Yesterday, the nominees for the 2014 SA Hip Hop awards were revealed. AKA led the way with 11 nominations while Cassper Nyovest picked up the eight nominations he set himself the goal of targeting. Interestingly, Caracara hitmaker, K.O. wasn't recognised a single time at the awards, nor were the likes of Ma-E, Kid X or any other Cashtime Rapper.
It seemed a little bizarre that a rapper who could be recognised as the second best on the African continent by MTV base (K.O.) could not amass a single nomination at the local hip hop awards. ZAlebs journalist, Linda Sithole, touched on this in his article yesterday but since then we've seen further clarification in the mainstream media.
Cashtime Life co-owner, Thabiso Khati spoke to the press following the nominee announcement and helped us understand exactly why none of his artists had been nominated at this year's SA Hip Hop Awards.
"I believe they should have named the awards Back to the City or Ritual Media Awards because the title SA Hip Hop Awards carries so much weight, it is representative of the whole industry. The expectations are: Is the auditing done correctly? How are the awards managed and what the level of transparency is. With ceremonies like the South African Music Awards they are held accountable by the Recording Industry of South Africa and they have clear rules and regulations that everyone understands."
This is in interesting stance and alludes to a debate I've been having with peers for a long time, especially around the voting format of awards shows. Khati continued to suggest that the SA Hip Hop awards lacked credibility and this is why his artists wouldn't be involved.
"It's the same reason why we had an issue with the Hype Awards, it's not an open process, people can vote for themselves a million times. With MTV and Channel O, those are private entities so we know exactly what we are getting into. There is only one company involved in the SA Hip Hop Awards and because they are not transparent, we cannot co-sign it. We were told that in 2015, the process would change but until then our artists will not be involved."
Here's my real question though: Without the artist behind the biggest hit of the year, are you able to take SA Hip Hop awards seriously enough? Even with Cassper and AKA involved?