If you are indeed a music lover, and you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 2-3 years, then you have most likely heard of South African Rap artists like AKA, who featured Burna Boy on the smash hit “All Eyes on Me” also featuring another South African Rap act you might have heard of who goes by the name Da L.E.S. with his song “P.A.I.D” again featuring AKA & Nigeria’s very own Burna Boy.
Cassper Nyovest is definitely another name that shouldn’t be far from your lips when the question of SA rappers is brought up. Cassper started making waves in 2014 with his song “Doc Shebeleza” and has gone on to do a lot impressive things in the SA HipHop and Rap scene.
Now that we’ve covered some of the rappers that you might already know being of lover of great HipHop that you are, now lets take a look at some South African rappers you should know, but probably don’t.
1. Khuli Chana
Born as Khulane Morule in Mmabatho, South Africa. Khuli Chana has been a performing artist since the early 90’s. He was a member of the band “Morafe” before becoming a multiple award winning solo rapper, actor and industry executive. Khuli Chana got his big break after being the opening act for Drake’s tour stop over in South Africa. Above is his latest single, the Angelique Kidjo, Marvin Gaye and Biggie Smalls inspired song & video instalment called “RESPEK’. Make sure also you check out his first album “MotswakoOriginator” as well as his critically acclaimed 2nd solo album “Lost In time”.
2. Tuks Senganga
Tumelo Kepadisa, simply known as Tuks or Tuks Senganga is a South African Motswako rapper born in Mafikeng, with 5 albums under his belt, the last of which was released in September 2012, titled “Footprints” with hit single “Bona Fela” which was also the soundtrack to hit South African Show “Skeem Sam”. His first album “Mafoko A Me” released in 2005 has been argued by some to be one of the best as well as most lyrical hiphop albums to come out of SA, despite the fact that like the other artists on this list his raps are a mixture of several languages. After a long hiatus from music, Tuks hits back with a viral video for his song “#Kontle” in June 2016, but if you want to get a taste how it all started, check out his first single “Senganaga” from his classic debut album “Mafoko A Me”.
Real name Tebogo Thapelo Sidney Thekishoin, born in Kimberley, a diamond mining town in South Africa’s Northern Cape. His music catalogue is made up of 4 brilliant albums which include his debut album called “Book of ProVerb” released in 2007, “Manuscript” released in 2007, “Write of Passage” released in 2010, “Fourth Write” released in 2012 as well as his Mixtape “Off Da Books”. He is also best known for his radio show “The Pro-File” as well as for hosting and co-producing several seasons on the show “South African Idols” .
Here is his 2012 single “Proverbs Manifest” off his 4th album “Fourthwrite”
4. Pro Kid
Born as Linda Mkhize, in Soweto, South Africa. Popularly known simple as Pro, the boss of his crew “Saudi Western” which includes other rappers like Maggz, Morale & Omen. Known to rap in vernacular as well as in English, Pro was also known for participating in several rap battles coming up in the industry, including the battle with 2rinity member Kaydo on Johannesburg’s radio station Y-FM. With 5 awesome albums under his belt, his debut album “Heads & Tales was released in 2005 with the hit singles “Soweto” and “Wozobona”, and his sophomore album “DNA” was released the following year. His third and fourth album “Dankie San” & “Snakes and Ladders” were released independently on TS Records in November of 2007. Although Pro has been absent from the music industry since his last album “Continua” released in 2012, we still think Prokid deserves a mention for being the personification of HipHop culture in SA for so many years. ProKid is definitely not one to be scared to speak his mind… Check out his straight up classic hit song “Uthini Ngo Pro”.
5. Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP)
Jabulani Tsambo, better known by his stage name Hip Hop Pantsula born in Mafikeng aka Maf-Town, South Africa. Hip Hop Pantsula or HHP as he is known for short, has also been trafficking dope rap since the 90’s, with a large body of work ranging from his debut album “Introduction”, to his 2007 release “Acceptance” which featured artists like South African singer Danny K and US R&B Star Amerie, all the way up to his last album release in 2014 “Motswako High School”. Although Maf-Town’s finest doesn’t have any recent releases, attributed to personal issues the artist has been dealing with, he is definitely still considered to be one of the pioneers of the SA rap industry. Check out this HHP old school feel good party hit “JABBA”.