Music
AKA. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The Best South African Music Of The Month

SA songs and releases we loved this month.

While other genres are relatively quiet in the first month of the year, hip-hop has already fucked up 2018 in South Africa.

Here are the South African songs that caught our attention this month.


Ms Cosmo "Ay Baby"

Ms Cosmo gathered three of the most charismatic rappers in SA—Rouge, Moozlie and Sho Madjozi—for a modern take of Hurricane Chris' crunk hit "Ay Baby Bay." The song's recent music video just gave the it new life.

Lua Preta Quero Mais/ Somnilokwie

Polish-Angolan duo Lua Preta released a double single. One of the songs features Morena Leraba, who stays between Joburg and Lesotho. The EP is a fusion of electronica, EDM and Leraba's Sotho raps.

Solo and BETR GANG Tour Dates

Solo and BETR Gang dropped an album that set the benchmark for South African hip-hop in 2018. The star-studded record features the likes of K.O., Moozlie, Reason, Maggz, Rouge, PH and a whole lot more. Bars galore.

B3nchMarQ 1st Quarter EP

B3nchMarQ dropped another impressive EP, a follow-up to their debut Aspen (2017). This one features sing-songy raps, great deliveries and beats that knock so hard they might leave fractures in your eardrums.

Read: 20 South African Artists Who Could Fuck Up The Game In 2018

Lastee "Raven"

Lastee's first single of 2018 is a dark bass-heavy trap-soul banger that will surely get you in your feels.

JR "Gata Lena Remix"

Producer 37mph pulled this remix to JR's 2009 hit "Gata Le Nna" out of archives. Featuring the likes of Cassper Nyovest, Mr Selwyn, Shugasmakx and more, this one may be nine years old but still sounds fresh.

YoungstaCPT "Miyang Stokkie"

YoungstaCPT's "Miyang Stokkie" is like a Kaapstad take of Dead Prez's "Mind Sex." A potent steamy love single that you should keep for the winter. This one's taken off of his and Maloon TheBoom's 2017 album YungLoon Taliboom.

Riky Rick, Davido, Gemini Major "Murdah"

The latest single from Riky Rick's Stay Shining EP just got highlighted with an impressive visual that's fitting for a collaboration of this caliber.

Rouge "Dololo" (Azuhl 021 Remix)

DJ Azuhl keeps his eyes on the streets. He gives this Rouge banger a new life by giving it a darker instrumental.

AKA ft Stogie T "StarSigns"

AKA took a short break from making pop hits to drop a few bars (autotuned but still potent). Stogie T's verse is vicious—he throws jabs at the likes of Riky Rick and Cassper Nyovest. What a way to start the year.

Prince Kaybee "Club Controller" (ft. TNS & Zakusa)

While gqom is known for its stripped down nature, Prince Kaybee drops a layered gqom hit, which features melodic vocals, hard-hitting drums and a selection of synths and strings.This one will be a staple in the clubs.


Flex Rabanyan "Wadlala Ngam"


"Wadlala Ngam'" sees the KZN-based lyricist croon some sing-songy raps drenched in mild autotune over mellow keys and a mid tempo rhythm. He speaks of a lover who did him dirty after he had invested all his emotions in the relationship.

AKA "Sweet Fire"

AKA's back on his pop shit, and this time around, it works. He croons about his relationship which just ended.

Nadia Nakai ft. Cassper Nyovest "Naaa Mean"

Nadia is dripping with swag in her latest video. Forgive the outdated lingo, but it will all make sense after you watch it. The song's instrumental bands, and Nadia and Cass fill it up with their big egos.


Miss Pru DJ "Isaga Lam" ft. LaSauce, Gigi Lamayne, Nadia Nakai & Londie London

Miss Pru DJ gathered a squad of her girls to flaunt their money over a trap banger. We are seeing more of these tracks where women are doing it on their own, and we are totally here for it.

Culture

You Need to Listen to Luvvie Ajayi's New Podcast 'Rants and Randomness'

Listen to the first episode "Real G's Move in Silence Like Wakanda" now.

Honestly, who better to host a podcast, than our favorite Nigerian social critic Luvvie Ajayi?

The blogger and media personality's new podcast Rants and Randomness, is already garnering pretty stellar reactions from listeners—It currently boasts a 5 star customer rating on iTunes. All of this is unsurprising given her knack for humor and sharp wit that we've enjoyed over the years through her popular blog Awesomely Luvvie.

In her very first episode, titled Real G's Move in Silence Like Wakanda, Luvvie rants about Valentine's Day extraness—which is a very real thing, interviews Eunique Jones Gibson, the photographer behind campaigns like "Because of them We can" and "I AM Trayvon Martin," and shares her thoughts on Black Panther—and yes, she was just as blown away as the rest of us.

She gives a full 15 minute review on the podcast, but you can read part of her review via this snippet from her blog:

My heart is full by the fact that this film feels like life-affirming in the way that cannot be taken back and it's long overdue. And the success of Black Panther should mean that more of these stories will be written and produced and distributed on a grand scale. I say SHOULD, because, well. Shit happens and whiteness loves to do dumb shit like ignore logic, all in the name of racism. More of these stories of Blackness, in all its forms, need to be shared to the world and the possibilities are endless. If nothing else Black Panther should show that our stories are profitable, amazing and necessary. We need more of them all the time in all forms. They won't all look like Black Panther, which is good. They need to be different but they need to exist.

So shoutout to Ryan Coogler and the cast who KILLED IT. And allowed us to come together in joy. I'm officially claiming citizenship of Wakanda.

We feel you, girl. Wakanda forever.

Read the full review via her blog. For more, listen and subscribe to Rants and Randomness via iTunes.

Video: OkayAfrica's 'Black Panther' Celebration at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

OkayAfrica partnered with Brooklyn Academy of Music and D'ussé for an advanced screening, followed by an exclusive Q&A with Ryan Coogler and an epic afterparty.

Ahead of Black Panther's epic release last week, OkayAfrica and Okayplayer hosted an advanced screening and Q+A between director Ryan Coogler and CEO Abiola Oke, followed by our #OkayWakanda afterparty at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

It was a jam-packed event filled with beautiful black folks, coming together to celebrate the film of the year. The Wakandan pride was strong and what's even better is that we caught all the action on camera.

We got a chance to speak with our incredibly dressed attendees live from the red carpet and after party about what the film means to them and why they came out to support it.

Check out all the action from the event and after party in the video below.


Politics

We Did It: Three Years of #FeesMustFall Finally Bears Fruit

This year's South African budget shows that struggle can make things better.

Yesterday, South African Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, presented the long-awaited 2018 budget speech. While he was heavily criticised for increasing VAT and the fuel levy, which will heavily impact the poor, students celebrated the R57 billion that will finally be set aside to fund their studies in their entirety.

It was 2015 and I was at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, along with thousands of students from all over the country, waiting to be addressed by former President Jacob Zuma about our demands for a 0% increase in fees for the following year. We were capable students, worthy of being at universities but we were also black and lacking the money to access institutions which were fast becoming financially exclusive. While our core demand was eventually met, we knew it wasn't a complete victory—what about the fees for the following year and the year after that? I still remember how days after that epic march, my ears were still ringing with the phantom sounds of struggle songs and the whizzing of rubber bullets. I don't know if South Africa or the world will ever truly know how that fight scarred so many of us.

In the years that followed, we watched as the government (which claimed it had no money to allocate to tertiary education) squander state resources time and time again. We protested relentlessly; fiercely. We were shot at by police, our campuses looked like war-zones and we wondered whether we would attain the degrees upon which our families hopes rested so heavily.

After Jacob Zuma's resignation a few days ago, I wrote about how the ANC would embark on a journey of some serious ass-kissing in the run-up to the general elections in 2019. I warned Fees Must Fall activists that if ever there were a more opportune time to act, that it was most certainly now. R57 billion rand has been allocated for the funding of tertiary education for students whose household incomes are less than or equal to R350 000 per annum. This will assist not only the poor black working class but the black "missing middle" as well. The entire duration of their degrees will be funded with the added promise of supporting students in terms of food, transport and accommodation costs, all key to making this announcement a full victory and not just a partial one.

Now does this magically solve all our problems as black students? Does it do away with the rampant inequality prevalent on all our university campuses? No, it does not. But what it is, is a step in a very hopeful direction. Of course, it remains to be seen whether this R57 billion will actually serve its purpose and not be misappropriated like so many of our state funds in the past. However, our acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, is looking to make a big splash. He's looking to garner not only our support but our lasting support, so it would stand him in good stead if he ensures his government keeps their word. He has seen (or at least read about) the destruction, the chaos, the physical and psychological damage to our young members of society following numerous Fees Must Fall protests and clashes with the police.

I will never forget that day at the Union Buildings when the police started throwing stun grenades at us and unleashing a barrage of bullets. I will never forget how a young male student stumbled towards my friend and I, his face completely drenched in blood. I will never forget how my friend and I ran out of sheer, naked fear, blindly into the busy streets of the Pretoria CBD and eventually hid ourselves behind a nearby bus stop. I was not as active on the frontlines as so many other students were, not in the least, so I can only begin to imagine the kind of trauma they still have to wrestle with till this day.

The #NationalShutDown in Cape Town on Wednesday, October 21 2015. Photo by Imraan Christian

That is why this announcement, as much as it was a string of words on a piece of paper for a lot of people, meant so much more to the rest of us. It's a sigh of relief for many black students. It means a glimmer of hope for so many black families. It's a chance to dream and to do so without inhibition. This is all we've been fighting for and it feels so damn good to allow ourselves, even for just a moment, to bask in the light that seemed so elusive back then.

Our fallen comrade Solomon Mahlangu, the young man we sang about in our struggle songs, once said that his blood would nourish the tree that would bear the fruits of freedom. He told us to continue the fight. And so to all my comrades, amandla!

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.