Audio/Video: The Roots of Shangaan Electro

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The folk at ElectricJive dig up the influences of Shangaan electro — the South African lightning-speed dance genre that's gained recent popularity through an Honest Jon's compilation. EJ highlights Nkulungwani Wa Nwalungu Vol. 1 (1977), a late-70s collection of what was then called Shangaan disco featuring artists that "would go on to get international exposure with [the likes of] Lizzy Mercier and Paul Simon." Head below for the download and tracklist.

>>>Download Nkulungwani Wa Nwalungu Vol. 1 (via ElectricJive)

01 Sapota: M.D. Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters

02 Pfukani Rishile: Samson Mthombeni and the Gazankulu Girls

03 Ndzi Khumbula Vaka Hina: G.S. Chauke

04 Angelinah Nkata: Star Flying Gazankulu

05 Miyela N'whanyana: Samson Mthombeni and the Gazankulu Girls

06 Pfuka N'wavolo: M.D. Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters

07 He Mdjadji: M.D. Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters

08 Bombo Ratika: Samson Mthombeni and the Gazankulu Girls

09 Salani Va Chiawelo: James Makhubelo and the Nhlalukweni Sisters

10 Ha Kunene: M.D. Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters

11 Shinengana: Samson Mthombeni and the Gazankulu Girls

12 Xiniyengile: M.D. Shirinda and the Gaza Sisters
Photography by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Price to Pay: The Complicated Relationship Between Ambitiouz Entertainment and South Africa’s Music Scene

Through all the horror stories shared by artists, it's impossible to overlook Ambitiouz Entertainment's contribution to South African music.

One of the biggest South African songs at the moment boasts a lineup of artists that blend styles for a smooth collaboration. With verses for the heads and a catchy hook for the radio, "Price to Pay" by Miss Pru DJ features the duo Blaq Diamond and Lesotho-born rapper Malome Vector.

A quintessential Ambitiouz Entertainment song, "Price to Pay" feels like 2016/2017 all over again, even if it's for just above five minutes. When Ambitiouz started circa 2015, a majority of its hip-hop artists—Emtee, Saudi, Sjava, FiFi Cooper, and others—were doing trap rap, mostly in native languages. Even A-Reece, who raps almost exclusively in English now, threw a few SePitori phrases in his rhymes. Singles such as "Tshela" and "Smokolo" released by the rapper Priddy Ugly under Ambitiouz were his first experiments with adding native languages in his verses beyond hooks.

While streaming "Price to Pay" and other songs released by Ambitiouz Entertainment, however, one wonders if, years from now, Malome Vector and Blaq Diamond will be sharing horror stories of working with the label, just like many of its previous signings.

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