The Botswana Hip Hop Association is a brand new registered society in Gaborone.
Its mandate is meant to be a platform for aspiring artists to grow. It’s strictly not for already established artists.
Within their association, members share their ideas, skills, passion, and overall knowledge.
Membership and entry are absolutely free of charge, to give enthusiasts an equal opportunity to grow Botswana’s hip hop culture. They gather to form high spirited, creative sessions surrounding the local hip hop industry.
The association is a group of some of the most ambitious underground rappers and energetic dancers.
Members who make up the whole┬áBotswana hip hop┬áassociation are hip-hop inspired, business-minded, young men and women. They congregate every Sunday to try and find means to transform the local hip hop industry into the biggest syndicate ever formed.
The association is a youth movement whose members dress in full hip-hop regalia. Members come through fully clad in oversized clothes, like baggy basket ball shirts, falling jeans, dungarees, bling-bling chains and boots. Japhala Gwangwa, an underground rapper, says they wear oversized clothes because they are inspired by the black American slaves.
“Our ancestral forefathers used to receive hand me downs from the white slave masters. It has now influenced hip hop culture, hence the members dress code.”
He says hip hop fans also wear big chains, known as bling bling, to resemble the slave chains which were used on black people.
During their weekly congregations, which take place at the Room Restaurant in the Main Mall, they discuss about music- the nice (fresh) and the boring (wack) albums.
They also discuss business, by screening and interpreting movies like ‘8 Mile Hustle’, which is an inspirational movie for hip hop lovers.
“We talk about fashion – from┬ábaggy jeans┬áto the new age skinny jeans,” says Lucy Bassoe Bichi, the founder.
She started the group in August and currently is still gathering graff designers and dancers.
“Hip-hop needs to be groomed from its grass roots levels,” she said. “We will be having dance expos at Riverwalk and Game City soon and so far we have had to open mic sessions. Well, there was Botswana hip-hop association in the past but we instead took it over because nobody was actively using it.” On Facebook, they have a lot of local artists who use the group to post their songs and the association had members perform their different skills inspired by hip hop at the 1st open mic session.
It’s more focused on underground mc’s. It’s focused on relatively unknown artists. It’s a 3-part initiative with focus on promoting mcs/poets, Graff artists/designers and dancers.
According to Selby Muir, one of the co-founders of the group, they’re actually doing all this because they want to start a movement. He says that a lot of people have hope in their initiative in the vision of having a fully fledged hip-hop association.
“We have pinpointed at least six areas we promote as the ones that need most improvement including rapping, turntabling, graffiti, beat boxing, fashion and business.”
Muir says there are four other areas that will be on the next agenda.
“Our next topics for discussion will include fashion, cars (spin city), stunts bikers, producers/DJs, and skaters, since those areas are already thriving.” Those interested in finding out more information regarding the association, can join their group on www.facebook.com/Botswana hip hop Association. Or you can watch their videos on www.youtube.com.