Criteria to judge an Artist

March 17, 2022

TowdeeMac [wa Morafe] is known for giving #BackstageLectures to assist artists better themselves and not only work on their Music but on their Brand as whole.

This article focuses on one question that he posed on his platform. Lesego Ginger Dithebe then broke down the answer in a very delicate manner that is beneficial to any artist who is serious about their growth in the industry

TowdeeMac: What criteria do you use to judge whether a song, project or artist brand is worth your money?

Lesego Ginger Dithebe:

I don’t use the same criteria…

1. Single – For me, it has to be commercially viable, but, and this “but” is important… It has to have a unique concept, and/or sound.

A lot of songs are commercially viable, especially in the current state of the music industry. So, for me to find it worth money, it has to stand out.

Like maybe hardcore lyrics with soft flows over a dance beat, or a powerful message created over laid back sounds.

Sometimes it’s just the hook and the instrumentals that sell it to me.

2. Project – Sonic progression, titling, repeat value, and a fair number of hits.

When I listen to an album, it shouldn’t feel like I’m listening to singles that were compiled together and released as a project. I need direction. I need to feel that the artist was working within a specific frame of mind. The tracks should compliment each other even if maybe the concepts are different.

And the transition from track one to track two, and so forth, should be smooth. I don’t want the arrangement to be all over the place.

I need a minimum of four commercial hits. For commercial hits, you can refer to my criteria on singles.

The names also matter a lot to me. I see it as branding. If someone doesn’t know you and your music, the titles of the songs on the sleeve should be intriguing enough to catch their attention.

Most importantly, the album should be worth a repeat…

3. Artist – This is a hard one because I need an artist who understands himself/herself as a person, first. It helps to maintain consistency and make meaningful music.

I also need versatility and ability to adapt. The music industry is forever changing, so I need someone who can move with it, but… This is the part where understanding yourself also comes in. Adapt to new sounds without changing the core of your artistry.

A bit like Thebe Lenyora. He killed Amapiano collaborations, but in almost the same style that he used on Kwaito back in the days, and some House projects over the years.

He didn’t necessarily change his style, but he was able to adapt to new sounds.

Discipline and an open mind also matter to me.


#VaalHipHop Breakthrough to Mainstream Industry | We Are Closer Than We Think

March 12, 2022

So close yet so so far. These are the words that resonate with almost every #VaalHipHop Artist whenever they drop new Music. The reach has now extended to Mainstream Television, Mainstream Radio, the Streams are growing, even gigging outside Vaal. However, when it comes to topping charts, Music Awards, necessary Headlines in the Music Industry, including Mainstream Events, our absence is very loud. 

Without a shadow of doubt our Music can shake the world, however, there is a lot that is still not in place in terms of structure, as well as the Business side of things. 

Amongst many of these things, allow me to touch on just one in particular, and that is a Key Record Label to put the talent forth so that it can reach where it should be or needs to be. I am talking about a Mabala Noise, Ambitious Entertainment, Outrageous Records, 999 Music, Kalawa-Jazmee, Ghetto Ruff, Afrotainment, Native Rhythms, that is Vaal based. 

The theory is also evident in studying independent American Record Labels, such as Death Row Records, Bad Boy Entertainment, Ruthless Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, Ruff Ryders, Murder-Inc, Aftermath, Loud Records, No Limit Records, just to name but a few. These are independent Record Labels who managed to partner with major Distributors to enable their MUSIC to be released on a larger Mainstream platform beyond their personal reach. 

The Vaal does have independent Record Labels who are really putting in the work that is very noticeable in the Industry; the likes of EasternVille Music, MoneyWay Records, Raw Music Group, Ground Level Up Entertainment. However, the truth of the matter is, one common factor behind the success of most of the aforementioned independent Record Labels [both locally and abroad] is a major funding behind them. Funding is  a major key to unlock the required resources for #VaalHipHop Artists to make a breakthrough in the mainstream industry. 

A lot of Record Labels are being run from the depths of our pockets, whereby the pockets are not really that deep, or even deep at all. Simple things such as the ability to attend Radio Interviews in Johannesburg at night are a real hustle, never mind the gigs, and just doing basic hustling at the doors of the National Broadcasters and Associations. 

A lot of events happen at night and something as basic as transportation is still a stumbling block. I haven’t even touched on paying for PR and Marketing, Branding, as well as Graphic Designers to ensure that whatever we put out is on point and attractive to the eye. At this point, doing a National Tour is an impossible task, not to even mention a local tour in the Vaal to take the music straight to the people. 

We don’t have the Motsepe Money, or even the Drug Money as most Hip-Hop Affiliated Record Labels claim in their lyrics,  required to push us to be where we need to be. It’s going to be a long way up to the top, but eventually we’ll break the code. We’re a lot closer to the price than we think. 



March 12, 2022

It’s a great honour to announce that Zuko Motloung has won BEST GRAPHICS DESIGNER in the Gauteng Province at the Mzansi Arts and Media Awards 2021/2022. Zuko has been the most hardworking Graphic Designer in the Region, and the Main Key 🔑 behind many campaigns and Promos that became a success due his touch of bringing concepts to life. One of the notable success cases being the 𝗜𝗖𝗘 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗝𝗘𝗖𝗧 𝗠𝗢𝗥𝗧𝗔𝗟 𝗞𝗢𝗠𝗕𝗔𝗧 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗡𝗩𝗜𝗟𝗟𝗘 𝗠𝗨𝗦𝗜𝗖 & 𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗞𝗢𝗥 & a lot of album art for local artists such as Golden Shovel (James Logan) Father Teq (Gumbafaya) and many more. He was the Head Photographer/Videographer at the #VaalHipHop Master Class Sessions that were held at AFRO-BRU Maboneng on the 5th of September and 7th of November.

Zuko is also part of the online Digital #VaalHipHop Magazine – Pyramid, and man who designed the website https://pyramidmagazine.co.za/

His work truly speaks for itself, and it is without a doubt that a deserving winner of the award. Grateful to everyone who casted their votes to ensure that he brings it home.

Follow more of his work on the website below:https://zukomotloung.co.za/



March 12, 2022


It’s a great honour to announce that the #VaalHipHop Master Class that was held at the AFRO-BRU Maboneng Precinct hosted by Rashid Kay and Samke Mhlongo has won an award for BEST EVENT in the Gauteng Province at the Mzansi Arts and Media Awards for 2021/2022. This is the first official Award for the #VaalHipHop collectively as a movement, and thus making it now an Award Winning Movement.

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all the Artists and Acts who took part in the event and made it a success.

A GREAT THANK YOU and greatest gratitude to everyone who took time to vote! In the words of the 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗽𝗮, “Let’s rally up a couple of friends and HIJACK THE INDUSTRY”.


#VaalHipHop Logo

February 21, 2022

#VaalHipHop Logo

There was once a time when we built for others to inherit. The time has come now for us to build our own so we can inherit the fruits of our labour, and get all the credit. In a journey of establishing our mark in the Music Industry, and a Voice for #VaalHipHop to be recognized as a movement, a key symbol that will serve as a Point of Identification had to be established.

The #VaalHipHop logo/emblem is a visual, aesthetically pleasing element that triggers positive recall about the movement as a brand that the individual artists alone might not achieve.

The Official #VaalHipHop Logo/emblem is available to everyone to use moving forward on anything that has to do or is related to #VaalHipHop, i.e. Artwork for Songs/Albums/Projects, Event Flyers/Posters, Promotions, Electronic Press Kits [EPK], Profiles/Bios, absolutely anything that has to do with #VaalHipHop should have the logo/emblem stamped on it.

Forward your requests to kheswatv@gmail.com in order to obtain the High Resolution and different formats for usage, at no cost [Available for FREE].

History was written for future generations to learn about the past. Today we exist in a TIME when history is made. History in the making, in fact, it’s Legendary – NOW AND STILL AFTER [NASA].

In the words of the Great Grandmaster Mothipa, “Let’s Hijack The Industry”.

𝗡𝗕: 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗼𝗴𝗼 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝗜𝘁𝘂 𝗟𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗮.