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Castle Lite Unlocks: The highs and lows

The brand announced a few months back that it would be unlocking US rapper Post Malone to headline Tuesday night's event.

SA Hip Hop artist AKA performs on stage at the Castle lite unlocks concert on 17 June 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Fans have enjoyed two days of hip-hop culture in yet another big Castle Lite Unlocks concert.

The brand announced a few months back that it would be unlocking US rapper Post Malone to headline Tuesday night's event. Then in May, it proved just why it's among the quickest ticket selling event in the country when it added another day to the concert.

Now in the spirit of balance, EWN attended both days of the concert held at The Dome on Monday and Tuesday, and looked at what worked and what could've been done better.

We don’t have to be American, we’re global - SA rappers

The highs:

At the top of this list is definitely day one's lineup. There was so much entertainment, we even missed some trying to see the other. The set-up inside and outside was the coldest and most varied segment of the event. It created a space for crucial conversations that hardly ever take place at a concert through the Cold Table Convo which addressed what the hip-hop culture is all about.

Another awesome moment that came out of day one were the creative visuals that filled The Dome floor. You can't claim to be a hip-hop fan and look like something else. There was anything you could think of, from sneakers to accessories, ice sculpting of logos of brands and a graffiti wall that ended up with a face of Meek Mill (that was just out of this world).

The biggest highlight of the whole event was the performances. Day one, yes it was that epic, was packed with some of the best performances SA fans have ever seen. Worth mentioning are Cassper Nyovest, AKA and Meek Mill's stage takeover. Day two sealed the deal with Post Malone, who performed some of his most-loved hits like 'Sunflower' and 'Too Young'. Another lit performance came in the form of SA's unofficial anthem 'Sister Bettina'. It may have been released in 2013, but Mgarimbe's song has proven to be timeless and all-time favourite.

While all those moments were tremendously memorable, there were things here and there that could've been done differently or a bit better.

Let's start here, a sold-out concert means fans are hungry for that kind of entertainment. They just want to have a good time and get value for their money. So having long 'dead air' moments in between your acts is probably not a smart idea. This ties in with the whole concept of having a schedule. The reason why you tell people that Post Malone would perform at 10 pm, for example, is so they can plan their bathroom and drinks refill/smoke breaks.

But if your schedule said he would grace the stage at 10 pm but he only gets there 40 minutes later, you risk having people leave the venue after his second song. Which is exactly when people started leaving or were standing outside smoking. Away with 'African time' tendencies, away!!! Remember, your event may be during school holidays, but if you said no under 18s allowed, that meant young professionals and student most likely about to conclude their exams were among your fans. So please, stick to the schedule you sent out and give the people what they want, at the time you promised them. [Disclaimer: That wasn't a rant.]

Secondly, engage the crowd in every way possible. Sway Calloway's Cypher. That was one the greatest ideas to come out of day one. We think Moozlie beat The Big Hash and J Molly hands down. No argument there. But imagine if you had picked three fans from the crowd to join in. How explosive it would've been.

And lastly, when can we expect a female rapper to be unlocked? I don't know, take your pick of Young M.A, Cardi B is doing the most right now, Remy MA or Rhapsody. Anyone. Any good female rapper. Please.

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