Music
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Kwesta and Kabza De Small Return to Kwaito In Their New Collaborative Album

The South African hip-hop and amapiano stars revert to kwaito in Speak N Vrostaan.

Over the last few years, South African hip-hop’s overall prominence has slowed down — mostly because of amapiano’s tight grip on the market. As a result, most mainstream rappers have had to be innovative and incorporate the log drum into their tracks. One hip-hop artist who exemplifies and has executed this approach without neglecting his core artistry is Kwesta. The MC, who for a large part of the 2010s dubbed himself “Da King of African Rap,” has kept up with the times and his recent team up with Kabza De Small is a testament to this. As a rapper, who often dovetails into authentic, South African-birthed sounds, his decision to join forces with Kabza is not much of an anomaly.

Like Kwesta with South African hip-hop, Kabza is a towering and key figure within amapiano. For the past three years, the pioneering producer/DJ has remained a stalwart and has been one of the most streamed South African artists across all genres. As a solo act or together with DJ Maphorisa as Scorpion Kings, he has released genre-defining chart-topping amapiano tracks and projects. Through his label, Piano Hub, Kabza has also been instrumental in the careers of other artists including Kelvin Momo, Young Stunna and Mdu aka TRP.

The timely creative union of Kwesta and Kabza De Small dates back to 2020, amidst the peak of the pandemic when they had an encounter during a shoot for Channel 0’s Lockdown House Party show. As Kwesta tells it, Kabza was the one that initially suggested that they work together. At the time, the super producer had put out the first instalment of his Pretty Girls Love Amapiano album series and was gearing up for the release of the groundbreaking, I Am the King Of Amapiano: Sweet and Dust. From then, both their individual careers went on in their own unrelated ways: Kwesta released g.o.d Guluva in 2021 and Kabza put out multiple projects like 2021’s Rumble in the Jungle, Pretty Girls Love Amapiano 3 and 2022’s Scorpion Kings Live Sun Arena and KOA II Part 1, until they hit each other up via DMs on social media.

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Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Warner and Africori's New Deal Opens Up The International Music Playing Field

The major deal gives WMG a majority stake in Africori, and access to Africa's largest music catalogs.

American big dog entertainment company Warner Music Group has had its eye on African talent for years, and now, through their latest deal with Africori, the music giants are taking a stab at distributing across the continent. Africori Music Group is a music distribution, rights, and management company, and the number one distributor of independent African music, artists, and labels in the world. WMG originally invested in Africori and established their presence in African markets in 2020 — that deal gave them access to Africa's largest catalogs and A&R network.

The US-based entertainment company's latest decision to acquire a majority stake in Africori, "could see WMG become the number one distributor in Africa and will open up more opportunities for African artists to tap into the global Warner Music network and enjoy international success," they said in the announcement. Some artists that illustrate the potential success from the acquisition are South African 'Jerusalema' crooner Master KG, fellow rappers Focalistic, and Kwesta. Master KG's single became the first South African song to hit a million YouTube views and top charts in seven countries.

As it stands, Africori has 7,000 artists and 850 clients under their wing, and last year saw the group's artists generate hundreds of millions of audio streams, billions of YouTube views, and the company recorded strong revenue growth across all major DPSs (music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, etc). The deal sees that the African-based company will continue to operate independently, with current CEO Yoel Kenan staying on. President of emerging markets at Warner Recorded Music, Alfonso Perez-Soto said of the business deal, "Since partnering with Africori, we have established a collaborative and strategic partnership that has resulted in some impressive results on a global level. Yoel Kenan and his team have done an incredible job building a company that is a real force of nature in Africa, and by bringing them into the Warner Music ecosystem, we believe we can give them deeper support as we aim to take African music even more global."

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Amanda Black's New, Introspective Single 'Kutheni Na' Is Here

Amanda Black re-emerges with her latest single 'Kutheni Na', a bittersweet song that features rapper Kwesta's distinct rhymes.

Zakwe and Duncan Share Epic Visuals For ‘Kapteni’

Watch Zakwe and Duncan's new visuals for Kwesta-assisted single 'Kapteni'. The video features 'Ehostela' actors Thobani Nzuza and Dumisani Dlamini.

Interview: Kwesta and The ‘Ghost of DaKAR’

While making his latest album 'g.o.d Guluva' during the 2020 lockdown, Kwesta opened up to vulnerability and, as a result, left some parts of his old self behind.

Kwesta's New Album 'g.o.d Guluva' is Finally Here

South African hip-hop superstar Kwesta has officially released 'g.o.d Guluva', his first album in five years. It features Reason, Focalistic, KiD X, Yanga Chief, Thabsie and more and sees the rapper experiment with amapiano in a few songs.

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BMW South Africa Responds to Using Kwesta’s Song Without Permission on Latest Advert

BMW has responded to Kwesta three days after he called out the German car company for their latest advert that used his song without his permission.