Op-Ed

Is South Africa’s '80s Bubblegum Pop Music Making a Comeback?

A few South African contemporary pop artists—AKA, TRESOR, NaakMusiQ—have been flirting with the genre that was popular in the 1980s.

In 2016, the South African rapper AKA decided he was done operating within the confines of rap. He rebranded himself as a pop star. On the country's biggest TV music show, Live Amp, AKA performed a brand new song that was an indicator of the new direction he was taking with his music.

In the song, which was titled "One Time," AKA sampled 80s bubblegum group Future's "Party Weekend." He added his trademark bass line and sang about the ongoing blesser-blessee trend that had swept South Africa in those years.

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