OK so this week is officially hip hop and rap appreciation week.
This week I will be saluting legends and current stars as well as new talent.
I will start with the South African Hip Hop group called Cashless Society.
Music Video: Cashless Society - Bantu 1,2
It all began in 1999 when fate brought together two like-minded lyricists ? Kwezi Ngcakani (X Amount) and Julian Du Plessis (Snazz D) ? whose mutual relationships with Salim Mosidinyane (Fat free), Dave Balsher (Draztik), Jerry Kai Lewis (Black Intellect) and other MC?s Alfred Chirwa (Criminal) and Thabiso Mofokeng (Gemini, a most recent addition who is also affiliated with the Groundworks crew), amalgamated into the group the streets know well as Cashless Society.
The name, derived from "the hard cashless society", aptly captures the group's vision via a pungent double meaning: cashless, as in the plastic economic future of the modern world and cashless, as in Africa, presently the poorest of the poor being at the bottom of the pyramid. But rather than focus on the gloom of that reality, cashless chooses to perpetuate hope and progressiveness.
Explains Draztik, one of the crew's main producers, (With our new album) we are taking advantage of our surroundings. We are gonna export what we have? we are not just money makers, we are wealth creators.?
With such high-concept maxims, Cashless asserts their social responsibility of educating the public on how knowledge acquisition is spiritually empowering and absolutely vital in creating consciousness of the world we live in.
With such inherently diverse backgrounds commonly rooted in Johannesburg but stemming from South Africa, Malawi, Sierra Leon and Botswana, their intent to promote ?street-hop rather than regular rap music,? as X Amount insists, is hardly a long shot. In fact, in 2000 the inner-city outfit added New York to their urban repertoire. Bobbito of the legendary Stretch and Armstrong radio show picked up on their single Blaze Tha Breaks, which he then released a s 12? inch under his Fondle Em record label, making it their first official release, and then the first African Hip-hop act to be licensed and distributed overseas on vinyl. It sold over 3000 units worldwide. Since then Cashless Society has collected major tour kudos, billing on monumental shows such as Dead Prez and Blak Twang?s tour of Southern Africa, Black August and Blackalicious? tour of South Africa, Blackalicious.
2000 - "Blaze tha Breaks" was the first South African hiphop record to be licenced and sold commercially around the world.
2001 - Performed alongside Dead Prez and Blackalious
2003 - Released "African Raw Material Vol 1" to critical acclaim
2004 - Hottentot Hop and Word 4 Real Singles Reached 1 spots on Radio Metro's Local TOP 20
2004 - African Raw Material Vol 1 comes 2nd on "Album of The Year" award on the "Hiphop Indaba awards"
2004 - Hottentot hop Video comes 1st place for Hiphop Video of the Year on the Hiphop Indaba awards"
2004 Cashless Society is featured on the BET website under African Hiphop
2005 Cashless Society wins 3 awards for Best Album of the Year and Music video of the Year and Producer of the Year "Draztik" at the Botswana Hiphop Music Awards.