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Nasty C is the third most streamed South African artist across all genres and the most streamed SA hip-hop artist on Spotify in 2020.

Nasty C is The Most Streamed South African Hip-hop Artist on Spotify in 2020

Nasty C tops the list of the most streamed South African hip-hop artists on Spotify in 2020.

Spotify recently released their respective lists of the most streamed artists, songs and albums globally and in South Africa.

While amapiano cornerstone Kabza De Small topped the list of the most streamed SA artists across all genres, the Durban lyricist is the most streamed South African hip-hop artist on the platform in 2020. Nasty C has been appearing on the platform's lists since they started sharing the statistics in 2018, their year of launch in the country.

In 2018, Nasty C was the most streamed South African artist across all genres. In 2019, Nasty came third after Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa. This year, the same three artists occupy the same positions on the list of the most streamed South African artists on the platform.


Nasty C has had a great run since breaking into the mainstream in 2016 with his single "Juice Back". He has gone from just being one of the country's most talented lyricists to being a star across the continent and a notable name in the US and the UK. He has since collaborated with the likes of Runtown, Cassper Nyovest, Davido, Major Lazer, A$AP Ferg, T.I., French Montana among many others.

He released two documentaries this year—Origins on Apple Music and Zulu Man in Japan on Netflix.

Read: Interview: 'Zulu Man With Some Power' Is Nasty C's Victory Lap

His latest album Zulu Man With Some Power is among one of the most streamed South African albums on Spotify in 2020, coming fourth after, interesting enough, albums by Kabza De Small's solo album I Am The King Of AmaPiano: Sweet & Dust and Scorpion Kings Live and The Return Of The Scorpion Kings, albums Kabza released with his partner in beats DJ Maphorisa. Cassper Nyovest's latest album A.M.N (Any Minute Now) is the only other hip-hop album to make the list which is dominated by dance music.

2020 has been a massive year for Nasty C as, earlier this year, Zulu Man With Some Power broke the record of being the biggest pre-add in South Africa and the biggest globally for a South African artist on Apple Music. The rapper also appeared on Spotify's New Music Friday billboard at Time Square prior to the release of Zulu Man With Some Power in August.

Nasty C's 2018 sophomore album Strings and Bling was among the most streamed South African albums on Spotify by South African audiences in 2018.

Making the list of the most streamed South African hip-hop artists this year are usual suspects A-Reece, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Kwesta and Emtee, alongside the likes of Shane Eagle, YoungstaCPT and newcomer Focalistic. Afrikaans rapper Early B's appearance on the top 10 may surprise many, but those who are hip on Afrikaans rap and Early B's ability to appeal to markets out of hip-hop know what time it is.

Read: Meet Early B, the Versatile Afrikaans Rapper With A Great Sense of Humor & Storytelling Skills

The most streamed South African hip-hop artists in 2020

1. Nasty C

2. Cassper Nyovest

3. A-Reece

4. AKA

5. Focalistic

6. Kwesta

7. Youngsta CPT

8. Emtee

9. Shane Eagle

10. Early B

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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