Grandmaster Flash (Aaaaaah!)

“All the good acts skip Durban.” If this is you, you’re wrong. Want proof? Well Grandmaster Flash was in Durban last week and Ty Jay Ay was there to document it. You’re doing good Durbs, you’re doing good…



I’ll tell you right off the bat that last Thursday night was a blast. Fuck me, did Durban have a good time.


Starting with an entry level ciggy, beer and pizza combo at Spiga, I engaged in a brief chat with STRAGE and then moved upstairs to Durban’s most appropriately named venue, The Upstairs, to watch this 3-peice monster perform. There congregated a peculiar crowd, a moderately large body of consciously-dressed groups and individuals who had all come out to play.


Following pre-drinks during sound check, everyone found their place around the band and tripped out to the symphonic-cacophony that is STRAGE. The sound was crisp and the band was tight, their music smacking the audience like a Saudi Arabian sandstorm. Flip, those guys are good.


Resuming pre-drinks for the third time, what was another quick dop soon became the night’s first self-induced tequila, this one complementing entry to Thursday’s top spot, CZAR. Come 23h30, GRANDMASTER FLASH would be spinning his shit. It was already clear to me that this party was headed to be off the hook.


Boasting a cosy outside section and a dimly lit, relatively spacious and up-market interior, CZAR is a classy type of spot that warmly welcomes the well dressed. After stopping to look at how its abundance of rich mahogany-like wooden features so well suited my burgundy pants, I hit a little march to take a bit of a better look around.


Red Bull branded decks had been set up and, like the crowd, they eagerly awaited their Grandmaster. The upstairs balcony had been closed off, but this didn’t really bother anyone for too long as the outdoors space downstairs catered well. Accessing the bar was easy and somehow Viva Vodka literally free flowed from the bottle.


Durban-based DJ P-Khutta opened the party on a separate set of decks situated up on the dance floor. Holding it together, he cut with style and served a notably great start considering the legend who’d be stepping in next.


Whilst everyone was warming up, I was fortunate enough to get into a long conversation with The Big Idea’s charismatic front man Quincy Fynn. Having killed it headlining the previous weekend’s Interpret Durban success story, we found a lot to talk about and it was, as many would presume, an insightful and entertaining conversation. Talking in song, Quincy took me down a rhythmic highway of information and somewhere along the line we inevitably spoke about the night’s internationally-acclaimed, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame superstar; the one and only Hip Hop King, Grandmaster Flash.


Tales of how Grandmaster Flash had sussed out the scene by coming to do his homework here at CZAR the previous night were recounted. Having heard the Grandmaster suggesting Brandy and a list of other unmentionables, Quincy had cringed, then informed Master Flash that firstly, the people were coming here to hear hip hop, and secondly, it actually didn’t matter what he played because he simply is who he is and he is the Grandmaster. Later, when Flash did wow the crowd, I was glad to hear that he had followed Quincy’s advice by scrapping anything R&B from his exorbitant tracklist, a proper banger of a set which covered pretty much everything else from groovy to ghetto and back.


As was expressed by plenty on Facebook the following day, Grandmaster Flash was epic – totally nuts and raisins. Chopping and expertly changing beat after beat, the Barbados-born, American turntable icon non-stop rocked the party. The crowd straight-up lost their shit. Dodging hand-standing maniacs, the fully-equipped Red Bull photographer climbed in and captured all of it. It was a full house and everyone gave their all, contributing to yet another outstanding, Durban-does-it-again event.


Being the Grandmaster’s prelude to his Red Bull main stage headlining gig at this year’s Rocking the Daisies, I can confidently claim that his stop in Durban will be greatly spoken about and contently reflected upon. Give yourselves a pat on the back people, even if you didn’t attend, for I swayed out of that place feeling proud to be a part of what our 031 is getting up to. You guys rock.


*All images © Kevin Sawyer

12 Responses to “Grandmaster Flash (Aaaaaah!)”
  1. luke says:

    i feel sweaty looking at those photos. so good.

  2. Did mynameisgrant take those photos?

  3. luke says:

    blue/denim is definitely in btw.

  4. Mark says:

    Epic article.
    Sick photos.
    Good job guys!

  5. Johan says:

    So stoked Durban got hip hop from GMF. All he gave Rocking the Daisies was Tiger Tiger bullshit with lame ass ‘scratching’, opening with Avicci’s Levels.. And let’s not mention BEP’s ‘I gotta feeling’ and constant ‘Put yo hands in the air.. If you got a 20 dollar bill, put ya hands up.’ Eish.

  6. Gigantic Faggot says:

    If blue/denim was in, it’s out after this. goddamn.

  7. Daym says:

    Luke looking so stoked in that last photo.

    Also, bouncers look look they give zero fucks.

  8. haha says:

    Where are the black people?

  9. haha says:

    Are those guys wearing the SAME denim tshirts. I guess hipsters shop at the same place huh?

  10. Grant Payne has a denim shirt just like that

  11. Donald Fuck says:

    How many times a day do you masturbate over him?

  12. As much as I can fit in

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