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Ginger Trill. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Cassper Nyovest is The Jay-Z of South Africa, According to Ginger Trill

"He knows how to play the game."

The rapper Ginger Trill is one of the most potent lyricists in South Africa. He's your favorite rapper's favorite rapper. He recently won the Verse of the Year award for his song "Nobody (Interlude)" at the Slikour On Life Verse of the Year Awards, which took place in February.

Ginger is a guest on the latest episode of The Sobering, South Africa's most prominent hip-hop podcast. While discussing his plan to blow up, Ginger revealed how much he admires Cassper Nyovest's strategies (who doesn't?).

"Cassper is good at playing the game," Ginger says, "He's just, like, a Jay-Z."

He elaborates that Nyovest knows how to balance making catchy hooks and spitting potent verses at times:

"I think he's good at playing the game. He comes on somebody's song and ass' em out."

This is the same strategy that has contributed to Jay-Z's seemingly omnipotent relevance in hip-hop. The man said it himself on "Moment of Clarity," "I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars."

Asked why he wasn't playing the game, Ginger says the only thing he knows how to do best is to just rap. "I play the game, I drop my tapes, I drop my singles," he says.

"I am hustling, maybe I'm not as good as they are. Maybe my thing is being good as a lyricist."

During the episode, the rapper reveals himself as a student of the game, admitting he can rap word-for-word to Optical Illusion songs, and makes reference to other rappers. He also shares his South African hip-hop top 5 lyricists.

Listen to the full episode below, and listen to Ginger Trill's latest single "Money," underneath or download it here.

Subscribe to The Sobering on iTunes.


A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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