Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Popularity of Botswana Hip Hop not translating into album sales

Hip Hop in Botswana appears to be adopting more and more listeners but it seems these numbers never seem to translate into album sales or show attendance.

This raises the question as to whether Hip Hop will ever be a successful venture as other music genres in the country.

The local hip hop scene is filled with upcoming artists who are looking to make a name for themselves. These new kids will have a rough time trying to make themselves into household names. This is usually the case for Batswana rappers.

Albums often never leave the shelf. The question is what needs to change in order to increase sales and have hip hop reach higher standards.

Across the border in South Africa, artists such as HHP and Pro Kid are amongst some of the biggest stars in the music industry but here in Botswana few rappers hold as much weight and pull as kwaito star Vee, or Mapetla.

Emcee Africa winner Cibil Nyte believes there is a need for change but it’s taking place to slowly
“Everything needs to change, but with that said, everything is changing at a snail’s pace. Hip hop will sell but not in the next five years; that’s my guess,” he said.

However, one way in which artists seem to be thriving is the art of blending English and Setswana into their lyrics to have more appeal to Batswana. Scar and Zeus have been able to use this to good effect and are regarded by many as Botswana’s most recognised rappers, nationally and internationally.

Daniel Ramatebele, who is managing upcoming motswako rapper, Cash, believes the key lies in the style of rap.

Asked why he has invested so much into his artist, he argued that Cash not only has skill but his style is what Batswana are looking for.

However, he does acknowledge that this may not always guarantee success.
“The fact that Batswana are currently dancing to Motswako means one can make a killing while it lasts. But it is a gamble,” he said.

Rapper Dee NYC, however, does not seem to be deterred by this fact.
Dee NYC, who has just released his Candyman Volume 1 album, believes that good music will sell regardless of style or sound.

“The market caters for both genres (Motswako and Non Motswako) and at the end of the day it’s about good music and getting music to the people,” he said.

The Ugandan born artist, who now has Botswana citizenship, also explained why he looks forward to recording more songs with Motswako rappers to add to the ones he has done already.
“I have recorded with Motswako artists before and despite the language barriers, the energy of the music was still positive so I don’t feel disadvantaged. In fact, I look forward to doing future work with motswako artists,” he added.

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