Asylum Nights: Gaborone’s Hottest Hip Hop Event

Those who are thirsty for an event rooted in raw, urban and unrestrained rap culture, look no further than the city’s currently buzzing hip hop spot, Asylum Nights. While many dismiss Hip Hop as a pastime for hoodlums, some have recognized its value and contribution to urban culture.  On the evening of July 6, the budding event hosted an energetic show on the foyer of the event’s venue, Razzmatazz Bar in Gaborone West, Phase 2.

Every Monday night, Hip Hop lovers gather for some lyrical boom-bap and rhymes from both established and upcoming rappers. The event is the brainchild of Samora ‘MonoRac’ Nthobatsang, who co-hosts the show with Thabo ‘Touch’ Rantao. “The idea is to create an open platform for the Hip Hop culture where exhibitions, partnerships and Hip Hop oriented businesses can flourish. We are doing this through ‘Music Is Us’ in collaboration with other stakeholders,” explained Nthobatsang.

Kick starting the show were Touch and MonoRac who warmed up the crowd with rhymes on thumping beats and the audience bobbing their heads. The little bonfires were quite a treat for the audience as the night was viciously chilly.

With an impressive turnout, nearly a hundred, the show packed a lot of energy from start to finish. Two sets of the show are reserved for performances while the main feature is the rap battles. This last show was branded ‘Femcee Night’ in honour of women rappers who ply their trade in the industry. Female rappers such as Danielle Swagger, Porsche and KayCee took to the stage and legendary femcee, Desma ‘Ice Queen’ Basson, grabbed the spotlight and had many cheering to her hard edged delivery.

Speaking on the highlights so far, Nthobatsang mentioned that the presence and support of legendary artists was invaluable. “Tonight Pongo Rista and Ice Queen thrilled the show. It’s really important for them to boost our shows with that level of quality so that emerging rappers see what is expected of them,” explained Nthobatsang. “Some challenges we faced were obtaining sponsors, changing the general perception about Hip Hop culture and media platforms to get our show out there,” he added.

Rap battles had many on their feet, anticipating cut throat rhymes. “There’s a battle every Monday and this will carry on until August where we will host a final battle. The winner takes away a record deal, two videos and a photoshoot,” said Nthobatsang.

“We need to bring Hip Hop back to the streets, this is where it all started and this is how a genuine culture is grown,” commented performer Ice Queen.
“I really enjoyed myself, it’s a refreshing show and it shows there’s a lot of talent,” said one of the attendees, Karabo.