The 2nd Edition of #VaalHipHop Master Class was yet another great success, and all the artists who managed to come through obtained a platform to perform their sets, and showcase their talent.

I’d like to forward my humble regards to everyone who continues to show love and support for the movement, including artists, supporters, followers, DJs, writers, and hustlers, all for the love of #VaalHipHop.

Wishing Rashid Kay a speedy recovery, as he couldn’t come through due to illness, but we still managed to get the show moving with OG Samke. That alone is a testimony of beating against the odds and signs of true Leadership, where the foundation that is set by Rashid is growing

Many still wonder the reason behind these sessions. I am not at liberty to speak for the bigger movement, as my answer is limited to #VaalHipHop specifically.

First and foremost, it hurts to see young and talented artists without direction in the industry they wish to pursue. Secondly, money (including payment) will always be an issue that cuts deep, especially to those who do this to put food on the table and not just for the fun of it.

To address the former, blowing up only in our hood (Vaal in this case) and only be known in our area, is something we need to work against. We need to break the barriers of our own neighborhood and participate in the larger scale of the industry, where we’ll be able to make a mark and a contribution in the entire #SAHipHop industry (across the country). Johannesburg has always been the center of the entire country’s Entertainment Hub, and a key to open up conversations in the Music Industry to look in our direction.

Everyone comes from all the four corners of the country to reside in Johannesburg, so that they can breakthrough. So taking the whole #VaalHipHop movement to the center of the Joburg State, is not just about fun and games, but a piece of a bigger puzzle being put together.

To address the latter, it takes money to make money. Sounds very cliche doesn’t it? But no corporation will invest in a DREAM PRODUCT. Everyone has Dreams, but it’s not everyone who can make a DREAM into a REALITY. In order words, you need to invest in yourself first in order to turn yourself into a valuable asset, and only then you can be in a position to PRICE your Services, based on the Value you Bring on the Table.

This has nothing to do with EXPOSURE being used a CURRENCY to pay Artists.

It’s important to do a self-assessment on the current position we’re in, and be true to ourselves about it. Nobody cares about #VaalHipHop except those who are active in the #VaalHipHop movement. Every region has its own movement, with greatly talented artists who have potential to shake the industry. It’s not just the talent that will get us noticed, but it’s the manner in which WE PUT IN THE WORK, that will make a DIFFERENCE.

You don’t get PAID before putting in the work, you have to WORK FIRST, and then get paid after, based on the WORK you put in. Even though nobody is making money from these sessions, in fact, they’re taking money out of all our pockets because we’re still in the building PHASE where we have to invest in ourselves first before someone else can see VALUE in us to put MONEY ON THE TABLE, payment still comes in different forms. And one key form of payment these TWO EVENTS has created is OPPORTUNITY! (Not EXPOSURE).

Those artists who managed to capitalize with the RESOURCES that we brought forward to their disposal at the event, managed to create opportunities for themselves to ADVANCE their Music Careers to the next step. It’s not just about being on Stage and Performing, or your song playing on Radio, but valuable CONNECTIONS that will give you ACCESS to the MUSIC INDUSTRY, by connecting you with the right people.

We all have to start somewhere. It’s always better to start than wait for a MIRACLE or a savior. When the lineup for the 1st show was announced, it was a first in a very long time in the history of #VaalHipHop to have such a lineup. It was also the first Hip-Hop show in 2021, due to COVID-19, to have such a lineup. And that alone created a moment in History.

It was up until the success of the show that the #SAHipHop industry started to gain interest in #VaalHipHop, looking our direction to see what’s coming next. Now that we got their attention, what are we going to do about it? It’s all in our hands.

Those who never made it felt left out. The BAD NEWS is: The Platform is LIMITED. The GOOD NEWS is: The Platform is LIMITED. The LIMITATION of the Platform creates a VALUE that you need to be doing something to deserve a chance to be PUT ON! And this opportunity is not only given to a chosen few, but everyone is given a FAIR & EQUAL chance to participate. The 2nd Edition was PROOF of that.

The ball is now in our court. We are at the center where we have Spectators watching us, Cheerleaders, those who doubt us, those who don’t believe in us, those who want to see us succeed, those who can’t wait to see us fail, those who are just observing how we move, those who are inspired by us, those who are irritated by us. They are all watching.

It’s up to us to live up to the prophecy of our Great Grandmaster Mothipa, “Let’s rally up and HIJACK THE INDUSTRY!”

“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it”.

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