popular
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 19 Best South African Songs of the Month

Featuring Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa, The Big Hash, Nduduzo Makhathini 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 Costa Titch, Tshego, Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa and Big Zulu among others.

The list is in no particular order.

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

Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa "eMcimbini" (featuring Aymos, Samthing Soweto Mas Musiq & Myztro)

Another heater from the duo that can't seem to tire of making hits. "eMcimbini" combines a selection of vocalists for another amapiano anthem.

Tshego "No Ties (Amapiano Remix)" (featuring King Monada and MFR Souls)

The remix for Tshego and King Monada's "No Ties" comes with the customary amapiano bassline and a selection of pads and prominent percussion. Tshego and King Monada's vocals sit as if they were originally constructed over the bouncy instrumental.

​DJ Switch (featuring. Robin Thirdfloor) "Nangu Shoes"

Robin Thirdfloor teams up DJ Switch, a deejay who's always on the lookout for new talent. Robin Thirdfloor delivers laid-back rhymes and pays homage to the late South African soccer legend John "Shoes" Mosheu and lets you know about himself too.

​Skhandaworld "Killa Combo" (featuring K.O, Tellaman, Zingah, Mariechan & Loki)

K.O gathers an unlikely combination of artists for a laidback tune about being a perfect fit for your partner.

​Big Zulu "Amamillion (Remix)" (featuring Zakwe, YoungstaCPT, Musiholiq and Kwesta)

Big Zulu enlists some of the country's hardest lyricists for a remix of his 2019 hit "Amamillion." You'll have this one on repeat, if not for the bars, for the catchy hook.

Kanyi "Lobola"

n her latest song, Kanyi Mavi is whipped. Her love for the man who stole her heart is driving her to pay amalobolo. A progressive move from Kanyi as that's normally the man's role in most African cultures.

​Watermark High "That's the Spirit"

Watermark High kicks off the year with an alt pop tune blends a muffled vocal sample with rich electronic instrumentation. It will come in handy both on the dance floor and for cooling out to.

Gemini Major "Right Now" (featuring Nasty C, Tellaman, AKA, The Big Hash and Emtee)

South African hip-hop royalty in one song that was already great in its original form.

​Costa Titch "Nkalakatha Remix" (featuring AKA and Riky Rick)

Costa Titch gives his AKA and Riky Rick-assisted remix to his viral hit "Nkalakatha" a new life with a music video.

​Kimosabe "Don't Call Me Baby"

A standout song from Kimosabe's latest offering Nights, Vol. 3, "Don't Call Me Baby" is a comforting smoothie in which the artist establishes boundaries for a relationship based on sex and nothing else.

​ByLwansta "The Bike Song"

The talented rapper turns a terrible incident—a robbery in Joburg—into a lovely anecdotal rappity rap song that showcases his top tier pen game.

J Molley and Ka$hCpt "Narcos"

Two South Africa's most popular and talented hip-hop artists go back and forth about living the life you and I only see in series and movies in this viral collaboration.

Nduduzo Makhathini "Beneath The Earth"

Another outstanding composition from Nduduzo Makhathini in which two voices go back and forth about the ancestors (those who are beneath the earth), "Beneath the Earth" is a song from his upcoming album Modes ofCommunication: Lettes from the Underworlds, which will be released via Blue Note Records.

Black Noise "We Belong to the Land" (featuring Burni Aman)

A song about the burning issue of land reform in South Africa, "We Belong to the Land" contains strong performances from Black Noise members Jean Pierre and Emile YX? and guest Burni Aman, who spits the strongest verse which sounds like a modern day fairy tale.

​Maraza "Angisabaleki"

Maraza returns with a single about self-reassurance. Beyond the messaging, the song excels based on Maraza's proficiency with the pen and technical skills.

​M2Kane "Ferrari"

If you prefer your trap with hard bars, don't look further than "Ferrari" by the Eastern Cape lyricist M2Kane.

Blaklez "Lepara"

Blaklez rides a Makwa beat that is inspired by old school kwaito. If you understand Sipitori (Pretoria slang), Blaklez will keep you entertained throughout. If not, the flows and the beat will do.

​Speedsta (featuring Espiquet) "Airplane Mode"

Espiquet always spits solid bars. "Airplane Mode" by Speedsta is another instance of him showcasing his sharp skills on the mic. "Airplane Mode" could have done with a better hook, but it still slaps.

Mr JazziQ (featuring Focalistic & Busta 929) "Hello Mo'Girl"

In true amapiano fashion, the instrumental to "Hello Mo'Girl" is built over a deep bassline reminiscent of 90s and 2000s kwaito. Focalistic raps with the personality and light-heartedness that's at the heart of kwaito and amapiano. His lines are sparse in form and lyrically, they are easy on the ear, with catchphrases that you'll catch if you are educated enough to understand Pitori slang.

Audio

The 12 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Stonebwoy, Kuami Eugene, Shatta Wale, Samini, Sarkodie and more.

March has been quite an eventful month around the world. While almost everything has come to a standstill due to the pandemic, the creative world hasn't stopped. In an attempt to keep the content coming during this time of social distancing and self isolation, both the top shots and emerging acts have been showing out. As March comes to a close we give you a list of some of the best songs to come out of Ghana this month. Check them out below.

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio

The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Harmonize, Rayvanny, Mbosso, Vinka and more.

East African artists have been keeping our spirits up with upbeat and catchy releases this month. Here are our picks for the best East African songs of the month.

Follow our East African Grooves playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.

Spotlight: Nicole Rafiki's Images Merge the Contemporary with the Traditional to Challenge Stereotypes

Get familiar with the work of Norway-based Congolese visual artist Nicole Rafiki.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Nicole Rafiki, a Congolese visual artist who uses symbolism to challenge stereotypes in a critical way. Read more about the inspirations behind her work below, and check out some of her stunning images underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook and her Rafiki Arts Initiative here.


How would you describe yourself as an artist?

As an interdisciplinary artist, I use symbolism to re-imagine and challenge the stereotypical depiction of spaces, contexts and the people who are affected by global migration. I view my work as a platform for dialogues about identity, fluidity, place, and belonging. As an artist with a diverse cultural, historic and artistic background, I use art to inform, engage and heal. Because it is too easy to fall into the trap of promoting idealism or clichés, I make it a point to be critical and analytical in my work.

What is the message behind your recent photo-series "The Crown"?

This work came about after I had been stuck in Lagos traffic for 2 hours, listening to a radio show about the role of women in the household. One middle-aged woman called in to say that a "proper woman has to be domesticated". Listening to that radio show just made it seem like, for many people, it doesn't matter how educated, professionally accomplished or otherwise successful a woman is as long as she does not have the required domestic skills required by the African society. The urban attire complemented by traditional African elements illustrates the double role that many young African women have in our communities. And yet, that point is made against a yellow backdrop, symbolizing our power, historical achievements, hope and optimism for the future.

As an African artist, what do you want to communicate with your art about the continent?

The core message in my art is the promotion of our personal and collective healing process. That is only possible if we all understand the importance of playing our part. I believe that this is a very important time to be active in the contemporary art field. We have reached a historical point where Africans from the continent and the diaspora are challenging the status quo in the art industry by creating their own platforms to discuss, share and challenge the dominating philosophical, artistic, political and cultural perspectives on art. We have the power, individually and collectively to create a different legacy for the next generation and have personally just begun exploring all the possibilities out there.

Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Mkono" (2018), in loving memory of my grandmother.Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Untitled" (2019), in loving memory of Benon Lutaaya. Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Not without my bags" (2019)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Kadogo (2019)"Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Mwenye imani haitaji macho" (A man of faith needs no eyes), (2019). Model: AfrogallonismImage courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Crown" (2020)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Crown" (2020). Model: Deborah Kandoua AffouéImage courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.


Nicole Rafiki merges contemporary and traditional visual art. "Kwabende" (2019)Image courtesy of Nicole Rafiki.

News Brief

South African Hip-Hop Producers Makwa and Lunatik Will Battle It Out on Instagram Live

Another exciting South African hip-hop IG Live battle is happening.

Makwa and Lunatik are the next pair of producers who will go toe to toe in an Instagram Live battle at 10 P.M. (SAST). Both producers are responsible for some of South Africa's biggest and era-defining hits. Makwa has produced most of Kwesta's biggest hits such as "Spirit" and "Vur Vai" among others. Lunatik has produced such monster hits as K.O's "Caracara," OkMalumKoolKat's "Amalobolo" and DJ Citi Lyts' "Vura." We know... we are getting goosebumps, too.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.