Hip-hop is team work and there are many factors that determine an artist’s success – these may include hype, skill, charisma, talent, bars and a strong marketing team that backs the artists. Each artist has different goals; being a maverick that moves past other emcees and the insatiable wish to score in the limelight.
Each factor on the pitch has to be in cohesion. A game plan needs to be clearly outlined for the players to fully utilise their talents and play their part in the team’s imminent victory. I’m an Orlando Pirates fan, aptly known as The Buccaneers or Bucs, so the line by Mothipa on SubV’s “Bring The Best In Remix” hyped me up.
Controlling this game like Ace in the midfield (AAAACCCEEE) yo bring it back (AAAAACCCEEE)/ I know my Bucs fans feeling that
Then I heard Reason in “Do It Like I Can” say,
Player with words like poets on a soccer pitch/ With that Trust fund baby type English/From the same hood uSkara ngobese was/With the same dreams, I guess life is the difference/
It was then that I fully believed there are many similarities between hip-hop and soccer. Given the chance to have a team in hip-hop, my starting XI would be like this:
The PR/marketing team – They hold the goalkeeper position. It is all good and dandy that an artist lets loose of a majestic 16, but what happens if bad publicity tries to diminish his score? What if a scandal comes out? The PR team needs to ensure that they not letting anything succeed in attacking the artist’s brand. Even if it’s an attempt to score an own goal; yes some artists are detrimental to their careers, the PR team is the last line of defense to save the day.
Stylist and the artist’s presence is the defense line. The stylist develops the core foundation as to how the artist is portrayed in the public-eye and their work can either draw criticism which in turn will leave the PR team to do damage-control. Everything is interlinked and the artist’s presence fills the fullback positions. They need to constantly move up and down the pitch; assisting in going forward be there to cover when bad things happens to an artist’s brand image.
Now the midfield is the control room. Building from the back (cues Drake “Started from the Bottom”), this is where ingenuity and the creative processes takes place. The ball carriers are found here, the mavericks of the music world are in the midfield distributing to everyone going in on the attack. My midfield consists of Studio personnel, artist manager, hype and record label.
Studio personnel include the geniuses in production, mixing and mastering. Without these talented craftsmen and women, the sound quality would be poor, resulting in the distribution of low quality songs to radio. The manager is the Zidane of the artist’s career. He has impeccable vision and can find the slightest of gaps to maximise on the overlapping fullback’s (artist’s presence), to playing nifty one-twos with the other midfielders slowly building up to reaching the required goal. The record label, whether major or indie, assumes the central defensive midfielder position. They are the backbone of the artist’s career. They assist in defending and representing the artist as the defense line but also contribute to the visualised goal. The hype and fame propels the artists to greater heights – awareness of the artist forms a great deal of the hype. The manager is partly responsible for bringing in the hype into the game.
Now the striking force is the one and only artist – the face behind the mic. Taking into consideration the workmanship that has been put in, the artist’s charisma, talent and skill is needed in the team’s win.
There are also substitutes on the bench such as endorsements and other business ventures. In essence, when you hear an album or watch a video and even a live performance, a team ensured that what you’re getting is the quality presented. Hip hop is not a one-man world, many hands have joined forces in ensuring that you are able to marvel at the production presented.
So rappers, kit up… you are playing the beautiful game.
Written By: Siphiwe Zwane (@SDotJR_)