As part of the lesser fan base that enjoyed his Coloring Book (2016) album way more than his 2013 breakout, Acid Rap, I was not surprised to see the division on social media after the beer brand announced that he was the artist that was being “unlocked.”
After all, Castle Lite set the bar high with Drake, J Cole, Travis Scott and Bryson Tiller here as well as Future in Mozambique and Tanzania. Those guys are so mainstream that even the concertgoers who don’t like rap will be itching to get the FOMO monkey off their back. And please don’t try to tell me the man who made Mr Nice Watch is not mainstream because he’s given us stellar thought-provoking albums as well. I digress.
The fact that Chance The Rapper is so polarising in the response non-rap fans have towards him is probably why there were discount drives like taking 25% off ticket prices in honour of his 25th birthday. It’s probably also why there have been plenty of ticket giveaways on the blogs.
But I’m not complaining. It will be nice to be able to jump around and enjoy yourself instead of constantly checking to see if your phone is still in your purse or pocket. It’s also cool because for the first time in a long time, I believe the South African acts sharing the stage with Lil Chano from 79th will have the undivided attention of the audience.
Remember when Castle Lite brought Kanye West to Jozi and then AKA was billed to perform before him? Before there was a Megacy, AKA popped out of a giant ice cube (which may or may not have been meant for Ye to begin with) and that showmanship wowed people. I’m hoping we have a moment that gives the audience this feeling again.
Even though artists constantly tell us they are being given the same star treatment as the headliner, the opposite often shows in the subpar sound.
But I’m hoping this time around will be different. Also on stage at the Castle Lite Unlocks Music Experience is Nadia Nakai as well as Frank Casino and Shane Eagle. Nakai has a hit single in Naaa Meaan. Frank Casino doesn’t even have to be on stage in order for people to lose it over Whole Thing and Shane Eagle’s Let It Flow has set him apart as someone to watch.
So I’m interested in how they will bring not only those singles but their entire sets to life if they have all the technical and creative support at their disposal. I’m also interested in seeing whether the success (hopefully) of the proudly and loudly local acts pushes such a big brand to invest in more shows that prop up our own artists instead of always getting an international act in the mix. I guess only time will tell.
* Catch Chance The Rapper, Nadia Nakai, Frank Casino and Shane Eagle at the Castle Lite Unlocks Music Experience at the TicketPro Dome on April 30.