal chapter in Hennessy’s ongoing celebrations of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary in South Africa.
The festival featured unforgettable performances by US artists such as Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Beatnuts and J Live alongside the hottest South African artists, 25K, Touchline, Thato Saul, Gigi Lamayne among many others. DJ Ready D, Stogie T, A-Reece, Moozlie, Kid X, Kwesta, Maggz, Ginger Trill, and Nadia Nakai were part of the “Hennessy Moment” a dynamic live experience that celebrated and embodied the essence of hip hop through stunning performances, captivating visuals, and immersive stage production that crowned the night and left attendees in awe.
Just like last year which marked the inception of Hennessy and Back To The City’s partnership, the who’s who of South African hip-hop and street culture such as MkayFrash, L.Tido, JR, DJ Sabby and more enjoyed the festival from the Hennessy VIP area. The Hennessy Boombox Viewing Deck offered festival goers the opportunity to enjoy Hennessy cocktails with the best view of the stage. Inside the Boombox, the Interactive “Letter to Hip-Hop” offered participants a chance to write their personal messages to hip-hop for inclusion in the South African Hip-Hop Museum.
This year’s edition of Back To The City was one of many global events celebrating 50 years of hip-hop, highlighting the brand’s longstanding association with the genre. “We are thrilled to be a part of Back to The City once again, celebrating the vibrant hip-hop culture that continues to inspire and unite people across the globe,” said Lungile Mpharu, Brand Manager at Hennessy. “Our longstanding commitment to hip-hop is a testament to our belief in the power of music and the arts to shape culture and bring people together.”
Popular South African rapper A-Reece expressed enthusiasm for Hennessy’s continued collaboration with the festival. “Hennessy’s support for hip-hop goes beyond mere sponsorship; it reflects a genuine admiration for the culture. This is evident through their global initiatives, such as collaborating with Grammy-Award winning icon Nas to launch a limited-edition Hennessy V.S bottle commemorating the 50th anniversary of the genre, as well as locally supporting the Back To The City festival. I am truly honoured to be a part of the Hennessy family,” said A-Reece.
“Hennessy’s involvement adds a unique dimension to Back To The City, and we are proud to have them by our side,” said Osmic Menoe, the founder and director of Back To The City, the South African Hip-Hop Museum, and the South African Hip-Hop Awards.
The partnership with Back To The City reaffirms the brand’s dedication to supporting talent and cultural movements across the spectrum of art forms and genres. Beyond hip-hop, Hennessy continues to champion creativity, innovation, and the enduring spirit of artistic expression.