This Cape Town Duo Mixes Hip-Hop, Gqom, and Kwaito On Their Debut EP, and It Works

Stiff Pap is a new exciting duo based in Cape Town. It consists of rapper AyemaProblem and producer Jakinda.

Stiff Pap is Cape Town's new exciting duo.

It consists of rapper AyemaProblem and producer Jakinda. Their music is an amalgamation of hip-hop, kwaito, gqom and electro. Towards the end of last year, they introduced themselves to music lovers through their internet hit, “Dlala,” which when it plays, makes the churchiest of individuals lose their morals.

The song caught the attention of Red Bull Studios Cape Town, who invited the duo to record their EP, Based On A Qho Story, at the studios.

On the 4-track EP, AyemaProblem raps in sparse sentences over Jakinda’s high-tempo drums which stand on pillars of mean bass lines. A collection of synths gives the music color. AyemaProblem’s raps, which are mostly about partying, are teeming with personality, as he raps mostly in Zulu, wearing his Mlazi township accent with pride.

Jakinda is originally from Johannesburg and Ayema Problem is from Durban. They met last year at the University of Cape Town where they are currently studying.

Before the two met, Jakinda says he wasn’t even sure what genre to categorize his music as. “I was trying to find my sound,” he says. With “Dlala,” their first track together, the beat was just a skeleton that AyemaProblem asked the producer to speed up. And a hit was born.

One of Stiff Pap’s biggest influences is OkMalumKoolKat who has managed to mix kwaito, gqom, electro and hip-hop.

“I don’t feel like [South African hip-hop] represents the South African landscape. Trap music is not South African. I do trap music on my own sometimes, but when we came together as Stiff Pap, we wanted to make music that will change how people perceive rap or how South African music is structured.” KoolKat was their natural point of reference. “He’s the only one I can say is doing something authentically South African.”

Some of Jakinda’s inspirations are the producers Aero Manyelo, DJ Lag, Rudeboyz and Fevertrails.

Based On A Qho Story is a perfect introduction to the duo, who will hopefully be around for a long time. Listen to it below.


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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