DA-GRAPE-VINE (DGV) a local clothing company, is set to host a hip-hop competition tomorrow at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo dubbed “King of Kings: Rap Battle League”.
DGV was founded by Bulawayo promoters Naboth “Rizla” Rimayi and Lwazi “Kompozitioner” Mpoko who is based in Australia.
The two set up a website Da-Grape-Vine.com to promote local upcoming artistes and update people on the latest news, album releases, exclusive interviews, videos and hip-hop culture content.
Ramayi told Southern Eye Lifestyle that DGV only started as a clothing company, but later saw a need to give hip-hop artistes a platform to showcase their talent.
“We started off as a T-shirt company, but saw the need to showcase and share our love for the hip-hop culture not only from Bulawayo and Zimbabwe, but from the rest of the world as we believe that hip-hop is global,” he said.
The DGV battle is a competitive event that provides battle emcees with opportunities to showcase their artistry and skills in rhyme, for media exposure and championship titles.
The event that will start at 2pm and will see six hip-hop artistes compete and these are Siri Boy, Jilly Tha Black, Ay Kay, Kingson Mac, Spliffah Ray and Benny Jones.
The curtain raisers for the event will be D LeRoux, Adrenalin, DTG and Teecy.
Yung Tyran, Orthodox SIX, Prozac, Spliffah Ray, Amasotsha and Livesoul — based in Harare — will be the entertainers for the day.
Ramayi said rap battles had always been a part of the hip-hop culture and they help artistes to be noticed.
He urged hip-hop artistes to take rapping seriously as they could make a living from that music.
“Battle rap commonly refers to previously composed rap lyrics through a cappella with no instrumental beats to guide them,” Ramayi said.
“Each emcee has to outshine their opponent using rap lyrics and rhyme, hip-hop artistes must not take what they do lightly as most people especially in America are making a killing out of it.
“I encourage all hip-hop artistes to attend the DGV battle to witness our world-class performances.”