Sometimes, meaning exists within a name, but like many prophecies, this may be taken lightly by the unenlightened. The group name Skwatta Kamp (pronounced Skwa-tah Camp) says it all. Derived from the term Squatter Camp, which are shantytowns littered around South Africa’s open landscapes, the people who live in these informal settlements are seen as outcasts and a nuisance. This was the situation in the music industry that Skwatta Kamp found themselves in a few years back, where their form of music was not seen as an art form but a passing fad not worth mentioning in high regard.
But in true squatter fashion they are not going anywhere but are here to stay in the music industry.Skwatta Kamp is Slikour, Shugasmakx, Nish, Relo, Bozza and Nemza and they are determined to leave a chapter on the hip hop landscape by being consistent in their business acumen and by representing the true essence of South Africa’s urban street culture worldwide.
Their music offers insight into where they are from. Through their music the listener gets a look into how the South African youth vibe. The canvass is the beats prepared by the best composers and Skwatta are the lyricist’s painting the detail of daily living, popular culture, escapism and the township / urban youth concept of fashionista.
As leaders of the Mzansi (South Africa) hip-hop revolution the group has seen life take a turn for the better in the last six years.
Their debut album, Skwatta Cam-Pain was released in 2001 to a virtually nonexistent hip hop scene and the first single, The Rest Shut the F$%* Up, made waves on radio instantly and over the years the groups enjoyed more albums, ground breaking achievements as hip hop pioneers and more hits in Rau Rau, Manyisa, Umoya, Eskhaleni, Landela, The Clap Song, Feel Like Dancing, Bumpa 2 Bumpa, Kings & Kweens, Dali Mawaza, Summer Song and Hey! Let’s not forget to mention all the hits from their solo careers, now that’s a catalogue! And the live shows can simply be described in three words….. Hit After Hit…… and yet the boys remain humble and respected members of their respective communities.
Skwatta Kamp remains the most successful hip-hop group in South Africa in terms of accolades and album sales. Two of their albums Mkhukhu Funkshen (2004) and Washumkhukhu (2005) have both separately reached gold sales status and counting, certifying them a firm favourite amongst music buyers.
Their success locally, soon after the release of their second album, spread into the rest of Africa and in some cases over into European countries. The groups popularity increased to a level that when multi-platinum selling American Rap Superstar, Ludacris, was performing at the MTV Base Launch Party, he personally requested for Skwatta Kamp to perform with him. They have performed on the same stage as Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Jeru & Black Thought on the Black August Tour + John Legend & Will Smith at MTV Concerts, Snoop Dogg, Black Eyed Peas and Bassment Jaxx in recent times and many others.
In 2006 the group decided to grow their business acumen and signed a joint venture deal with EMI / Virgin Urban for the release of their music under their own company, Skwatta Kamp Music Production. This was soon after followed by an expansion deal with the group’s clothing range, SKwear (pronounced square for Skwatta Kamp Wear), in 2007, which saw ink hit the pad when collaborating with international clothing brand, Kappa, to bring out their own range of footwear.
Awards and Accolades:
2003 SAMA Award for Best Rap Album Metro FM Music Award for Best Hip Hop First South African Hip Hop group to sign with a major record label.
2004 SAMA Award for Best Rap Album, Source Award International Artist of the Year Nomination. Best Kwaito / Hip Hop Group at the Kellogs Kidz Star Awards. Mkhukhu Funkshen reaches gold status album sales, Umoya used as official Vodacom Challenge Theme (Football Tournament)
2005 - Channel O Video Music Awards for Best Hip Hop Video.Nomination Best African Hip Hop at the Kora Awards Washumkhukhu reaches gold status album sales.
2010 – Metro FM Music Awards, “Hey!” featuring Clu, Best Music Video.
The group was also honored by the community of Heidelberg win the Karen Beef Community Award for their role as role models and most recently by the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA) with a Certificate of Appreciation for their contribution to the fight against drug and alcohol abuse.
In 2009 Skwatta Kamp came back to appease their fans with another installment to their legacy. FAIR AND SKWEAR hit the shelves Nov 2009 and enjoyed airplay from their singles “Batshele”, “Summer Song” featuring Kruna, the world cup street banger “S’gubhu” featuring Relo alongside Lungelo & “Hey!” featuring the super fresh Clu.
As a well-travelled group, Skwatta Kamp has graced the shores of many African countries such as Zambia, Senegal, Ghana, Botswana, Angola and Swaziland. The music has touched many South Africans and leaped borders to reach the living rooms of many families, the lyrics have captured the essence of the South African and their combined life stories have filled many youths with hope & courage to achieve their goals while fulfilling their dreams.
In 2018, in commemoration of the deceased Flabba, Skwatta Kamp released a tribute single on Audio and Music Video called “There U Go”. This song will feature on the forthcoming “G.O.A.T” (Greatest Of All Time) album which will feature all the favourites songs from all the Skwatta Kamp Albums.
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