By Byaruhanga Felix (@TheNinjaFelix)
On the 28thof this month it will be the End of the Weak MC Challenge at Sabrina’s pub headlined by St.Nellysade Kakubidewa (5k entrance). End of the Weak is a global movement towards the Hip Hop improvement in case it’s new to you. The movement is in five continents, twelve countries and twenty-two cities around the globe in ten years of its existence. End of the weak has paved way for most the new school top urban rappers like St.Nellysade, BigTril, Cyno MC, Rugged Made & many others. I caught up with the 2011 Entertainment Young Achievers Award Winner Bana Mutibwa a revolutionary rapper & the director of End of the Weak Uganda to discuss End Of the Weak and It’s works in Uganda.
|Bana Mutibwa: President End Of The Weak Uganda.|
QN: First things first, if I called End of the Weak Uganda the underground base of Uganda’s hip-hop would I be right?!
Partly you are right, because we have decided to put ourselves in a state where we stay true to hip-hop. Usually when you stay true to hip-hop it gives you path where people say that’s underground hip-hop. Personally we don’t call it underground hip-hop we call it the good hip-hop. We’re here to package and promote good hip-hop, as long as you’re good End Of The Weak is there to give you a platform.
QN: Briefly give me a clear picture of End Of The Weak Uganda, how it came about to happen in Uganda.
Before putting on the tag Uganda, End of the Weak is a global movement which was towards the Hip Hop culture improvement. It started 14years ago in New York and it has been going global (Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic). In 2009 it came to Uganda when a photographer from New York called Amy Hume came to Uganda. Basically she is like the founder of the end of the weak in Uganda.
QN: Let’s talk about the MC challenge, what goes on in the competition/challenge like the one St.Nellysade is headlining.
We have different rounds that truly test even the most talented Mcs. We have the Beat juggling where Mcs just pick a beat to back them up, then we have the crowd’s favorite it’s called Freestyle Grab The Bag where we bring a bag put different items & an MCs have to pick items & then write rhymes about them, we have the cypha round and the Mc Vs. DJ round.
When every country runs each season like in Uganda, we go to east, west, north then we come to Kampala then after there we do what we call challenge of champions which happens at Bayimba festival and then we get one representative to go to the world’s finals cause all these countries are doing the same. At the world’s finals all these Mc’s are rapping in their languages, so that’s the uniqueness about End of the weak.
QN: I understand you guys have been running this event since 2009 every year, how is this year going to be different from the past years?
This year we have decided to re-brand ourselves, every month we’re going to be doing an MC challenge. We’re going to be having different themes, for example; “End Of The Weak Presents St.Nellysade” that’s this month’s theme.
We also did a partnership with Urban Aksent, the top five MC’s are going to record together before the Mc Challenge then after the MC Challenge, we’re going to have the top three record together and they have an option to record with the headlining artist of the month, so they get a chance to record with St.Nellysade otherwise where would they find him? Then the top one out of the three gets a chance to go to the challenge of champions so that’s how we are structuring it now.
We are planning to move in different regions of Uganda cause we’re on a campaign to have End of the weak world finals in Uganda this year, so we’re going to be doing a challenge every single month.
QN: Away from end of the weak Uganda business, I understand to have travelled to different countries performing & representing Uganda so you have been exposed to different hip-hop communities, what do you think is lacking in Uganda’s hip-hop culture?
The fans haven’t yet adapted the culture; they don’t buy CDs, merchandise. The fans still need to do a lot for example when we organize concerts like this one that St.Nellysade is headlining you receive almost 100calls asking for free tickets, yet we use our own money to put such events.
We also need unity, UG hip-hop is divided. If we want to push UG hip-hop up there we need to be one like this St.Nellysade concert if you love hip-hop you have to be at this event cause that’s one way we can push UG hip-hop.
QN: Off head give me your top-5 MCs that aren’t from luga-flow army.
That’s a bit complex but starting from number five I would have Qwesto, Mulekwa, Atlas Da African, Babaluku and number one it’s definitely me Bana, otherwise my top 5 would be luga-flow members only.
Bana has been working on his debut album after his mixtape “The Ugandan Passport” that he dropped last year which will be amoung the merchandise being sold at Sabrina’s Pub on the 28th MC Challenge. Come through and support Ugandan hip-hop.
Connect with Bana;