Which 26 South African hip hop pioneers will have their names on the Hennessy Wall of Fame? HHP? Slikour? Kwesta? Amidst much hype and speculation, the inaugural inductees will be unveiled on 5 December. Located in the soon-to-launch South African Hip Hop Museum (opening in 2020), the Hennessy Wall of Fame honours local hip hop royalty and is a partnership between the world’s most loved cognac and Back to the City festival and South African Hip Hop awards founder, Osmic Menoe.
The Hennessy Wall of Fame pays tribute to those who have laid the foundations for the SA hip hop industry and made it the global force it is today. These gamechangers have broken boundaries and boldly pushed the limits of their own potential to pioneer the culture. They embody the brand’s ethos to Never Stop. Never Settle.
Hennessy has long been synonymous with hip hop. Ever since first being uttered on a verse, the iconic brand has featured in some 2500 songs and has made an indelible mark on the genre. To date, it’s the most mentioned spirit not just in hip hop but in the broader music industry as a whole. It remains absolutely interwoven with hip hop culture.
Khomotso Ledwaba, brand manager of Hennessy SA, says, “Over the years, globally we’ve collaborated with heavyweights like Rakim, Nas and some of the world’s best-known street artists like KAWS, Vhils, and Shepard Fairey. We are anchored in South African urban culture, partnering with icons like Jonathan Mannion to shoot local hip hop artists and through campaigns such as the ever-popular Hennessy Artistry. We will continue to champion the culture through initiatives like the Wall of Fame.
The Hennessy Wall of Fame will showcase 26 prolific South African hip-hop pioneers who have shaped the culture through their art. From deejays, graffiti artists, producers, b-boys, writers and musicians, it houses SA’s hip-hop pioneers. The Wall of Fame will be a longstanding homage and will continue to grow as new names are added every three years, with approval from a prestigious panel.
Inductees must meet the following criteria, among others:
- How long they’ve been active
- Their cultural impact
- How consistent they’ve been in affecting change to culture
- The accolades they’ve been awarded
Ledwaba says it has been an honour to partner with Menoe, “Osmic is an integral part of SA’s hip hop industry and a pleasure to collaborate with. We have the utmost respect for everything he has done for hip hop culture, including the SA Hip Hop Museum, the Back to the City hip-hop festival and the SA Hip Hop Awards. He’s a natural fit for Hennessy in the urban culture space, and we are excited for what the SA Hip Hop Museum will achieve in bringing further awareness to the culture and the pioneers who shaped it.”
Menoe, founder of the first-ever SA Hip Hop Museum says, “When my team and I started creating the South African hip hop museum two years ago,the big idea was to preserve, celebrate and archive all the amazing things this culture has done since the 80s. Keeping in mind that in SA we don’t really have such a space where the history of SA entertainment is preserved and archived so this move really means future kids will get to understand what came before them. This partnership with Hennessy on the Wall of Fame also came as an ego booster since the brand has always been associated with hip hop legends.”
Ledwaba concludes, “For the last 250 years, we have celebrated those who embrace the genesis of Never Stop. Never Settle. The Wall of Fame embodies this ethos. We look forward to revealing the first 26 names!”
The inductees to the Hennessy Wall of Fame will be announced on 5 December. The South African Hip Hop Museum will open in 2020, within the Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/SAHipHopMuseum