Audio

Here's Your Essential Gqom Playlist From DJ Lag & Rudeboyz

Gqom is the raw, electronic Durban genre spreading like wildfire. In this playlist, gqom pioneers DJ Lag and Rudeboyz select their favorite tracks.

DURBAN—South African producers DJ Lag and Rudeboyz are pioneers of gqom, a genre that's mainly existed in the Durban underground but has been spreading like wildfire in the form of low-quality MP3s.


The raw, electronic dance genre is making its way into the mainstream with the help of DJ Lag, who's also known as the 'gqom king,' and the likes of Babes Wodumo, who dropped one of the hottest and most popular singles in South Africa last year.

Rudeboyz and DJ Lag have been constantly spreading the good word of gqom in the international scene, as well, as they were most recently part of Red Bull Music Academy's GQOM: Durban → NYC event in the U.S.

While in town, the producers stopped by our OkayAfrica headquarters to tell us about their favorite gqom tracks which, naturally, include a lot of their own compositions.

Scroll through Rudeboyz and DJ Lag's gqom playlist below.

Rudeboyz "Gqom Originators"

The inspiration for this song was hearing a new track playing at clubs in Durban that just had Afro-house drums. We wanted to match those African drums with the gqom style. That's why it has trumpets in there, we tried to merge traditional African sounds with gqom.—Rudeboyz

DJ Lag "iThuna"



This was the first banger of a track that made me popular in Durban.—DJ Lag

Rudeboyz "Japanese Sax"

This one has a lot of Japanese elements. It just kind of happened when we were looking through a variety of sounds to use in our tracks and add to our gqom style.—Rudeboyz

DJ Lag "Ice Drop"

I chose this track because it's the first track I made a music video for.—DJ Lag

Okmalumkoolkat "Gqi" feat. Amadando

This one has new infusion thats breaking in South Africa, it's gqom but it also has trap influences, it's 'gqom trap.' We produced it as well.—Rudeboyz

DJ Lag "XXX"

This track got me playing in the bigger clubs like Club 101 [in Durban]. This was a big track in 2014. DJ Tira hit me up about it.—DJ Lag

Rudeboyz - 02 Masive Bang (Club Mix)

Basically, this was a track I did for Masive Q when we were at his crib. It was a special song for him since we've been in this for so long.—Andile T of Rudeboyz

Rudeboyz - Madness Orig Mix [110987]

The songs has a lot of chords, basically again trying to match African sounds to gqom but putting everything in an afro-tech mood.—Rudeboyz

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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