South Africa is undoubtedly one of the countries that largely contributed to the successful growth of Hip Hop genre in Africa; while other African countries struggle to make the genre peak.
Decades ago, the likes of Pro Kid, ProVerb, HPP, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Riky Rick, Nasty C, and a few others were zealous about rap music and some blended it with their local sounds.
SA is a home for Hip Hop in Africa, despite the other local genres, but the year 2020 saw the emergence of COVID and Amapiano in South Africa; it also witnessed the crippling of hip hop.
The Fall of SA Hip Hop
In 2020, Mzansi witnessed the rise of amapaino genre which graduated to the hottest sound, displacing rap music, House music, and gqom from the top.
Every clubhouse, show, and event embraced yano music which led to the visibility of more yano music producers and vocalists.
Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Major League DJz, Lady Du, Focalistic, MFR Souls, and a few others were persistent in creating new songs, and the sound gradually penetrated other neighbouring countries like Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana, Zimbabwe and a few others. The Major League’s push gave yano more international plays.
While Amapiano rang in the minds of people, SA rappers presumably lost focus as they abandoned rap music for Amapiano. The likes of Cassper Nyovest, Reason(Sizwe Alakine), Riky Rick, Major League DJz switched to Amapiano and they did well with the genre.
Before we could say Jack-Robbinson, mzansi chorused the death of hip hop, and many blamed Amapiano.
A few rappers remained consistent, the likes of Priddy Ugly and K.O.
Revival of SA Hip Hop
Following two years of Amapiano songs consistently topping SA music charts across various streaming platforms, we finally have rap songs from AKA and K.O top charts.
The likes of Priddy Ugly, A-Reece, Emtee and others didn’t quit despite the perceived fall of hip hop.
In August 2022, Big Zulu shook the game with a diss song titled, 150 Bars. The diss track attacked top SA rappers which include, AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Emtee, Kwesta, Nasty C and a few others.
The diss track caused an awakening and triggered controversy.
It was debated that Cassper started the movement of reviving hip hop with his verse on Falkoice’s Ooh Aah rap song.
However, Big Zulu’s diss track sparked something interesting this year as Kwesta, Duncan, K.O, and Nyovest responded to the song.
The month of August 2022 should be unforgettable in the history of SA Hip Hop as people got to talk about rap music for weeks which awakened most rappers and made them resurface.
Cassper Nyovest, AKA, K.O, Priddy Ugly, Nasty C, Blxckie, and a few others have further proven their love for rap music by releasing some songs.
Spotify (music streaming platform) crowned K.O’s Sete the most streamed South African song in 2022.
Nasty C also triggered conversations across different social media platforms with his rap song, No Big Deal.
In our opinion, Hip Hop is still reviving and its revival hasn’t halted Amapiano’s shine.
Hip Hop becomes dead in SA if the rappers stop releasing rap songs.
Do you think SA Hip Hop is finally breathing in 2022?