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Taking SA hip hop culture back to the streets

Designed to uplift and educate upcoming rappers, while bringing them together with the aim of celebrating the ingenious hip hop culture, is Durban Entertainment Records’ annual Back To The Streets (BTTS) event.

Set to take place on the 20th of April this year at Pure Lounge (located on Smith Street, Durban) the event will see the stage being set ablaze with poetry, hip hop dance moves and rap battle performances.

Vincent Ngwane, who manages Durban Entertainment Records together with Siphelele Xaba, says that he expects nothing less of a ‘lit’ event. Artists are also expected to pull the crowd in, move and shake it but most importantly, make each performance memorable.

While the line-up will be dominated by Durban Entertainment Records artists, unsigned artists will also be featured only if they are hardworking and have the necessary knowledge of stage work. Over and above this, a platform for artists on the come up to showcase their talent, in the form of an open mic session, is what the audience can also expect.

As part of the education segment, artists will be treated to one-on-one talks that are designed to help boost their skills and morale. Upcoming and aspiring producers will have protagonist, Siphelele Xaba to inform them about the importance of quality production; as sound quality is one of the primary aspects of radio airplay shortlisting, as well as topping sales charts.

In addition, Xaba will also provide guidance on vocal recording, and mixing & mastering various beats. Representatives from Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) will also be in attendance to provide useful information and answer questions in relation to their organisation.

This year, Durban Entertainment Records also plans on taking its BTTS show out of the province for the first time; and Johannesburg looks to be first in line. Ngwane adds that the recording company has big plans of elevating its artists and the South African hip hop scene as a whole.

“We have a team of four producers working together to ensure quality sound of every artist or work produced by our recording company and all of our artists are going to drop a song followed by a video this year,” he explains.

Weighing in on the future of the South African hip hop industry, he says: “These youngsters got no time to sleep, they always have something new. Hip hop is growing rapidly, even the United States pays attention to Africa nowadays.”

Back To The Streets is freely open to the public, but Ngwane emphasizes that no cooler boxes will be allowed. The event is set to officially kick off at 12pm till late evening. Get updates via their Facebook page: Durban Entertainment Records Pty Ltd. You can also contact them through email:

~ Thabile Shange

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