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.

Featured
Courtesy of the artist

Meet Musa Okwonga, Poet, Musician and Activist Standing Up Against Xenophobia One Line At A Time

We talk to the artist about leaving London, being a migrant and resisting Germany's resurgent fascist movement.

A German TV channel recently announced a TV debate on whether Germans should still be allowed to say the N-word.

One of the announced panelists was Frauke Petry, the former leader of the AfD—a German far-right party that recently got 14 percent of the vote in local elections. Petry openly called for the return of Nazi-era terminology in public. This issue might have remained hidden for anglophones if it wasn't for the British writer, poet and activist Musa Okwonga who called out the TV channel on his Twitter account. Eventually, they cancelled the show.

Keep reading... Show less
Sports
Via CONIFA

At This World Cup, Players Risk Imprisonment to Compete

What you need to know about the CONIFA World Cup, the football tournament for breakaway nations.

The ConIFA World Cup, the global football tournament for unrecognized nations, and football associations not affiliated to FIFA, is about to begin its third edition. The championship will kickoff on 31 May in Sutton, Greater London, where the Barawa FA team will act as host.

Barawa FA, named after the port city of Barawa in southern Somalia, represents the Tunni and Bravanese people who live there, but it also represents the wider Somali diaspora in the United Kingdom. So, even though the tournament will be played in England, this will be the most African ConIFA competition to date, with not only an African member hosting and heading the organizing committee, but with two other African teams taking part in the competition: Matabeleland and Kabylia.

This will be the largest edition of the ConIFA World Cup so far, with 16 teams playing in 10 stadiums—seven in Greater London, two in Berkshire and one in Essex. In contrast, the previous edition, held in Abkhazia—a separatist region of Georgia—in 2016, featured 12 teams in two stadiums; while the inaugural edition, held in Lapland—a region encompassing parts of northern Sweden, northern Norway, northern Finland and north-western Russia inhabited by the Sami people—in 2014, only featured one stadium and 12 teams. It will also feature the largest number of African teams so far, as only two participated in 2014 (Darfur and Zanzibar) and 2016 (Somaliland and Chagos Islands).

The tournament has also raised its profile. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power announced it will be sponsoring the tournament, probably seizing the opportunity to take bets on the tournament, which will occur between the end of national European leagues and the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in mid-June.

Keep reading... Show less
Events
Photo by Farah Sosa.

Here's What Amplify Africa's Inaugural Afro Ball Looked Like

The awards event was a celebration of excellence and ambition in the African community.

On Saturday, May 19, the Los Angeles Theater Center in downtown LA became a mecca for idealists and dreamers from the African diaspora.

The casual passersby would've been greeted with an effusion of bold prints, intricate headwraps and color coordination—the likes of which had not been seen since their favorite 90s music video (or church, or a wedding for some of us). And though the festivities might have vaguely resembled a film set—as is all too common downtown—this moment wouldn't be rehashed months later in a movie or television show. Attendees were flocking to Amplify Africa's inaugural Afro Ball. With the support of BET International, Buzzfeed, OkayAfrica, the GEANCO Foundation and more, Afro Ball lived up to its name as a "for Africans, by Africans" awards event, celebrating excellence and ambition in our community.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.