Music

10 South African Hip-Hop Love Songs That You Need In Your Life

We round up the 10 Best South African Hip-Hop Love Songs for you and your lover's enjoyment.

Following along with this month's theme of Love and Blackness, we had resident SA hip-hop expert Sabelo Mkhabela, round up ten South African Hip-Hop Love Songs for you and your lover's enjoyment.


Hip-hop doesn't get enough credit for its love offerings, so we thought it only right to highlight some of the genre's best South African jams.

Get into it with the selection below. For more, check out our African Love Songs playlist on Apple Music.

Amu “Since I Met You"

“Since I Met You" is a double love song. Amu is caught between his love for hip-hop and this woman who is turning him into a soapie character. “Since I Met You," just like the album it's on, The Life, Rap and Drama (2003), is timeless—it sounds new to this day. Amu's production reveals a seasoned producer. The clarity of the music is impressive, especially given the era this album came in.


A-Reece “Mngani"

A-Reece and his lover are reunited, and he celebrates with “Mngani." Sonically the song is pleasing, with familiar chords that induce nostalgia, whether they take you back to Tupac's “I Ain't Mad At Ya" or Blackstreet's “Don't Leave Me." A-Reece sings the hook with old school R&B; sensibilities, giving the song the lovey-dovey feel he was gunning for.



ProVerb “I Know" ft. Ferdy Ferd

ProVerb pends the most heartfelt love songs in South African rap. 'Verb's best love song has to be “Marry Me" from his classic debut album The Book of ProVerb (2005). 'Verb pens the most heartfelt love songs in South African rap.

On his second album The Manuscript (2006), he had “Tell Me, Tell Me" and “From Across The Room." But both albums aren't readily available on streaming sites. “I Know," from his third album Write of Passage, is also a gem. On the song, 'Verb tells his partner that he knows what strings to pull to get her into the mood. Ferdy Ferd's hook is old school R&B; style, which is a perfect fit for the song.

Emtee “U Got It"

Emtee showed off his singing skills on his debut album Avery (2016). “U Got It" is one in which he shows his brilliance. Everything on the song just works, just like Emtee's relationship with his bae, which is revealed as healthy from lines like “Have been around the world/ haven't seen a better girl/ I'm just happy you don't twerk/ and you never judge me 'cause I'm sippin' on sizurp." A perfect soundtrack for a perfect relationship, if ever those exist.

Zubz “I'm Here" ft. Pebbles

“I'm Here", from Zubz's debut album Listener's Digest (2004) is more than just about long distance love and its challenges. It's also about being a struggler in a foreign country. But for him, having that conversation with the mother of his kid keeps him going (“But life's cool when I'm talking to you/ Late at night who I think of often is you/ You get me through"), even though that conversation is usually cut short when his credit runs out.

What makes “I'm Here" more effective is that it's told as an intimate no-holds-barred phone conversation—as a listener you feel like an eavesdropper. Pebbles sings one of those hooks she was known for in the mid-2000s. Timeless song from a timeless album.

AKA & Patoranking “Special Fi Mi"

AKA found his special someone and he decided to share the story in a celebratory afrobeats banger. There's nothing profound about “Special Fi Mi," but there's an existential euphoria that kicks in every time the song's on. It's a great cross between pop and rap, and is a great soundtrack to love going right. If you just found a special somebody you'll relate.

Reason “Promise Me" ft. Dineo Moeketsi

On “Promise Me," Reason raps in first person about what his partner has just told him: she's ready to take their relationship a step further, even though she's scared and knows it's not perfect. “I'm ready to give you all that's left of me in spite of my fears/ In spite of the glitches, in spite of the habits and all of these nasty affairs." The music, Reason's tone and Dineo's emotion on the hook form what is one of the most heartwarming love songs to ever come out of South Africa. It's up there with ProVerb's “Marry Me."

Solo “The Frolic" ft. Dineo Moeketsi & Kabomo

Solo and his real-life bae Dineo Moeketsi united for a song affirming their love on 2014's “The Frolic." Assisting with more vocals on the hook is the man whose voice oozes soul, Kabomo, adding to the song's grandeur. Dineo and Solo exchange heartwarming words, “Hope that you'll understand when I say I see forever with you," she sings, celebrating a relationship they are both comfortable in and want to stay in.

Nasty C “Phases" ft. Rowlene

“Phases" is one of the strongest songs on Nasty C's debut album Bad Hair. It shows his potency as a song-writer, and it has a mean rhyme scheme. “Phases" speaks of a woman in Nasty's life who's been there through his lowest points, but they both have questions and doubts about their relationship.

It gets better when he and the featured singer Rowlene go back and forth in a rapped and sung conversation towards the end. The production is minimalist, the keys and bass line creating a fitting environment for musings on one of the most complex feelings human beings experience.

Zuluboy “Nomalanga Mntakwethu"

“Nomalanga Mntakwethu" is more than just a love song—it tells the story of a freedom fighter (presumably a member of Umkhonto Wesizwe) during the apartheid era. The song is a letter to the soldier's loved one, expressing how he misses her, and how the sacrifices he and his colleagues had to make for the freedom of South Africa.

He keeps writing to her, but she doesn't write back, and in a tragic turnout of events, when he gets back from fighting, he learns Nomalanga is dead. The song, which samples the South African jazz classic “Nomalanga" by Caiphus Semenya, tells the trauma most South Africans went through while fighting for the liberation of the country.

popular

Janet Jackson Returns With Afrobeats-Inspired Song & Video 'Made For Now' Featuring Daddy Yankee

The icon's latest is a nod to the sound, fashion and culture of the diaspora.

Ms. Jackson is back.

The iconic artist returns with her first single since the release of her 2015 album Unbreakable, and it's a timely nod to the "made for now" influence of afrobeats fashion, sound and culture.

On "Made For Now," which features Puerto Rican reggaeton titan Daddy Yankee, Janet Jackson does what she's done successfully so many times throughout her decades-long career: provide an infectious, party-worthy tune that's fun and undeniably easy to dance to. "If you're living for the moment, don't stop," Jackson sings atop production which fuses dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeats.

The New York-shot music video is just as lively, filled with eye-catching diasporic influences, from the wax-print ensembles and beads both Janet and her dancers wear to the choreographed afrobeats-tinged dance numbers, even hitting the Shoki at one point in the video. The train of dancers travel throughout the streets of Brooklyn, taking over apartment buildings and rooftops with spirited moves.

It's obvious that Jackson has been studying and drawing inspiration from the culture for some time now. She even hit the Akwaaba dance, popularized by Mr Eazi, during her Icon Award performance at this year's Billboard Music Awards.

The bouncing video, directed by Dave Meyers, features contributions from a number of creatives from Africa and the diaspora who were involved in the creation of the video, including designer Claude Lavie Kameni and choreographer Omari Mizrahi. Ghanaian health guru, Coach Cass pointed out some of the many dancers involved in the production on Instagram, who hail from Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad, Grenada and the US.

Ahead of the video's release, it garnered attention on social media when Jackson was spotted filming in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing what many thought was a questionable fashion ensemble. The outfit in question only makes a small appearance in the video, and we're glad to see that Janet's other looks appear, at least slightly, more coordinated.

Watch the music video for "Made for Now" below. The singer is set to perform the song with Daddy Yankee live for the first time tonight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, so be ready!

Audio

You Need to Hear Juls' New Single 'Saa Ara'


New hip-hop and highlife grooves from the celebrated UK-based Ghanaian producer.

By merging the diverse influence of growing up in Accra and East London, Juls has managed to cultivate a hybrid afrobeats style that has set him apart from the rest.

For his latest single, "Saa Ara," he teams up with award-winning rapper Kwesi Arthur and gifted lyricist Akan.

The brilliant fusion of vintage highlife instrumentals and booming hip-hop beats, along with Kwesi Arthur's lively chorus and Akan's fiery delivery gives the song a very spiritual and classical feel.

Soothe your soul this weekend with these tasteful sounds from Juls.

Listen to "Saa Ara" by Juls featuring Kwesi Arthur and Akan below.

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News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"

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