Thursday, 22 November 2012

Heart and Soul of Hip Hop

During the turbulent Nineties, South Africa turned to musicians from different ethnic backgrounds to produce the Peace Song, and now, during an era when our country is experiencing political and economic instability, the responsibility to mend ways is squarely on hip hop artist extraordinaire and social activist Menelik Nesta Gibbons, popularly referred to as the influential Don Dada.

Having headlined last year’s Joburg Arts Alive alongside the likes of internationally renowned MCs such as Black Cream and Peoples’ Property, Dada continues to highlight the need foruplifting lyrics and positive messaging in all of his offerings.

His ethos has always been driven by a distinct ability to survey political, social and economic landscapes and to write songs that elevate not only South Africa, but the entire continent. This is most evident as in his philosophy, which includes being conscious about religion, our continent and making a difference for Africans at home and abroad.

Having collaborated with socially responsible artists such as Crazy Lu’s Gods Must Be Crazy and Bentman’s Lord of War, Dada has been recognised by South Africa’s foremost hip hop authority, Hype Magazine, when they featured him three times on their widely revered Hype Mix Session discs.

Besides a Sound Engineering background and being the backbone for a number of mix tapes that resulted in catapulting and bolstering MCs’ hip hop careers, Dada has also worked on remarkably relevant solo tracks that also serve as thread and needle for our moral fibre.

“Africa” is a heartfelt song that shows the continent as a potential-filled vessel, while the Jay Flames produced “Our Time” is as relevant when the master craftsman penned it, as it addresses a pressing need for Africans to come up with African solutions.

With his world-class performance at last year’s Street Beat still having tongues wagging, Dada is set to prove why he will always be applauded for penning fortifying music that makes a difference for a generation that is in desperate need of direction.

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