Urban Music Festival 2008

2008-04-15 17:25
First up was Leanne and Lungi who were quite average, so we won’t bore you with the details. Loyiso, however, is no curtain raiser. The man is showstopper material. From his semi-funky outfit to his well-rehearsed moves, LB takes his R&B artistry seriously. Suave and professional, the Mzansi crooner gripped the audience from the moment he stepped on stage until the very last song which happened to be his hit “I want you” featuring the talented rapper Obita. It was mad crazy, even the V.I.P (Very Important Posers) were shaking what their mamas gave them. Loyiso sure did Mzansi proud with his world-class performance and deserved as much respect as the international acts.

With Mzansi’s opening acts out of the way, it was American classically-trained musicians, Black Violin’s turn in the spotlight. Now these brothers - Kev Marcus and Wil-B - give hip-hop a really special edge and were just off the hinges. While they play original as well as old and new school hip-hop classics on violin their DJ, TK creates a magical synergy between classical and Hip-Hop music. We were bumping and jiving to hits from 50 cent, Lauryn Hill, Fugees, Jay Z, Biggie Smalls and even jammed to some reggae dancehall with Damian Marley’s “Jam Rock” all delivered classical style. It was on fire and the crowd just couldn’t get enough. It was a night to remember.

Until Fat Joe came on stage. Average Joe should have been billed before Black Violin or even right after Leanne and Lungi. His tepid ‘thug’ act was quite an anti-climax after the lingering high Black Violin had ignited. Fat Joe was all guns and no roses. The ladies were certainly not impressed with the foul mouthed rapper. Still, his ancient hit featuring the late rapper Big Pun and R&B crooner Joe, “Don’t wan to be a player no more” managed to get the crowd moving again, but just for a while before it was back to gun shots and a whole lot of incoherent noise.

Whether you’re a fan or not Senegalese born singer Akon, sure knows how to keep his fans entertained. His DJ, decked in a funky Mohawk slightly resembling rapper Kanye West was quite a delight. Dressed in green Scottish garb - quilt and all - he introduced Akon on stage and kept the crowd entertained with his crazy shenanigans and dance moves. Akon might not have the greatest voice on earth but it was clear that people came to see him. As he romped through hit songs like “Ghetto” and “Don’t matter (I got you)” the crowd was singing along word for word. Mr Man also had plenty of surprises for the ladies. When he sang “I’m in love with a stripper” the ex-convict did a little strip-tease before throwing himself amongst the crowd where hungry ladies actually tried to pull his pants off! Urban music mania had hit the Mother City in a big way.

- Gugulethu Mkhabela

Even though we didn’t understand why Good Hope Centre was the chosen venue for a high profile Mother City event like the Urban Music festival featuring Akon and Fat Joe - people came anyway. It wasn’t as packed as expected but Akon fans - yes, mostly female - came in numbers, braving the cold in their bootylicious minis and cleavage-baring tops. Good Hope Centre was pimped into a swanky MTV joint with an exclusive V.I.P lounge and bar area. The lighting was perfect, the stage and sound was top-n

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