JOHANNESBURG, South Africa –Hip Hop is among the biggest genres in South Africa and has forged a unique sound for itself through the incorporation of kwaito, house and traditional sounds.
The hip hop industry itself is churning out massive hits and making stars out of musicians who only a few years ago would have been considered ‘underground’.
The scene has become so big that many of South Africa’s rappers have gained notoriety across the African continent and are garnering nominations and victories on international award platforms.
As we approach the end of the year, we have created a playlist of some of the top South African hip hop songs released in 2019.
We will update the list if anything ‘big’ comes up. The songs below are in no particular order, so turn the volume up and enjoy!
‘Khethile Khethile’ – Kwesta ft. Makwa, Tshego AMG, Thee Legacy
‘Khethile Khethile’ is a love song that pays homage to the Zulu culture. The slow-tempo is a fuses rap and vibrant maskandi guitars. The video for the song was released in May and had amassed almost 3 million view on YouTube by the beginning of October.
‘Jika’ – AKA ft. Yanga Chief
‘Jika’ is off AKA’s 2018 Touch My Blood album. The video for the song was directed and produced by Skystar Films and Nhlanhla ‘Life of Nivo’ Ndimande respectively. ‘Jika’ is among the top viewed YouTube hip hop videos in South Africa.
‘Whipped’ – Tellaman ft. Shekhinah,Nasty C
‘Whipped’ is off Tellaman’s God Decides 20-track debut album. Directed, filmed and edited by Kyle White, the video for the song celebrates love through powerful R&B vibes from Tellaman and Shekhinah, with catchy raps by Nasty C.
‘Imma Boss’ – Nadia Nakai
‘Imma Boss is off Nadia Nakai’s Nadia Naked album. In the song, the rapper boasts about being the a top South African hip hop artist. The colourful video shows the Zimbabwe-born rapper bragging about having toured Europe and insists she needs no one’s advice in music. The lyrics are supposedly directed at her rivals. A cliché in the rap game but a good tune nonetheless.
‘Move for Me’ – Cassper Nyovest ft. Boskasie
The ‘Move For Me’ video is off Cassper Nyovest’s 2018 Sweet and Short Deluxe album. The song is a mid-tempo pop song, with reggae influences. Directed by Laurenzo Dlamini, the video was released on YouTube in May and stars US fitness trainer and model Jessica Burciaga. In the video, the half-naked pair are seen showing off their ‘skilful’ dance moves.
‘You and I’ – Riky Rick ft. Mlindo The Vocalist
The song is a celebration of love and was released on 14 February to coincide with Valentine’s Day and its video dropped two months after that. For this track Riky Rick employed the vocals of one of the country’s most sought-after singers.
‘Bakae’ – Boity
‘Bakae’ was released in February and has no video. In June, the song was among the top 10 trending songs in South Africa.
‘Strings and Bling’ – Nasty C
‘Strings and Bling’ is off Nasty C’s album of the same name. Directed and shot by Kyle White, beginning of the video features prominent figures in the South African hip hop scene such as Slikour and Ms Cosmo talking about the artist.
‘Right Now’ – Gemini Major ft. Nasty C and Tellaman
‘Right Now’ is powerful trap song that is perfect for a road trip. The song is off the album of the same name and features the powerful voice of South Africa-based Malawian rapper and producer Gemini Major, who is helped along by Nasty C and Tellaman.
‘Supa Dupa’ – K.O
K.O’s ‘Supa Dupa’ narrates the rapper’s challenges throughout his career, apparently defined by insincere and deceitful individuals. K.O, also known as Mr Cashtime, uses snakes in the video to drive home the message.
‘The Cape of Good Hope’ – YoungstaCPT
‘The Cape of Good Hope’ is YoungstaCPT’s fourth video single off his debut album 3T. The video was produced and directed by YoungstaCPT and Dale Fortune. The song is about Cape Town’s hip hop culture, beauty and history.