Hip-hop lovers welcome the new show on the student radio station.

Voice of Wits (VoW) FM has launched a new hip-hop show called Voice of Hip Hop to give aspiring rappers the opportunity to showcase their skills while educating the youth on the genre.

”There are these negative connotations about hip-hop; [that] it’s about these people that do drugs and sag their pants, throw gang signs and cuss, so we are trying to demystify that,” said the producer of the show and marketing officer of VoW FM, Tumisho Noto. ”There isn’t much information on hip-hop in South Africa, so we saw the problem and we are providing a solution.”

The launch event, on Tuesday, August 27, was scheduled to include performances, rap battles, educational talks and visual performances but due to technical difficulties it was cancelled.

Noto said that the sprinklers went off at the Library Lawns where the event was scheduled, which delayed the set-up and after setting up there was a problem with the power supply for the speakers. VoW was unable to continue with the event, as the time scheduled for the event had passed.

The radio show, on Tuesdays 20:00 to 22:00, will include discussions on music and business-related news about the hip-hop industry on topics such as record deals and sales.

It will include a segment called ‘Spelling B’ which will decode slang words used in hip-hop and another feature called ‘The Gear five’, which will only play music by upcoming rappers.

The show will also showcase aspiring rappers’ skills by hosting rap cyphers, which are gatherings of rappers who take turns in freestyle rapping.

South African rapper, Stilo Magolide, who was scheduled to perform at the Library Lawns said the new show ”is very immense and especially for students to have a platform that is easily accessible to showcase [themselves] as an artist and present [their] craft”.

Although the activation was cancelled, aspiring rappers were given the opportunity to freestyle rap on air at VOW, with Magolide and Shaun Myeza, promotions specialist at Sony Music Entertainment Africa, serving as judges.

”If we want young people to go to the next level, we as the big players in the game need to be involved at the grassroots,” said Myeza.

Three rappers participated in the cypher which had two rounds.

Tumisho Sefoka, one of the participants rapped: “My mom so stressed about me, She hits me up and nags me stressing that I should study that music won’t make me money,”  adding, “I’ve been stressing about myself. Feel like nobody loves me, Ain’t no lie I’ve been falling behind, tried to audition for idols and then they turned a blind eye, the rejection just left me so cold inside.”

“The cyphers were dope and each rapper was talented. Hip-hop culture in South Africa is in a good place and is constantly growing,” Magolide told Wits Vuvuzela.

Reneilwe  ‘Boss P’ Maupye, a second-year BSc student who was crowned the winner of the cypher said, “Today proved to me what I have always been claiming, that I’m the best, I’m a woman of power, I am a real Boss.”

The construction studies student told Wits Vuvuzela that “Winning has motivated me to write more and record songs so I can be on more platforms like this. Being a female rapper in the industry is really hard. Hustling isn’t easy because most producers out there are men. So when they see a female rapper they see prey like they are predators.”

Magolide said he chose Boss P in honour of women’s month and her being the only female rapper at the cypher.

This did not go down well with the other rappers. “I personally feel I should have won,” said first-year BA student Sefoka, adding that Maupye winning because it is women’s month was “not an adequate reason”.

FEATURED IMAGE: Stilo Magolide announces the winner of the rap cypher in the VOW FM studio.     Photo: Lwazi Maseko