When you talk about a hip hop event in Uganda then you have got to expect dope beats, crazy break dance styles and all sorts of rhymes and lines. A fun fair of ‘swag’ and fun. What the young people today call ‘lit’. This was no different when the US Mission in Uganda, partnering with the Breakdance Project Uganda, a youth project aiming at using hip-hop as a tool to empower disadvantaged youth in Uganda in building their leadership skills and promote social responsibility organized the Kampala Hip-Hop Explosive program. A free public project that held a two week long number of events that happened in Kampala, Masaka and Jinja aiming at helping young artists and entertainers in Uganda advance their careers.
The free event which was held on Saturday 11th, August, 2018 at the YMCA basketball court started with pomp and flair as young acts took to the stage to entertain the crowds with breath-holding rhymes backed up by deep hip-hop instrumentals. One at a time they rocked the mic best way they could. The event MC, Jora MC, a gifted one from the project as well kept the crowd engaged with his coolness as he introduced one activity at a time.
The performance list was richly sorted as it gave us acts from poppers, Spotlite Crew, beat boxers with the crowd’s favorite being the 6 year old B-Girl Akiiki, to b-boy cyphers that had everyone holding their breath yet going erratic at the same time, not with the crazy stunts these people were pulling. There was live graffiti art by Opten and obviously major hip hop artists like Uganda’s hip-hop artiste of the year Pryce Teeba, the energetic Mukiga T-Bro, Saint Nellysade, Mr. so Ug The Myth, Lyrical G, a hip hop legend in Uganda, Dj Nesta, DJ Issa who skillfully ran the decks, the vocally rich Sandra Nankoma who at a moment took us away from hip hop to some Motown, old skool, jazzy kind of feeling and also Qrea-us. Even the legendary hip hop duo of Sylvester and Abramz graced the stage amid thunderous applause from the crowds and as the night was being closed by Lady Slyke, she was joined on stage by the main performers of the night, Rhyme Like A Girl. A hip hop collective, represented by Toni Blackman, AtLas and Sincerity. These were the chosen representatives of the United States in the Arts Envoy Program.
Pius Kibazzi was generous to offer me the photos of the event so in case you missed out on attending, take a look at what went down. At least you will have facts of what you will be talking about to your people. Ciao