REVIEW: DON’T STOP THE HOP

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Photo credit: Don’t Stop The Hop Facebook page

The holiday may be over but that didn’t stop everyone from coming out to celebrate Hip Hop at the first Don’t Stop the Hop event that took place on Saturday 1 August at Trenchtown, Observatory.

Don’t Stop the Hop was hosted by my friends Jason Cloete and Robin ‘Gatti’ Raizenberg. The event kicked off with a bang and the evening’s festivities unfolded as follows:

The event kicked off at 7pm (we got there quite early, being eager beavers and all). We ordered some drinks and were just in time to catch local rappers Mvula Drae and Toni’s soundcheck. The DJ line-up included the likes of Snax, Deco, Tiny T, Uncle Luke and Battle Axe.

Fresh and spirited, the crowd came pouring in. All dressed up in vintage gear and sneakers, taking full advantage of the drink specials. The dance floor was soon filled with hip hop lovers, bobbing their heads to new and old school hits such as Warren G’s ‘Regulate’ and Fetty Wap’s ‘Trap Queen’. There were regular chants of ‘Don’t stop the hop!” between sets. Local clothing brand, SWEN had a pop-up store so everyone could purchase some dope threads.

Two performers in particular drew me in and I found myself standing in front of the stage, completely captivated, eyes closed as I soaked in their lyrics. Dope Saint Jude is one of the performers that caught my attention. She’s a rapper and activist from Elsies River (this is also where Don’t Stop the Hop hosts, Jason and Gatti grew up). She uses her music to address controversial topics such as race, homosexuality and feminism. Dope Saint Jude is an active volunteer within her community and aims to use her music as a tool to make a positive impact by influencing young minds. Her stage presence is confident as she spits meaningful lyrics and tells the crowd her story.

Rapper and feminist, Dope Saint Jude. Photo Credit: Ricardo Marcus K
Rapper and feminist, Dope Saint Jude.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Marcus K

Mvula Drae is a rapper and vocalist for metal/rap band, CCProject. He’s performed at well-known clubs such as Fiction and has also been on Bush Radio. Mvula Drae represents SWEN Clothing (South West East North), a street label influenced by Cape Town’s hip hop culture. His 12-track mixtape titled Listen to the Lyrics (LTTL) is to be released later this month (August 2015). I legit can’t stop listening to his awesome track ‘Awho Awha’, which he dropped last year and also performed at Don’t Stop the Hop on Saturday. Have a listen to it on his Soundcloud.

The event was a huge success. Host Gatti was asked what he would like to see take place at the next Don’t Stop the Hop event and had the following to say, “I would like to see artists get more exposure because of this, as well as [the movement] to be influential. I also think it’s helped get rid of a lot of egos that comes with the genre.”

Don’t Stop the Hop certainly put me in a good mood for the week. If you’re feeling nostalgic or just have a hectic case of FOMO, listen to Tiny T’s Don’t Stop the Hop mix here.

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