Metro FM Awards fire up musicians, politicians

The 16th edition of the Metro FM Music Awards saw local rapper Nasty C bag four awards while Amanda Black walked away with two gongs. Held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban on Saturday, the event also sparked controversy with some artists and politicians questioning the authenticity of the winners.

Nasty C and Amanda Black.
Nasty C and Amanda Black.

The awards were dominated by artists signed to Mabala Noise, a record label owned by ANC Youth League national treasurer Reggie Nkabinde and DJ Bongz. Metro FM, in turn, is owned by state broadcaster the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and there is speculation that political ties are behind Mabala Noise’s success at the awards. Nkabinde is also on record throwing his weight behind former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s 90% local music quota.

SA media is reporting rumours that the record label also paid 10 million rand ($770 000) to Metro FM so its artists could dominate the awards. Besides Nasty C, other artists signed to Mabala who won awards on Saturday include Riky Rick (Best Hit Single), L’vovo (Best Kwaito Single), Kelly Khumalo (Best Female Album), Du Boiz (Best Music Video) and Musa Sukwene (Best African Pop Album).

Nasty C won in the Best Hit Single, Best Male, Best Hip Hop and Song of the Year categories. Afro-soul songstress Amanda Black, who led the list of nominees with five nominations, won the Listener’s Choice Award and Best R&B Single. Babes Wodumo, who together with Nasty C was in second place with four nominations each, left the ceremony without a statuette.

Riky Rick sparked the controversy when he used his acceptance speech as a platform to criticise the awards, saying viewers were aware that the awards were rigged.

“I thought I would be more excited to get this. If you know my raps, you know what I’m talking about,” he said on stage. “Shout out to all the kids that never get on radio, that can’t get their song played on radio because they don’t have enough money. Shout out to all the kids who put out music videos that never get their music videos played on TV because they don’t have the money.”

And as if to directly contradict Nkabinde’s praise for Motsoeneng’s local music quota, Rick said, “Ninety percent of the sh*t I hear on radio is garbage.” He then implored young musicians to bypass radio stations and make their songs popular on the internet.     

After the awards ceremony, the rapper went to Twitter. “If n*gg*z can pay for these f*ck*ng awards, then my n*gg*, I don’t want them,” his first tweet read. This was followed with another: “Stop playing with the people, we are not stupid.”

Other well-known artists added their voices with Black Coffee writing on Twitter, “I guess we've been quiet for too long, respects to @rikyrickworld for speaking the truth. This is definitely not helping the culture. Most artists before us died poor, we are trying to fix our industry. Help us instead.”

Khuli Chana also showed support for Rick’s sentiments. “Thank you 2 the fans 4 SH*TT*N on the industry 4 what happened at the MMA's, I’ll keep raising the BAR until u Put Flowers on me,” he wrote on Twitter. The rapper was nominated in the Best Music Video category for his single ‘One Source’ but lost to Mabala Noise artist Du Boiz.

Controversial politician and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema added his voice on Twitter saying that the Metros were not the right platform to honour legendary musicians.

“We love Caiphus Semenya & Letta Mbulu, we need a proper event to honor them. Not this Mom Rubby's shebben called #MMA16 [sic] corrupted by Mabala noise,” he wrote.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also condemned the Metros. “So in short Riky Rick is saying he got the award because Mabala Noise's money gave to him,” he wrote on Twitter.

In what appears to be a response to the EFF, South African Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula wrote on Twitter, “I hate it when people play politics over music industry awards. We ANC we don't own record labels our members own record labels.”

In another tweet he said, “I fully agree with Ricky Rick, he is a conscious rapper that's what activists do choose a platform and make a statement.”

Meanwhile, Joyous Celebration withdrew its nomination ahead the awards last week, saying the gospel group was accidentally nominated and it apparently wanted to give upcoming artists a platform to showcase their talent.  

Here is the full list of winners and nominees at the Metro FM Awards:

Best New Artist

  • Nasty C: Bad Hair Extensions
  • Babes Wodumo – ‘Gqom Queen’
  • Amanda Black  – ‘Amazulu’
  • Sjava – ‘Isina Muva’
  • Soul Kulture – ‘Ngeliny’langa'

Best Compilation Album

  • DJ Qness: Essential Selections
  • DJ Tokzen –  ‘Nnthi's Essential Selections 7’
  • DJ Fresh – ‘Fresh House Flava Vol 9’

Best Collaboration

  • Ms Pru ‘Ameni’
  • Bucie – ‘Rejoice’
  • DJ Speesta – ‘Mayo’
  •  Kwesta – ‘Mayibabo’

Best Urban Dance Album

  • Henry Philemon Man of Definition
  • Babes Wodumo – Gqom Queen Vol 1
  • Dr Malinga – Goodwill
  • Mobi Dixon – Live The Music
  • Mpumi – The Birth Of Mpumi
  • DJ Merlon – Original Copy

Best Urban Gospel Album

  • Dr Tumi Love & Grace
  • Lebo Sekgobela – Restored
  • Joyous Celebration – Joyous Celebration 20
  • We Will Worship – Mmuso
  • Khaya Mthethwa – The Dawn

Best Produced Album

  • Sjava Isina Muva
  • Musa – Mr Serious
  •  Amanda Black – Amazulu
  •  Vusi Nova – Naninina
  •  Soul Kulture – Ngeliny'langa

Best Music Video

  • Du Boiz ‘Dope Dreams’
  • Benchmarq – ‘All On Me’
  • Khuli Chana – ‘One Source’
  • Mafikizolo – ‘Kucheza’
  • Anatii – ‘Jump’

Best R&B Single

  • Amanda Black ‘Separate’
  • Floda – ‘Decapitate Me’
  • Charlie Mindgames – ‘As Long As You’
  • Zonke – ‘Funky Lovin’
  • Joocy – ‘Thathinhliziyo’

Best African Pop Album

  • Musa Kweme Mr Serious
  • Amanda Black – Amazulu
  •  Vusi Nova –  Naninina
  •  Soul Kulture – Ngeliny'langa
  •  Sjava – Isina Muva

Best Dance Album

  • Mobi Dixon Live The Music
  • Babes Wodumo – Gqom Queen Vol 1
  • Dr Malinga – Goodwill
  • Mobi Dixon – Live The Music
  • Mphumi – The Birth of Mpumi
  • DJ Merlon – Original Copy

Best Styled Artist or Group

  • Mafikizolo

Best Female Album

  • Kelly Khumalo My Truth
  • Amanda Black – Amazlu
  • Babes Wodumo – Gqom Queen Vol 1
  •  Lebo Sekgobela – Restored
  •  Brenda Mntambo – So Much Love

Best Male Album

  • Nasty C Bad Hair Extensions
  • Kwesta – Dakar
  • Sjava – Isina Muva
  • Mobi Dixon – Live The Music
  • A Reece – Paradise

Best Kwaito Single

  • L'Vovo  ‘Amatin Tin’
  • Mshoza – ‘Abantu Bam’
  • Vetkoek & Mahoota – ‘Sohamba Ngo 7’
  • Sosha –  ‘Good Times’

Best Hip Hop Album

  • Nasty C Bad Hair Extensions
  • Kwesta – Dakar
  • A Reece – Paradise
  • Anatii – Artifact
  • DJ Slique – Inayam Vol 1

Best Duo/Group Album

  • Durban's Finest: Reloaded
  • Jaziel Brothers – Out Of The Box
  • The Soil – Echoes of Kofifi
  • Soul Kulture – Ngeliny’langa
  • Encore – Encore

Best Remix

  • Prince Kaybee  ‘Don't Give Up’
  • DJ Ganyani – ‘Talk To Me’
  • Thee Legacy –  Wena Wedwa’ (Remix)
  • Bob’ezy – ‘Close To You’
  • Thee Legacy – ‘S’thandwa Sami Remix’

Best Hit Single

  • Riky Rick ‘Sidlukotini’
  • City Lyts – 'Vura'
  • AKA – 'One Time'
  • Ms Pru – 'Ameni'
  • DJ Speedsta – 'Mayo'

One Africa Award

  • Vee Mampeezy ‘I Do’
  • Tekno – ‘Pana’ (Nigeria)
  • Tiwa Savage – ‘If I Start To Talk’ (Nigeria)
  • Kommanda Obbs – ‘Ke Tauwa’ (Lesotho)
  • Patoranking – ‘Kissing’ (Nigeria)

Listeners Choice Award

  • Amanda Black

Song of the Year

  • Nasty C Hell Naw
  • Babes Wodumo – ‘Wololo’
  • Kwesta – 'Ngudu'
  • Amanda Black – 'Amazulu'
  • Dr Malinga – 'Akulaleki'
  • Durban’s Finest ft Professor – 'Unsindo'
  • King Monada – 'Ska Bhora Moreki'
  • Lebo Sekhobela – 'Lion of Juda'
  • Black Motion – 'Imali'



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