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

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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