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The Journey of Brasse Vannie Kaap & The BVK Tribute Show

The Brasse Vannie Kaap Tribute Show Celebrated the Iconic Cape Town Hip Hop Group which Brought Afrikaaps to The Forefront of South African Hip Hop Culture

Brasse Vannie Kaap - Image: BVK Facebook Page

This took me a while to write as I honestly didn’t know where to begin with this story as it is one very close to my heart. Having had and still having close friendships with at least two of the original members of Brasse Vannie Kaap probably gives me a perspective many don’t have but also some would argue could make me biased.
However, this story is not about me, though I have to give you some background in order for you to fully understand the sentiment behind the show on Saturday 9 March 2024.

It has been a long road for me in Cape Town Hip Hop. I have lived and breathed music for as long as I can remember but Hip Hop really took hold of me when I was about 10 or 11 years old. My journey into Hip Hop started with Graffiti. Boys in my class which was then called Std 4, were doing their names in Graffiti on their schoolbooks. It was in that grade when we were allowed to cover our books with whatever we chose provided it was neat. Graffiti became the cover of choice.

LL Cool J caught my attention with “I Need Love” and “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, and the rest was history. By the time “Momma Said Knock You Out” was released in 1990 I was hooked and one of his biggest fans. That is how the elements of Hip Hop worked their way into my life.

In 1990 I started high school so I could be considered a baby by some standards or old by others. I, quite frankly, don’t care either way. It was in this year that I became more invested in Hip Hop as a way of life. Music was a big influence for sure but early in 1991 I met a boy who intrigued me with his appreciation of rap music. His name is Roger Heunis but much better known to you as Hamma.
Are the bells ringing for you now?

Hamma was part of a crew called the Dream Team at that time. Though their main currency was breakdancing, they also dabbled in Graffiti and Lyricism(rapping). Some of the members started attending the school I was at and that was how I came to meet this boy who intrigued me so much. Roger Heunis was witty and had an aptitude, in my opinion, that was way beyond our years. Although people had other ideas about us, we became great friends and have remained such to this day.

The Brasse Vannie Kaap Journey Begins

Hamma arrived at my house one afternoon. It was the norm for us to just chill together and he would further educate me on rap music. I enjoyed every minute with him. He had me listening to Lords Of The Underground, Naughty By Nature and Digital Underground to name but a few artists. One particular afternoon circa 1994, he brought with him a cassette tape with no branding that could identify it. I was excited to hear what he was going to play for me. That, my dear friends, was when I heard Brasse Vannie Kaap for the first time and it was playing through my ancient tape deck that I had inherited from my grandfather.

I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought it was the most amazing thing that I had ever heard. I was no expert so please understand this was just me having a fan moment. The first album was released not long after that and then the public shows began. Once the first album hit shelves, circa 1997, I was already their biggest fan, lol! I thought the album was so fresh and so authentic.

Image: Brasse Vannie Kaap Facebook Page

I had known Enver and Ready D from the early Base matinee days and had met Ashley Titus (Mr Fat) when BVK started up. Soon after we met, Ashley and I became fast friends. We could talk for hours about anything and everything whether on the phone or in person. He was the kind of person who’s thought process was a deviation from the norm which is what made him so interesting to me.
Let me be clear when I say that this was my experience knowing him. I’m sure every Hip hop head out there had a different experience knowing him. To me he was a clown, always making me laugh and offering the most interesting perspective on things I sometimes grappled with and spoke to him about.

I spent my late teenage years and early 20’s going to as many BVK shows as I could and just enjoying something that made me feel extremely proud of the Cape Flats. I know that it is hard to see the good in our communities on the Cape Flats because there is so much bad and the bad is always highlighted by the media. This is why groups like Prophets of the City and BVK were so monumental for us. It gave us something to celebrate and be proud of. It was authentically Cape Flats in every way and made us feel like we didn’t just have to be stuck in the ghetto with no options.

DJ Azuhl of The Beat Bangaz at the BVK Tribute Show – Image: Anthea Bissolati

The original members of BVK included Deon Daniels (Boeta-D), Roger Heunis (Hamma), Ashley Titus (Mr Fat) and Enver Peters (DJ E20). B-Boys Cheeze, Baby-L and Levi joined the group soon after they started to perform live.

BVK amassed a huge following and continued to be successful for the duration of the band’s career. New members joined along the way and some members left as is the case with many bands. Each of the members were individually successful artists whether it be as DJ’s or dancers. Though BVK had several members come and go, the ones who always stood out for me were the original members and of course the addition of Ricardo Nunes(Azhul) mid 1998. So when I picture BVK these are the faces I see.

Fast Forward to 9 March 2024: The Brasse Vannie Kaap Tribute Show

The excitement in the air was palpable. Some old heads and heads I haven’t met yet were hanging around outside the Youngblood Africa Museum in anticipation of an event that was long overdue. Doors are set to open at 6pm. The scene of everyone hanging around outside took me back to 88 Shortmarket Street when The Base was our most important destination every weekend. We would always arrive early to make sure we missed nothing. To say that the scene outside Youngblood Africa was nothing short of nostalgic, is probably as accurate as I can get.

Playing his opening set, DJ Malik s the son of the renowned Beat Bangaz DJ and BVK member DJ E20 aka Enver Peters – Image Anthea Bissolati

While the crowd was buzzing outside, some artists and performers were getting ready inside. Background music was provided by the young and very gifted DJ Malik who happens to be the son of the renowned Beat Bangaz DJ and BVK member DJ E20 aka Enver Peters. This kid has got some mad skills. I have always thought his dad was a legend. However, when catching up with his dad outside the venue, he was very proud to tell me that he feels that Malik has long surpassed him and is a much quicker study than he himself ever was. Now if you have ever truly experienced DJ E20 on the decks then you will know that this is high praise indeed.

We could hear and see young DJ Malik from outside but doors had not yet opened so we continued to chill and catch up with old friends outside. Thankfully my daughter and I already had our armbands so when 6pm rolled around, we got to walk straight in.

DJ E20 aka Enver Peters at the BVK Tribute Show – Image: Anthea Bissolati

I honestly wasn’t too sure whether the venue was the best choice, but those thoughts made a quick exit as soon as we made our entry. The venue was perfect! The walls have a street art vibe going on and the art is completely relatable to people from all walks of life.
The venue was spacious enough for people they planned to accommodate which was exactly 450 and this made for a nice comfortable evening. Big enough for us all to breathe but small enough to create a BVK vibe. If you know, you know.

There’s a restaurant area to the left of the entrance while the space allocated for the show is to the right of the entrance, and the bar was situated in the middle. The rooftop area two floors up made for some much-needed cool air because the night was a hot one in more ways than one.

We got to mingle and vibe a bit to the music from 6pm until the show started at 7pm promptly. The line- up was stellar. Our MC for the night was the legendary and incomparable Jerome Rex. He is a master of the Afrikaans language and of hyping up a crowd, so he was perfect for the job.

Host compère Jerome Rex also performed live at the BVK Tribute Show – Image: Anthea Bissolati

We were started off by Lee Drake, a talented young lady from Ocean View. I don’t want to rigidly classify her into a specific style, but she seems to draw inspiration from the G-funk era and that is something I haven’t seen in a while. So, I enjoyed it very much.

Moving on, the night was jam packed with a line up to make you absolutely jealous for missing out. We were blessed with performances by Cream Machine, Jerome Rex, Bliksemstraal, Hakkiesdraad, Kaecee Pheiffer aka Boesman Barbie, and the Beat Bangaz.
As for the dance entertainment, The Rhythm Factory showed us who’s boss with a dance set that’s not for the faint- hearted. Elvina and her dance crews never disappoint.

We also had the pleasure of watching B-Girl Nina Petersen, winner of Next Gen Dancer of the Year in the Global Dance Awards in Singapore in 2022, show us her moves as part of Vee’s crew for this show. It was clear to see why Nina won the award and it is definitely clear as day why The Rhythm Factory is one of the top dance schools around.

Members of The Rhythm Factory – Image: Anthea Bissolati

Now I’m pretty sure everyone thought Youngsta Cpt would be the showstopper but let me put that thought to bed for you. Don’t get me wrong; Youngsta Cpt was amazing! He and Ready D performed their latest release, “Back Like We Never Left” and it was fantastic.

However, make no mistake that BVK was undeniably the highlight of the night, as indeed it should be. Watching Ready D perform popular hits by BVK through the years was nostalgic and bittersweet. Tracks like “Jy Smaak My”, “BVK” and “Cape Flats” took me on a trip down memory lane.

With the additions of Jerome Rex, Bliksemstraal and the B-Boys, the performance was nothing short of epic. The energy was contagious, and the beats made you move whether you wanted to or not. With and without some of the original members, I have to say the tribute show undoubtedly did justice to BVK.

K-Nine Die Hond & Cream at the BVK Tribute Show – Image: Anthea Bissolati

A Night to Remember And of Remembrance

It was a night to remember and will go down in history books as part of our story. This I mean both literally and figuratively. Filming for the upcoming BVK documentary took place during the show and I’m sure we are all looking forward to its release.

If you missed this Brasse Vannie Kaap Tribute Show, I hope the documentary makes up for it. The tickets to the show were free and limited to 450 people so they were gone in no time. I am glad I got to see this, and I was able to take my daughter along.

In attendance of course, we had some of our very own Cape Town celebs. We got to brush shoulders with some stars like Emile Jansen, renowned author Adam Haupt, GHFM radio producer and well known turntablist Tyrone Da Silva aka DJ Eazy, rapper and performing artist K-Nine die Hond, and if you are a car fanatic you may have recognized Anwar Daniels and his family as well.

Emile YX & Hakkiesdraad attending the BVK Tribute Show – Image: Anthea Bissolati

It was a jam-packed evening just catching up with everyone. It was also inspiring, and it remind me why events like these are so important. It’s important that we tell our stories ourselves so that our children and their children can see that our circumstances didn’t stop us from trying to be the best we could be.

Artists and groups like BVK, Prophets of the City, Black Noise and more recently Youngsta Cpt bring hope to the Cape Flats. They show us that we are not our circumstances. Nothing in life is easy but hard work pays off. Thank you to all the artists and all the magic makers behind the scenes who made the show come together. Malikah Daniels is like a machine when she is in boss mode. She deserves a big shout out for making sure everything ran smoothly.

RIP Ashley Titus aka Mr Fat. You were missed and we will always remember you.


The Late Ashley Titus aka Mr Fat of BVK – Image: Brasse Vannie Kaap Facebook Page


Also check out these Images of the BVK Tribute Show by Dmitri Giovanni Carelse

What do you think?

Written by Anthea Bissolati

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