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Popped Bottles

Popped Bottle

by Ayanda Moholi / 06.12.2010

Last Sunday, I found myself in Johannesburg to experience all the culture that is so difficult to find in the nation’s capital, Pretoria. Alas, it all had to happen on the same weekend. Weddings. Food, Wine and a Design Fair. Picnicking at the Botanical Gardens. And Pop Bottles *cringe*.

Mrappers (noun): Individuals (almost invariably male) who are wannabe commercial rappers or hip hop MCs. Artist implies creativity, talent and abilities therefore “wannabe” is the operative word. The Helderfontein Estate was riddled with them. “Wasup, mami?” “Check out my swag.” All speaking that hip hop parlance, the language that has evolved somewhere between MTV, E entertainment and that ubiquitous “club” mentioned in almost every hip hop song. It’s not English and I cannot understand.

Pop Bottles is an event that personifies the shallowness of my generation. They started throwing these parties in the same year that I started going to varsity. But I had yet to go to one until that Sunday afternoon. Having already spewed R100 at the entrance, the price of a new bra at Woolworths, I ended up forcing myself to have fun to the maximum. The entrance fee was too great to waste.

Pop Bottles

Arriving at the gate of Helderfontein Estate, I was forced to walk under the arm of the bouncer who had an odour so strong that it could attract flies in sub zero temperatures. The road leading in was all gravel and with that, my Xhosa friend remarked that it “feels just like home.” Finally arriving at the building, it resembled one of those American teen frat house party flicks.

I seem to have an attitude against such events; these include Kings of Swag, Sensation Saturdays and Caramel Sundaes *cringe again*. Everyone seems to have an agenda. No one really dances to the music, rather they gyrate or do staccato bounce moves as they rap along to the lyrics. The girls all dress like they’re going to the SAMAs at three o’clock in the afternoon. And what’s up with all the glasses (likely the 3D ones from the cinema) without lenses. I don’t wear contacts, I wear real glasses because I literally cannot see my license plate when standing 10 meters from it.

Besides the scantily dressed ladies and the boys in skinny jeans, or white underwear-revealing jeans, hip hop was the order of the day. Fittingly so. This is not a house kind of crowd. House is ghetto Pretoria style, reserved for filthy clubs like Zanzu. But Eminem songs are pretty hard to dance to apart from the obligatory head bop. But as I mentioned, dancing, or breaking sweat was not the game, looking extra specially attractive was. Towards the end they started rocking some old school jams by the likes of Caiphus Semenya that meant nothing to all the eighteen year olds, (and thus became a sign to evacuate the venue).

I enjoyed myself, nonetheless. Fun was had. I finally broke through my judgmental boundaries and mingled with the Retrokidz lookalikes and their tweet followers. Let’s do it again, or not.

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