Audio
Nadia Nakai in "Amai"

The 19 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring Major League DJz, Zoocci Coke Dope, Kabza De Small and more.

Our list of the best South African songs of the month includes new singles that dropped in October, alongside those that were highlighted by getting the music video treatment.

Check out our selections below, which feature Major League DJz, Zoocci Coke Dope and Kabza De Small among others.

The list is in no particular order.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Major League DJz (ft. Nasty C) “Bandz Up”

Nasty C pulls out different tools out of his arsenal—he raps and sings about the joys of being moneyed. "Bandz Up" is the perfect soundtrack for payday.

Nadia Nakai "Amai"

For the "Amai" visuals, Nadia Nakai gets as vulnerable as she is on the song. The video shows the process of Nadia getting immortalized by an artist who creates a bust of the South African/Zimbabwean rapper.

Sliqe ft. Emtee and K.O "Injayam”

One of the strongest songs from Sliqe's new album Injayam, Vol. 2. "Injayam" is one of those collaborations that was clearly started from scratch and both rappers were in studio at the same time to create magic.

AKA x YoungstaCPT "Main Ou's"

One of the most anticipated collaborations of the year didn't disappoint. AKA and YoungstaCPT drop standout verses and share the hook, resulting in an exquisite banger that your playlist deserves.

Yanga Chief 'Utatakho Remix' ft.. Riky Rick, Dee Koala and Boity

A remix that lived up to all the hype around it. Every verse stands out, and once again, Boity proves she can actually rap.

Shane Eagle ft. Nasty C “PARIS”

Two of the country's top lyricists make strong cases for being the greatest of their generation, and it's the listener who wins. "PARIS" is just bars and bars and only.

Bongeziwe Mabandla “Jikeleza”

As is always the case with Bongeziwe's music, "Jikeleza" blends the tingly traditional folk music guitar with modern contraptions like synths and pads.

Zoocci Coke Dope (ft. Ami Faku) 

An unlikely collaboration, "Regrets" is somber in mood, as it's built over a gloomy piano. Ami Faku's verse glides over the keys, before the drums kick in with Zoocci's verse.

Focalistic (ft. Emtee) “Klippa”

Focalistic and Emtee share a trap instrumental for the catchy and banging track that sadly only lasts for less than three minutes. Which is a good excuse to run it back.

Laliboi “Emonti”

"Emonti" is the first solo single from one half of RADIO123, Laliboi. Impeccable storytelling is accompanied by electronic production and traditional Xhosa vocals. You'll love it.

Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa “Sax ke Sax” (ft. Lihle Bliss)

From Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa's latest collaborative project, Piano Hub, "Sax Ke Sax" is one of the standout songs. Sexual innuendos and hypnotic amapiano production always go well together. You might hate yourself for it, but you'll love it nonetheless.

Tony X “Lerato”

A danceable R&B tune from Tony, a member of the Punchline gang.

Zoë Modiga “LENGOMA”

Zoë Modiga returns with a different sound, and you'll love it, because some artists just can't do no wrong, and she's one of them. "LENGOMA" is heavy on percussion, and Zoë takes a more traditional approach than usual on her vocals.

DJ Speedsta “Oneida” (ft. Una Rams, C Tea and Buffalo Soulja)

"Oneida" takes a lot of inspiration from Afro beats and is danceable, a perfect fit for the summer. The song is the lead single to DJ Speedsta's latest EP which is befittingly titled Palm Trees & Pretty Girls. The project consists of six songs that will teleport you to a world like the one where Speedsta and the model are in the music video for "Oneida."

Solo “Two by Two” (ft. Buks)

Solo treats the lead single to his latest album C.Plenty.Dreams with visuals—which is essentially an aftermovie of his extravagant wedding with long-time girlfriend, actress and singer Dineo Moeketsi.

Amarafleur “DontLetGo”

Amarafleur sings about unrequited love with no discernible effort over layered electronic production.

Gigi Lamayne (ft. Eminent Fam) “Koze Kube Nini”

Gigi Lamayne highlights her collaboration with Eminent fam from her current EP, Job Woods, as a single by sharing a music video. The video depicts a story of gender-based violence, which is in line with the song's messaging.

Muzi (ft. Samthing Soweto) “Mncane”

Two of the most exciting acts in South Africa right now gather for a song that references the late Brown Dash. Samthing Soweto's special voice finds a new home on Muzi's Afrocentric electronic production.

Sliqe “Fresh Jig” (ft. Champagne69, 25K & Maglera Doe Boy)

South Africa's new wave is onto something, and this collaboration assembled by Sliqe in his latest album Injayam, Vol. 2 will convince any non-believers. The song displays the diversity of the scene, which is what makes South African hip-hop what it is.


Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.



Interview
Photo: Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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