Red Bull Culture Clash 2017: DJ Tira battled AKA for the win, Patoranking Disqualified

other A-list acts like Beenie Man, Admiral & Jahseed also gave their all for the four intensely competitive rounds

Over the last 7 years, Red Bull Culture Clash has tried to pull off one of the world’s most innovative live music experience, defined by a classic Jamaican sound system culture, through the use of cutting-edge lyrics, fierce competition and ridiculously loud sound systems. First established in London in 2010, the last editions of it have steadily gained popularity in cities like New York, Lisbon, and Paris. But for the first time in five years, Red Bull Culture Clash 2017 took place on African soil, at Orlando Stadium in South Africa yesterday (23 September) with four heavyweight sound systems.

The night was indeed a blast of four intensely competitive rounds. Each of the four groups comprised of Africa’s A-list artists: AKA leading “Top Boyz” sound system, battled it out against DJ Tira’s “Durban Massacre”, Patoranking’s “Red Hot” and Admiral and Jahseed’s “African Storm” sound system, repping their four respective genres —hip hop, house, afro-beats and reggae.

Surprise acts are also a big part of the excitement at Red Bull Culture Clash. This year, international reggae star, Beenie Man was part of the African Storm, and Red Hot’s surprise guest was Zola. But a strong throwback from Mdu Masilela for DJ Tira and Durban Massacre sound system, was really what skyrocketed the group’s performance. With Patoranking disqualified for repeating The Game’s “It’s Okay (One Blood)”, which African Storm Sound System had previously played, it was between AKA and DJ Tira’s team. In the end, DJ Tira’s Durban Massacre sound system won over the crowd, taking the coveted title of the year.

DJ Tira who was proud to hoist the winning title belt, after the event said winning the title means a lot to him because “it shows people that Gqom and Durban house is here to stay, and will dominate and shape future sounds. That’s all we ever wanted to do – stay true to ourselves and where we come from. We gave people what they wanted and they responded to the genuine, heartfelt music we shared. That’s what it’s all about and we are proud to solidify our sound further.” He further thanked the music lovers and supporters, who to a large extent, make it all possible.

Hosts Siyabonga ‘Scoop Makhathini’ Ngwekazi and Thapelo Mokoena also brought a chemistry that kept the whole night moving to rhythm on stage.

Take a look at the highlights from the event below.

Image Credits: Tyrone Bradley for Red Bull Content

Fisayo is a journalist in search of words. Tweet at her @fisvyo

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