The Playhouse, Durban

The creme of local hip hop culture was out in force at the prestigious Converse Original Material Awards staged at The Playhouse theatre in Durban at the close of 2011.

OMAZ, brain-child of Ayanda Makukule and Mduduzi Duma aka DJ Lab of Gagasi FM, was launched in 2009 as a platform to encourage, recognise and honour local hip hop artists.

Categories included in the 2011 awards were Best Mix Tape; Best EP, Album Of The Year, Single Of The Year, Best Dance Crew, Best Music Video, DJ Of The Year, Best Newcomer, Producer Of The Year, Rap Crew Of The Year and Emcee Of The Year to mention a few.

Kasi rapper Zakwe took the award for Single Of The Year for Bathi Ngiyachoma (…check out the music video here – an iKind Media post-production project), while Flowsik was named the Best Lyricist Of The Year. Dance Crew Of The Year went to Rebels and Niche Fam scooped the coveted Best Music Video award for their single Pretty Girl (…check out the iKind Media produced music video here). Level Underground Squad (LUS) took home the Album Of The Year Award.

Live entertainment on the night featured performances from some of Durban’s most talented artists including Judas, whose energy dictated the tempo of the show, Mhlathi, who left the crowd begging for more with his single Krump vs House and female MC SkyWanda who performed alongside Apple. Abdus, Hydro, Flowsik and newcomer MG also delivered great performances. The dance crews stepped up with phenomenal performances from Warrior Knights, who incorporated traditional dance moves into their choreography, and Floor Assassins, who awed the audience with their artistic display of flexibility and movement. Makukule delivered a breathtaking finale with MC SkyWanda that brought the audience to a standing ovation.

While the Original Material Awards originated in KwaZulu-Natal, Ayanda Makukule and Mduduzi Duma plan to expose talent from across South Africa in a bid to crown OMAZThe Hip Hop Event of the Year”.

(Photography : Jono Hornby)

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