Hip-hop is one of the few popular music genres in South Africa; the genre is influenced by and has influenced certain cultures in the country.
In the past, dating back to 1982, we’ve seen famous hip-hop artists like South Africa’s beloved rapper Cassper Nyovest use hip-hop to promote activism. Over time the style of music changed in the country, so hip-hop changed, and the genre grew by leaps and bounds. New beats and voices have changed the southern African hip-hop scene.
Who’s Cassper Nyovest
Born in December 1990 as Refiloe Maele Phoolo and known professionally as Cassper Nyovest is a South African rapper, singer, songwriter, song producer, boxer and entrepreneur.
He’s amongst the most successful hip-hop artists in South Africa. Nvyoest became a hip-hop sensation when he released his debut studio album Tsholofelo (2014), which spawned the hit singles “Doc Shebeleza” and “Gusheshe” In 2014 he created his record label named Family Tree Records.
A Brief History of hip-hop in southern Africa
Hip-hop music has been popular in South Africa since the 1980s because African Americans significantly influenced hip-hop in Southern Africa.
By 1985, hip-hop was popular in Senegal, a french speaking nation in southern Africa. Some famous Senegalese rappers included; M.C. Lida, M.C. Solar and Positive Black Soul.
Each African region has its hip-hop style; in South Africa, kwaito music significantly influences South Africa’s hip-hop, a music genre developed based on house music.
Blacks and African Americans invented hip-hop in the early 1979s, and it’s one of the main reasons it’s a popular genre of music in Africa.
Some of the most popular hip-hop songs by Cassper Nyovest
Doc Shebeleza by Cassper Nyovest was out as a single from his debut studio album Tsholofelo; the song debuted at number four on South Africa’s official music charts.
The song became a smashing hit throughout Africa and other parts of the world like America; the song has 200,000 downloads. A remix of the song was out on November 3, 2014. Anatii produced it; the famous American rapper Talib Kweli was featured in the song’s remix.
Gusheshe ft. Okmalumkoolkat
Gusheshe is a popular hit song by Cassper Nyovest; it’s a hip-hop song with elements of kwaito in it. The song was produced by Ganja Beatz and featured vocals from Okmalumkoolkat. Nyovest was proposed for his rap performance in the song by music critics.
Skelm was released in May 2016, and the track is primarily a hip-hop track; fans praised his lyricism in Skelm. An excerpt from the lyrics; “I see too many rappers and not enough CEO’s/By default I am the best in the business.”
Ganja Beatz also produced the song; his flow was outstanding and stellar on this hip-hop track. The song has samples of a piece by kwaito legend M’du’s “Mazola. Music critics praised the song, and even Kwaito Legend, M’du’s “Mazola, praised the song and started to smile every time he listened to the music.
BMK was released in 2012. It’s an R&B/hip-hop track. Nyovest raps about not being ready to be in a full-time relationship. The song was in the platinum album edition of Tsholofelo.
Throughout his career, Cassper Nyovest has released over three studio albums and many hit singles that topped the music chart. He is already considered one of the greatest rappers in South Africa.
His studio albums include Tsholofelo, Refiloe, Thuto, Sweet and Short, A.M.N. (Any Minute Now), and Sweet And Short 2.0, which was out in 2021.