When I first sat across from Cassper, it was a warm summer’s day and the man was all smiles with the success of his latest hit Doc Shebeleza. We chatted about a lot of things that day but the one thing that stood out was his determination to reach heights SA hip- hop had never achieved. Now, three and a half years later, as he prepared for the biggest night of his career there was a sense that he had achieved it.

Certainly those around him in the industry thought so. Everyone from Oskido to L-Tido, DJ Sbu and Black Motion were gushing over how he had blazed a brave new path for musicians in the future. “This is moving the culture forward. It is not about you.

Cassper Nyovest

“Where is his clothes? Where are the dancers? I’m worried, we still don’t have the set list,” came shouts from the hallway. Next to me I heard the whisper “Did you see how insane his police escorts into the stadium was? I hear he is going to ride on stage in his Bentley!”Cassper didn’t ride onto the stage in his Bentley, his entrance was a less flashy. Still, he made an incredible entrance dressed in white on top of a screen on stage, performing the hit Touch The Sky. It sent the crowd, who had been chanting his name for 10 minutes straight, into a frenzy.

What followed was more costume changes than at SA Fashion Week and more dancers than a Friday night in the club. Cassper performed song after song. And the crowd loved it.

He also punctured the show with performances from Black Motion, Babes Wodumo, DJ Tira, Kwesta, Riky Rick and Distruction Boyz. The excitement during these performances threatened to bring down the whole stadium and I’m sure that an inspection of the pitch today will find that there are craters from people jumping up and down the whole night.

These were also touching moments as Kwesta and Riky Rick paid tribute to Cassper. The emotion reverberated around the calabash and swept over the crowd.

And while the crowd were constantly dancing to Cassper’s beat, it all came to a climax with two of Cassper’s biggest hits Doc Shebeleza and Tito Mboweni. It was a fine end to a show that lasted more than three hours.

The debates over the next few days may centre around whether Cassper actually drew enough fans to his show to technically fill the stadium. Certainly there were patches of empty seats around the stadium, but bear in mind that there were thousands of people on the pitch.

Regardless, one thing is clear: Cassper did #FillUpFNBStadium. He filled it with music. He filled it with hope and joy. He filled it with inspiration and, most of all, he filled it with those were just as confident about his dreams as he was.

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