From the streets of New York City to the stage in Gabs City, international hip hop artist Ja Rule put on a rock star performance over the weekend, but failed to outshine popular South African motswakolista Khuli Chana. Headlining the biggest hip hop show ever to hit the country – dubbed The Big Bang – Ja Rule simply did not move the crowd as much as Khuli Chana and his fellow brothers- in-Motswako Towdee Mac and KayGee did.
The Big Bang featuring Ja Rule 2014 was held at Lions Park resort in Gaborone on Saturday following a four-month hype. Ja rule, who got on stage around 0230 hours started off with lesser known songs, which confused the crowd a little. However, the masses went buck wild when he performed all the hits including Always on Time, Mezmerize, Wonderful and I’m real. At the climax of his routine, Ja took his shirt off and threw his face towel into the unsuspecting crowd, a la US rapper style. Just this one move sent the attendees, particularly the ladies, into a hip hop craze. For some, seeing Ja Rule live was a dream-come-true as this publication spotted a few faces that looked more dazed and fascinated than they were excited.
Khuli Chana was however the crème de la crème of the show as he brought the house down with his lively performance and stage. The cherry on top of the cake, for many Motswako lovers, was the routine with the energetic Morafe crew Towdee Mac and Kaygee. Some of the songs they performed were The Whole Thang, Hape le Hape and Konka just to name a few.
Speaking to one gentleman who preferred to be called Markavellie, he expressed mixed reactions, “I am a huge Ja Rule fan. He gave us all the hits, which was absolutely amazing. But problem was that he spent half the time talking rather than performing. That whole RIP Aaliyah, Tupac and Biggie tribute thing was nice and touching, but I did not pay all that money to attend a memorial service! Less talking and more rapping is what I am trying to say. But at the end of the day I am glad I got to see one of my childhood icons perform live.”
The night started off seemingly slow with the chilly weather threatening to dampen the mood. However, it picked up pace around 8pm when local hip hop sensation Drama Boi hopped on stage, one of the few acts that managed to get the cold and unresponsive crowd up from their camp chairs.
The lineup was colored with a healthy number of local artists and Djs including Dj Root, Vee, Trauma, Team Distant, Dj Unanimous 1, Dj Kuchi, Linxstar and many others. The crowd movers and shakers were popular hip hop Djs Khenzo and Kellz as well as South African Sizwe Dhlomo whose kwaito set had everyone on the dance floor, minutes after Botswana’s favorite musician Vee failed to do so.
The G-boyz Entertainment team’s efforts were commendable as they followed up on their promise to beef up security, as the police was visible from the entrance right to the stage and the strangely located VIP tents.