Unplugged's December Edition With South Africa's Mas Musiq: A Review

This past weekend was Unplugged's last edition of the year. Four editions were promised in 2022 and 4 were delivered, barring a few speed humps. Unplugged's returning run saw it end as it began, with a talented South African DJ behind the decks. A poetic end you could say but would the ending be a worthy match for the start? 

Unplugged's December 2022 Edition With South Africa's Mas Musiq: A Review

The event was headlined by Mas Musiq, with a supporting cast of Kyla Blac, Gemma Griffiths, Voltz JT and Enzo Ishall. Unfortunately, I missed out on Kyla Blac and Gemma Griffiths' performances (Although I heard good things), because I had made a slight detour to Emagumeni's Tattoo Festival. 

Unplugged's December 2022 Edition With South Africa's Mas Musiq: A Review

I was completely shocked by the price of tattoos but soon the shock gave way to realisation and the realisation was that it's better to drink your money than to get repeatedly pricked by a needle for it. So I hastily made my way from Helensvale to Greendale Sports Club and luckily I made it there just in time for Voltz JT.

As Zimhiphop has its moment this year, Voltz JT is one of the artists especially shining under Zimhiphop's spotlight. Not only does he have hit songs but he's rolling in the accolades as he recently won the album of the year at the Zimhiphop Awards. When so many of his peers have failed to translate the hit songs & airplay into onstage dominance, Voltz excels with the mic in his hand and the crowd at his feet. 

From the infusion of the band into his music to the song selection and the energy the crowd had for him, his set was a masterclass. His rendition of Shamwari Yangu brought to mind nostalgic thoughts and they say rap beef doesn't last forever but the music certainly does. The Story of Modhe might've gotten the loudest shouts from the crowd during his set. He might've made peace with Holy Ten but the diss song lives on and from how the crowd was singing along, it lives on well.

Following Voltz JT was Enzo Ishall, armed with his entire catalogue and a more than healthy set in length. From long-loved classics to recently released potential hits Enzo sang it all. I don't think there's much about Enzo Ishall that hasn't been said already. He's certainly one of Zimdancehall's generational talents and that band complimented him well on the Unplugged stage. He didn't miss every single song. If he sang it then in equal measure the crowd sang it back to him. The crowd was masterfully swayed left & right, up & down, with unrelenting energy.

When Mas Musiq finally came on, the atmosphere sobered. You could feel the crowd calm down from the euphoria of just five minutes ago and this was simply the juxtaposition of the two acts that followed each other. While Enzo Ishall's performance was energetic and uptempo, Mas Musiq came on with a very mellow sound. 

Unplugged's December 2022 Edition With South Africa's Mas Musiq: A Review

Yet in terms of the Amapiano genre, he was firing on all cylinders. He opened with Zaka, which went into Mthande and then Lyfstyl in just the first 5 minutes, and the only more outrageous thing was that all three songs were all his craft.

It was right in that sweet spot. As opposed to the kicks, drums and claps sound that has dominated the Amapiano genre of late, Mas Musiq handles the decks with the more soulful side. It slowly sinks into you and if you're expecting a sudden drop that elevates the energy in the entire place, then you'll be disappointed. Mas Musiq drops a set that has to be savoured and with his song selection, you're blessed with beautiful vocals throughout.

When Sengizwile finally dropped near the end, the Yanos had thoroughly serenaded me. Marinaded in sound from head to toe, so much so that I felt every note deep within. But the crowd felt like it was still waiting for a moment that wouldn't come. 

When Mas Musiq's set came to a close there wasn't as widespread satisfaction as I felt it should be. Because on the night we had eaten well, I had even forgotten to track how much time he had spent on the decks because it felt well worth the price of admission. I mean he left a lot of good music from his catalogue, and he made a few missteps in song selection but it was sensational.

Rimo closed out the night, and I have to say that over the course of the year I've realized Rimo is actually a good DJ. But he still played Make it rain and All I do is win, so a part of me was disappointed in him, yet he knows his crowd well. Rimo took us back all the way up and this might've been the best set I've ever experienced from him. It was a worthy ending to the 4th chapter of Unplugged's return. 

Greedysouth rating: 6.9/10

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post