Nasty C collaborated with French Montana last year. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabeka.

The 10 Best SA-US Hip-Hop Collaborations

These 10 South African-US hip-hop collaborations hit the spot.

It was the rapper HHP (aka Jabba) who made it look easy circa 2009 when he started collaborating with renowned US hip-hop artists that were otherwise thought of to be out reach. On his double album Dumela (2009), alongside African superstars such as Naeto C and Nazizi, Jabba collaborated with Nas. The song, titled "Keledimo" was okay. In a confusing turn of events, Nas would then go on to re-use the verse he had given to Jabba on "Leaders," a song he did with Damian Marley from the Distant Relatives album.

Jabba would however continue with that winning streak, working with the likes of Talib Kweli, Raheem DeVuagh and Asheru in subsequent albums.

By so doing, he opened a door for other artists who soon followed suit. Recently Cassper Nyovest, who by the way is Jabba's protégé, has been collaborating with the likes of The Game, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, among others.

There have been other artists who have made similar collaborations, such as Nasty C, Zubz, The Assembly ZA, Du Boiz, Anatii and a few more.

Some of these collaborations have been great, while others range from so-so to straight up horrid. KRS-ONE attempting to rap in IsiXhosa on his collaboration with Eastern Cape rapper Shai, earlier this year, was cringeworthy. The Game and Cassper Nyovest fell short with "Cooking in the Kitchen." Anatii and DJ Khaled disrespected us with "Bananas." "Dope Dream" by Du Boiz and Tyga was terrible. And a few others.

Below are some SA-US hip-hop collaborations from the past 10 years or so that we feel hit the spot, listed in no particular order.

Reason ft. Pac Div "Awesome"

What makes "Awesome" amazing is how both Reason and the West Coast trio approached it: they weren't too careful. The artists got a banging beat from PH and did what they are known for, and that's to rap. "Awesome" is a bar fest which was a fitting closing track for a solid album by Reason, 2014's Audio High Definition.

Nasty C ft. French Montana "Allow"

"Allow" is the opening song for Bad Hair Extensions, the deluxe version of Nasty C's 2016 debut album Bad Hair. Nasty C brags about leaving with someone's girl from the club over a droning bass line and a gang of 808s. French Montana's parts are minimal–he acts as a hype man of some sort, but not entirely–his verse is immersed in Nasty C's second one, and there's a part where they go back and forth, making this collaboration more than just a couple of verses put together.

Cassper Nyovest ft. Black Thought "Ngiyekeleni"

The idea of Cassper Nyovest and Black Thought on the same song is odd, to say the least. And the fact that it works, is surprising, but we are totally here for it. Hearing Thought walking with ease over trap production proves the known fact that he's one of the best to ever do it. Nyovest, as if feeling the pressure from Thought's verse, comes back harder on his second verse after fumbling a bit on his first.

The Assembly ZA ft. Sean Price "So Gone"

Just before his demise, Sean Price shared a solid verse with the boom bap crew The Assembly ZA. Price was his usual relentless self, and the dudes complimented him with equally potent backpack raps over a spacious golden era-reminiscent instrumental by Cape Town-based producer Mananz.

Zubz ft. Skyzoo & Pharoahe Monch "Doctor Good Lungs"

Zubz enlisted Skyzoo and Pharoahe Monch for a lyrical gathering over a Nina Simone sample and robust bongo drums. All three guys are revered lyricists, and, as expected, they all deliver potent verses that are all fraught with tongue-in-cheek lines aimed at the smart asses of this world.

Read our interview with Zubz on how the collaboration came about, here.

Talib Kweli ft. Cassper Nyovest "Fuck The Money"

Talib Kweli and Cassper Nyovest's first collaboration, "Doc Shebeleza" remix wasn't all that. But their second, "Fuck The Money" was a gem of note. Both rappers delivered great verses about their takes on the worship of money and the tricky relationship human beings have with the skrilla. "They love me because they know I been real to my peeps/ There's n*ggas richer than me who still wish they were me," raps Nyovest.

Kwesta ft. Wale "Spirit"

"Spirit" tries really hard to be "Ngud'," but that doesn't take away from its greatness. The song sees Kwesta celebrating being from the hood with fitting slang and attitude. While some fans believe Wale's verse intrudes in an otherwise-quintessential kasi track, his verse adds a different flavor, and he represents where he is from unapologetically. That's the spirit.

HHP ft Asheru, Omar & TeePee "Dream Girl"

HHP was featuring your favorite US rappers before it became a thing. He has collaborated with Talib Kweli, Raheem DeVaugh, Nas (if I may), and of course Asheru. "Dream Girl" was the pinnacle of those collaborations. It is a sophisticated love affair with an R&B lounge feel. TeePee was the king of rap hooks at the time, and he delivered as usual. "Dream Girl" worked in all aspects–lyricism and delivery were on point, so was the production, and the overall feel of the song was coherent and fitting for the song's content.

Cassper Nyovest ft. DJ Drama "Tse Tswembu Tse Blind"

"Tse Tswembu Tse Blind" is one of Cassper Nyovest's best songs. Nyovest's delivery, especially on the hook, is owed to his heavy kwaito influence. On "Tse Tswembu Tse Blind," Nyovest is finessing, throwing jabs at his rival AKA, and having fun, which infects you as a listener. The marriage of lyrics and instrumental was just effortless, and DJ Drama's chants and shenanigans make the song a certified street anthem.

Christian Tiger School & Bilal & World's Fair "Spanish Robin Williams"

When South African electronic/ hip-hop producer duo Christian Tiger School teamed up with Bilal and Queens rap outfit World's Fair, to put it simply, magic happened. Bilal was always going to deliver a great hook. Christian Tiger School created an unorthodox hip-hop instrumental leading with a synth sound that's rough at the edges. And the lyricism and flows from World's Fair were just impressive: "Connect soul to soul, bone to bone/ The opus [?] shows as emotions home/ They say the road less travelled is the road to home/ and I'm on, just tell me when to go…"

Still from YouTube

Watch the Retro Music Video for Dyo's 'Go All the Way' Featuring Mr Eazi

The video, directed by Mahaneela, is a tribute to the vintage photography of Malick Sidibé, James Barnor, Seydou Keïta, and Samuel Fosso.

Mr Eazi teams up with budding Nigerian artist Dyo, for her latest single "Go All the Way."

The duo share a memorable music video, inspired by the work of vintage African studio photographers like Malick Sidibé, James Barnor, Seydou Keïta, and Samuel Fosso. The music video features cameos from several young African creatives including Congolese artist Miles from Kinshasa, who are all photographed in stylish clothes before staged backdrops.

The video was directed by multi-hyphenated creator Mahaneela, who also appears in the video,

The Mirza-produced song sees both artists singing suggestively about their lovers. "Go go, go all the way," Dyo sings smoothly on the track's chorus.

Still from YouTube

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Join Us For an Everyday Afrique Party This Labor Day In NYC!

Featuring music by DJ Moma, DJ Tunez, Rich Knight, Boston Chery and DJ Buka.

Everyday People, OkayAfrica and Electrafrique are back with the best Labor Day weekend party around with Everyday Afrique.

Come hang with us for another installment of the party that brings out the New York City's finest.

This September 2 we're taking Everyday Afrique back to The Well in Brooklyn, where you can dance and drink the day & night away across the venue's outdoor and indoor spaces.

Grab Your Tickets to Everyday Afrique's Labor Day Party Here

Music will be handled by a top-shelf line-up of selectors including DJ Moma, DJ Tunez, Rich Knight, Boston Chery and DJ Buka.

The party will be hosted by Young Prince, Saada, Roble, Sinat, Giselle, Shernita and Maine.

Make sure to grab your tickets here and we'll see you on the dance floor!

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Courtesy of Sibu Mpanza.

INFLUENCED: Meet Sibu Mpanza—the YouTuber Who's Making a Killing from Just Having Fun

'I am the person I needed when and even before I started my YouTube channel,' the prolific YouTuber says.

OkayAfrica brings you the 2019 INFLUENCED Series. In the coming weeks, we'll be exploring the online communities being fostered by young South Africans who are doing more than just influencing. From make-up gurus and hair naturalistas to socially-conscious thought leaders, get ready to be influenced. Read the rest of the series here.

Years ago, Sibu Mpanza found himself experiencing two realities Black South African students are still battling with even today: crippling financial woes at university and debilitating depression.

An aspiring musician who ended up studying psychology instead at the University of Cape Town, Mpanza began skipping as many classes as he possibly could. He would spend copious amounts of time at a computer hidden away in the corner, passing the hours watching funny videos on YouTube. In fact, he says he spent so much time on YouTube that he was literally one of the very first people to view Beyoncé's epic "711" music video—something Mpanza recalls in stitches.

He was searching for something, although admittedly, he didn't quite know back then what it was exactly. It eventually got so bad that in his second year of university, he packed up his things, dropped out and moved to Johannesburg to see if he could become what he'd always imagined he could eventually be.

Fast-forward to 2019, and the name Sibu Mpanza is not only an undeniable success story but an entire brand.

Mpanza is a full-time YouTuber who has been able to capitalise on creating hilarious content about his life and pretty much anything that interests him. While he initially "blew up" because of a YouTube video he put out, a video which called out White students at the University of the Free State who were recorded beating up protesting Black students at a rugby game, he's since moved onto a second channel, More Mpanza, where he makes content that's a lot more fun, apolitical and doesn't take a toll on his mental health. As if two successful channels weren't enough, he's also got a third channel, Arcade, where he and his business partner talk about things they enjoy in the technology space.

For anyone looking to just let off some steam, watch a YouTuber who's willing to poke fun at himself or find some really quality content in an era where everyone seems to have a YouTube channel about something or the other, Mpanza is definitely your guy.

We caught up with him to talk about what inspired his various YouTube channels, the fame that comes with being a household name and what's really important to the young South African creative.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Sho Madjozi "John Cena"

The 19 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sho Madjozi, Odunsi, Sarkodie, Mr Eazi, Fuse ODG, Santi and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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