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K.O Mourns The Slow Death of SA Hip Hop

Breaking down the slow decline in the relevance of SA Hip Hop

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K.O

The golden era of SA Hip Hop, which peaked between 2013 and 2016, seems to many like a thing of the past. The excitement has cooled, the sales have plummeted and no fresh voices are breaking out.

There’s no doubt that for a few years now, the genre and its splashy explosion within the previous decade have plunged into a slump.

The blockbuster hits have dried up and, as House music and its Kwaito flavoured offshoots, Amapiano and Gqom have continued to define the preferred sound in the streets, SA Hip Hop is once more looking like the pariah it was before we saw stadiums being filled out and platinum records being sold.

RELATED: THE 5 MOST ANTICIPATED SA HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2020

At best, its losing its place within the mainstream landscape and returning to its genesis as the voice of a small and devoted community. At worst, major labels will likely be taking less risks with rappers in the future if the status quo continues to indicate they simply can’t bring in the revenue anymore.

K.O took to Twitter to share his assessments on the slow decline of SA Hip Hop, throwing the question to his audience on what could possibly underlie the apparent loss of its cultural capital and relevance. In other words why locals just don’t care as much anymore.

He’s been keeping an eye on the trends and as far as the numbers are concerned. When one begins to observe the trends and attends to the metrics that define commercial success by an objective benchmark, the key metrics may indicate that things aren’t looking pretty.

He mentioned the absence of SA Hip Hop on the charts, particularly on digital. Then there are the views. When you look at the music videos on YouTube you will know what we mean.

A case in point, Master KG’s Jerusalema has just surpassed the 50 million mark. It’s a House music song.

 

And although K.O’s analyses and questions have sparked some debates on Twitter, it would be a mistake to think his views came in the spare of the moment. He’s been concerned about the state of affairs for a hot minute. In an exclusive interview with Quench SA last year, The King of Skhanda shared his take on where the culture is.

“One thing that’s kind of missing is, we are not that big of risk takers as we used to be in terms of style and the music that we are making”, he said.  “We are just sort of tapping into, ‘Okay, this artist has a song that is happening right now, or amapiano is happening right now… How do I make an amapiano song? There’s Gqom happening now so let me do that.”

In 2020, it isn’t just amapiano and gqom that are seeing boosts in their growth. Limpopo is marking territory, as we’ve seen with the successes of Master KG, Makhadzi and Sho Madjozi. They are killing it, and they are doing numbers globally.

In our conversation, K.O had already noted that the lack of innovation and the kind of authenticity that led to the genesis of the Skhanda sound, Motswako, AfroTrap and other styles that sought to reveal Hip Hop as a sound South Africans on a large scale can relate to, is now missing.

“Like, people haven’t been as daring as we used to be. No one is saying, ‘I don’t care what people think but this is what I want and feel could change the game’, and then doing that and breaking the chain. It creates the next revolution of SA Hip Hop. A lack of that has kinda held us back.”

In our next piece on this subject, we will be banging out a detailed analysis on what has happened.

Do you think SA Hip Hop is losing its touch? Hit us up in the comments section below.

Discover New Music, Exclusive Interviews and Album Reviews on QuenchSA.com!

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Hip Hop

Nasty C vs A-Reece: The Rivalry Everyone is Talking About

Parallel album premiere dates spark new theories of a beef.

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There may be no official beef between Nasty C and A-Reece, but the new age South African rappers sure know how to keep speculation ablaze.

Shortly after A-Reece sparked a frenzy by sharing a Matrix movie-themed visual of the rollout for his looming project, Def Jam confirmed that Nasty’s upcoming album would be landing sometime in August.

Months after the Sotho Man With Some Power controversy, which Reece’s legal team since dismissed as foul play by a third party, SA Hip Hop’s two of the most talked-about rappers are back in the headlines for what fans perceive, once more, to be an ongoing feud.

RELATED: 5 BIGGEST MZANSI CELEBRITY BEEFS IN 2020

The announcement comes months after’s Zulu Man With Some Power suffered some delays. The album was initially slated for release in May 2020, but got pushed back twice to an unconfirmed date have been waiting for. And to keep them satiated, the God’s Plan rapper instead dropped the Zulu mixtape in June.

Nasty C

The artwork for Nasty C’s upcoming album. Photo Credit: Nasty C/Instagram

It’s hard to completely overlook the theories of a rivalry between the 23-year-olds. Further to the timing of Nasty C’s announcement, one could note the themes on which the visual themes of their upcoming albums, and how they stand in contrast to each other.

RELATED: THE BIG HASH & J MOLLEY DISS EACH OTHER IN NEW TRACKS 

It could be a coincidence, but it would be the newest in a growing pile of coincidences that suggest SA Hip Hop is seeing the rise to a Jay Z vs. Nas moment.

The artwork for Zulu Man With Some Power finds Nasty C wearing umqhele, a traditional Zulu headband for men. This aligns with the pursuit of the self as the Durban native is embracing his roots both visually and sonically. The album artwork centres Nasty C, who is surrounded by natural landscapes.

A-Reece

Reece plays around with Matrix themes as he teases new music. Photo Credit: A-Reece/Instagram

By contrast, Reece has been playing on the futuristic themes of the Matrix film. The iconic trilogy is based on a dystopian future, in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulation, called the ‘Matrix’, which has been established by to distract humans for a dark agenda. This will also help you understand the short film he dropped on Twitter.

What matters here is how Nasty is taking it back to basics as the Zulu Man, while Reece is taking us to the future as he seeks answers about freedom and autonomy within a reality controlled by an elite with wicked intentions.

Do you think they are beefing? Leave your comment below.

Discover New Music, Exclusive Interviews and Album Reviews on QuenchSA.com!

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Hip Hop

AKA Documents His COVID-19 Recovery On MTV Base

It’s a victory lap, but health-related.

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AKA
Photo Credit: Supplied

AKA on Friday disclosed that he’d tested positive for COVID-19.

And while he had to allay suspicion by Twitter trolls that he’d faked the whole thing to score himself some publicity, the rapper has shared his experience with coronavirus, as well his journey to recovery, on the telly.

AKA got candid in diaries that started airing on MTV Base and BET on Wednesday, where he raised more awareness about the seriousness of the virus. This came after he shared footage he’d taken of himself displaying some symptoms associated with COVID-19.

In a clip that sparked much discussion, the Fela in Versace hitmaker had captured himself coughing and running out of breath. And at 17:00 on Newsish on MTV Base (DStv channel 322) and during the 21:30 break on BET (DStv channel 135), he shared more of his experience.

AKA has also recently premiered the music video for his 2020 single, Cross My Heart.

Discover New Music, Exclusive Interviews and Album Reviews on QuenchSA.com!

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Hip Hop

Nasty C Announces ZULU Mixtape

New material drops tonight.

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Nasty C

Nasty C on Wednesday thrilled fans following a surprise announcement of a mixtape. Entitled ‘Zulu’, the project is slated for release on Wednesday.

While details on the tracklisting and guest features will only surface after the looming premiere, the rapper has since debuted the artwork. American record producer, DJ Whoo Kid, has the production credits on the EP, QuenchSA understands.

 

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“ZULU” the mixtape dropping tomorrow!!!!! @djwhookid 🔥🔥🔥🔥Drop a 💪🏾 in the comments if you’re ready!!!

A post shared by “EAZY” OUT NOW (@nasty_csa) on

The Bad Hair hitmaker recently unleashed two new singles back to back, both of which are likely to appear on the album. They Don’t, featuring T.I, There They Go and most recently Eazy, all dropped with the fiscal.

The mixtape drop comes ahead of the rapper’s highly anticipated third studio album, Zulu Man With Some Power. Earlier this year, Nasty, who’s now signed to Def Jam, indicated that he’s adding finishing touches to the looming album.

Discover New Music, Exclusive Interviews and Album Reviews on QuenchSA.com!

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