HYPE stands by its TOP 50 lists

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HYPE stands by its TOP 50 lists HYPE stands by its TOP 50 lists d4e7838123649fe09f0cd713969b7d001So, by now y’all have see the Twitter quake we caused with the top 50 lists, most notably the TOP 50 SA rappers list. We have noted everyone’s comments – the good, bad and the ugly. We respect every single opinion. We knew that publishing this list would cause controversy. Simply because there is no calculation or science when it comes to measuring the impact, influence, skill, technique, and overall colossal as an MC.

When we started our journey with these lists, we called on some people who chose to remain anonymous out of fear of attack from the general public (because let’s face it, we have the REALEST and most opinionated fans as a hip hop culture). We also called on the public to help us collate the lists and what resulted was a top 50.

HYPE stands by its Top 50, and the only thing that I regret is not being in the YFM studio myself last night to help my colleague Fred Kayembe manage the onslaught. And let me just mention something important… some of those attacking Fred and HYPE were the same people that told me to my face that our list was good. So what does that say about our hip hop familia? That we lie to each other’s faces and then talk smack when the lights come on and the show begins? Or that we like ganging up against one person when we’re in a group setting and then behave in the opposite way with that person the next day? But I’m a professional about my business so I’m not going to dwell on the negative. Being here for the past 7 years, I know that rappers catch feelings when it comes to being rated in any kind of way. We have to respect that. This is their livelihood, their heart, their soul. We need to give them room to breathe.

What is true is that every rapper believes they are the best. They’ll justify it with their awards, nominations, album sales, accolades, tours, performance game, lyrical capabilities, hell they’ll even justify by the amount of groupies they have. What is important to note is that we all have our own opinions that are subjective. What is true to you may not be true to the next man. Everyone roots for different artists. If everyone loved every single rapper and hip hop was filled with cute little pink bows and sunshine, then rappers would be selling huge amounts of records and selling out shows – and nobody would ever disagree. But this is hip hop y’all.

We did not set out to create controversy, nor did we want to anger any rappers. It’s our 50th issue so the list was us saying: “cheers to 50 of Mzansi’s greatest rappers”. We love Hip Hop and all the players, whether no 1, 50 or 245…it is not about a list. So let’s build together in the name of hip hop and keep it moving.


Editor, HYPE


  • The Talented Mr Riz Ventura


    The overwhelmingly negative review of this list and your defense of it shows me that you cannot see the error of your ways. Amu pointed that out. Not everyone that disagrees with this list is an angry rapper. Don’t justify your refusal to admit that you were wrong with mad rappers. Da Les over Golden Shovel and Hymphatic Thabs? Spoek Mathambo? Ltido above Slikour and Selwyn?

    This wasn’t labelled as an opinion piece, some of these rappers don’t have a leg to stand on in this list in comparison to people below them and those omitted. There is no science or formula necessary to deduce the weight of certain individuals over those deemed beneath them on YOUR list. Just by the aforementioned few, I shouldn’t need to explain to you – a person who is the editor of a Hip-Hop magazine – why those placements are not only wrong, but gravely perverse.

    The least anyone would expect from you is to acknowledge the flaws and aim to better yourselves to the very obvious criticisms you have recieved. Instead you choose to play it like this…….

  • Simone, before I begin I’m going to have a moment of silence for you….
    Okay! Let’s proceed.

    First and foremost I feel it necessary to make it known that I am NOT a Hip Hop head so you can’t classify me as a disgruntled rapper. Just because I don’t live and breathe Hip Hop I don’t believe that makes my opinion any less valuable. In fact I believe it makes it objective.
    I must admit that I don’t care about the list structure as I don’t have the full insight and knowledge on which MC should be placed in which position and why one artist is better than another. I am simply angered by the way that Hype Magazine South Africa (you) have handled the situation.
    You at the beginning of the debacle were nowhere to be found. Heads were losing their minds and as you say “catching feelings” about the list. I sat and asked myself where the editor of this magazine was. Instead Fred Kayembe was everywhere trying to fight the fast growing velt fire and he ended up in flames and managed to grab the life line by apologising for his role. And I respect him for that.
    It was to my understanding that an editor of a magazine stands for everything that that magazine represents. That when the magazine is in disrepute they before anyone else steps out and takes every bullet for that magazine – you were nowhere to be found. That is a great disappointment! You have no come forth and made a statement. Here are the inconsistencies with that statement:

    1. The self-contradictions:

    “We knew that publishing this list would cause controversy.” – At the beginning of your statement.

    “We did not set out to create controversy, nor did we want to anger any rappers.” – At the end of your statement.

    Do you see what you did there? I sure hope so! You firstly say that you were aware of the controversy that the lists would cause then you counteract that. If one knows something is going to cause a ruckus then they know people will be angered and sales will be peaked. And if that’s known then an intelligent individual will have a PR plan in place to quickly to quickly counteract the backlash, and you didn’t.

    Not enough? Okay!

    “We love Hip Hop and all the players, whether no 1, 50 or 245…it is not about a list.”

    Now, do you see what you did there? I hope you do! What you did was say that you love all the Hip Hop artists and you mention a selection of rankings and then in the same breath you say it’s not about a list. I need you to explain that. Please admit that that’s a contradiction. I beg of you.

    2. Self-provided proof that you’re out of touch:

    “But I’m a professional about my business so I’m not going to dwell on the negative.”

    I’m sure you see nothing wrong with this at first glance. Let me shed some light. You say “my business”. What is your business exactly? Oh, it’s Hype Magazine? I can accept that. Let me tell you frankly. You cannot speak like your business is some spaza shop in the location and the community is upset that you sold them expired goods. YOUR business is based on an entire culture that runs back way before your very birth. YOUR business affects the dreams of thousands of individuals. By saying this you reaffirm the fact that you are so comfortable in being the only print source for this art form in this country. You are blatantly disrespecting the art form that your business is based on. Please continue to disregard and disrespect the source of your food.

    “This is their livelihood, their heart, their soul. We need to give them room to breathe.”

    THEIR livelihood! THEIR heart! THEIR soul! I take you are not a part of these people you speak of. So give them room to breathe. Okay, here’s where the problem comes in… YOU ARE THEM! You have separated yourself from this culture. You may feel I’m taking it a tad bit out of context. But is this culture not in your heart? Is it not in your soul? Is it not your livelihood? Take what you’ve said and I dare you to defend it against the statement that you aren’t out of touch with the culture in question!

    Mentioning that you’ve been at it for 7 years doesn’t excuse anything. Telling people that they have a right to their opinion yet you don’t address any of the valid points that have been made just proves the weakness of your leadership.
    You can’t say this to people,
    “So let’s build together in the name of Hip Hop and keep moving.”
    And expect them to accept the leadership of an individual that clearly doesn’t stand for what their music stands for and separates themselves from the culture they represent. I can’t accept anything you’ve said until you start with an apology. There is nothing wrong with admitting fault and then asking people to help you move forward. I would have had the greatest respect for you had you come out of your cave and apologised and promised to work harder and better, even if that were a lie.
    It’s unfortunate that heads haven’t taken this seriously enough. People should have been up in arms and demanding change but… NOTHING! And you know that this will all blow over soon. That is why you had the gall to say all that you’ve said.
    I don’t want give people ideas but if I were you I would resign as editor and pursue other passions. If I were a head and even better, one with influence I would protest against Hype Magazine or less drastically start a magazine that will be an accurate representation of the culture and hopefully powerful enough to show you how things should be done.
    By your cocky like that, so continue misleading people. I’m not a head so it’s not my soul you’re killing.

    All the best


  • Why Are Rappers On The List STILL Complaining. WTF? Chill The F*ck Out G’s. I’m Just Glad That The So Called Heavyweights Of SA Hiphop Still Care What Hype Says. Haha. GeeWiz I Wasn’t On The List And I Aint Complaining. You Niggas Gotta Stop Getting Your Panties In A Knot

  • Mpopo

    Hello Sunflower Halla to Simma as well
    can we clap some handz for Sunflower….

    As you had already mention you are not a hip hop head. Right through your message I sense it..that you are clueless of South African hip hop(by the way Simma is a hip hop hard core activist and she would not told by a pop fan to leave office) You are not on the know that HYPE mag promoted this culture to almost every corner of this country. Peoples lives were change..thousand of youngsters were exposure to purest hip hop culture(you still brave enough to say HYPE does not feel any pressure)MC’s got exposure to the whole nation HYPE hosted some shows around the country,done illest articles about them,release mixtape,done award for local hip hop. Me myself I was introduced by Simma’s thought provoking articles to hip hop.HYPE has done wonders for local hip hop….But some Rappers has betray the movement by “graduating to Drum mag”””by doing Pop instead of hip hop,by not giving back to the culture when their made it in order to build a stronger movement. HYPE based on it criteria has all the rights in the world to name it greatest rappers… no matter you can take five guys from the same group the would choose the same Rappers it base on individual experience and taste….HYPE views has been express you should too,do the same thing

  • You know what Sandy you are right about one thing, your not a head and a supporter of Hype. A woman spewing a lot of uninformed hate on another, is really sad. You don’t know the sacrifices Simone Harris has made to get where she is today. 7years of dedicating her life to Hype and serving the movement. Then again you wouldn’t know anything about that, since you make it so clear your not a Hip Hop head or fan. You don’t know the sleepless nights she puts in, issue after issue. Her hard work, passion can never be doubted. This is a personal attack more then anything. With that being said, I won’t allow you to disrespect my family in no circumstances. In stand of breaking people, try building. I’m 1000% behind her

  • I am saddened by this.

    Is all you got from Sandi’s comment that she ‘is not a hip hop head’? Do you Completely look over and disregard the extremely valid points that both her and Mr Riz have made?

    “Pure Hip-Hop”? Not quite. At least not for the past couple of years. Take your critique with a pintch of salt, yes, but take your citique none the less. That list was an abomonation by the standards of anyone in the know of the hip hop alive in our amazing country. For this Simone to not even admit to indescretion in any regard is disappointing. It sends a message to me, and to you too, that irrespective of what you think or say about what they put in their issues you will gingerly nod your head and buy it. Are you the mindless masses? You are the ones that don’t ask questions? Are you the ones that agree with the editor, whether it’s in your best interests or not? And believe you me, disregarding the views of not only veterans but also true hip hop lovers is not within your interests as a “so called” hip hop heads. Do trust that after this you have shown that you are willing to roll over and accept what hype mag gives you.

    Yes she’s made sacrifices, but are those sacrifices a license for her to whatever she wants to, to something that you claim to love?


  • In this issue checkout the Hype Sessions mixed by Dj Pilzy Lee, exclusive interviews with dream hampton, Young Guru, Trey Songz all by yours true. New Comers Delight feature and whole lot more!!!

  • Mtho

    i don’t know what the criteria you guys went about whilts constructing the list and quite frankly i dont care… But i do however believe that the list is what s.a hip hop needed ! S.a rappers are lazy! period(most of them are) ,u guys just told it as it is…. I mean dudes are angry because they aint number 1 (or the top ten) but is their hustle worthy 4 them to be one? ….

    All i’m saying is to the angry rappers :if u feel u deserve to be number one…show us…rap like a rapper fitting of the title would rap …stop complaining like a b* and get on your grind !!!

    Yo simone! U and your team should consider making this an annual list!…and thanx 4 another dope issue

  • Mpopo

    On Friday I was drunk and as a result I made lot of error’s. But my point is clear Pro-Simma and Hype….enough said

  • Fixit

    The sad truth is all media is 4rm jhb,we watch live on SABC,they promote jhb,channel O,YFM,they all play joburg artist,we watch abo Ltodo,Teargas rapping abt gals nd money as if we in USA,we dnt see creative rappers who care 2 use their creativity nd think,ths affects artists even wen it comes 2 awards,eg AKA won a SAMA ahead of Zakwe though Zakwe was also nominated in d best album category nd AKA wasn’t,ul excuse me 2 think dat if u make it 2 the album of th year,dat means u are the best in ur genre anyway mayb Tumi shud hav bn number 3 not number 1,infact Zakwe,Abdus,Proverb,Pro kid,zubz,Amu nd all the rappers who are creative are wat hip hop is all abt,so if I was 2 make a list,ill start with these rappers, nd oh 2 the editor,It doesn’t metta how many years uv hv bn in ths game,the sacrificez uv made dnt metta,even the most experience player makes mestakes nd it take even a bigger player 2 come out nd say sorry I made a mistake here nd there ruther than tell the public dat the only ppl complaining abt the list aint Hype mag costomers,remember u are not the biggest bt u are the only hip hop mag so spread the net,go to mpumalanga,capetown,durban,limpopo etc b4 u u make lists coz I pretty sure Zakwe nd abdus are above hhp,hs not even an MC dat 1

  • Bad S

    what can I do if I want to buy missed Hype issues?

  • Playa

    With the rest of niggas going gorillas about the list, I agree with Tumi Of The Volume as 1st, Proverb as second & PRO as the third we eva had in all categories of dope…and what’s worse is that wack niggas are the ones complaining, what y’all expected JR, Slikour, Jack Parrow, Blaze Entertainment & SugarSmax,Ifani in the top 5? The list is nice in some parts I agree, Tuks? Maggz in that far?

  • Playa

    Zubs in the top 5 please…

  • Pingback: ZEEK NATION (zetu east kwetu) – HIGHER GROUND – TUMI()

  • We should give freshly young rapper called Ifani the warm welcome to South African hip hop,coz the likes of AKA and DALES are killing our home hip hop by coping WORD ITEM of Rick Ross”BOSS”.

  • Godda

    Don’t list anyone till u go places in South Africa. 1stly go to durban than capetown let’s see wat will be the results. U just focused in joburg a lot