Celebrating youth in SA music
June 16 is about celebrating what the youth of 1976 did for South Africa. That group of South Africans saw something that many wanted but few were willing to do what it takes to get there. From that day, it was realized that the power of the young is strong and undying.
Today we got a list of incredible individuals in the music industry – 16 young game changers of today or tomorrow. These are the youngins that got the game on lock and are brave enough to move the game forward and break boundaries for them and those that follow, have a broader lane on the road to success. You might not know all of them – it’s about time that you did.
From the minute the game paid attention, Nasty C has been relentless. His hard lyricism and dynamic flow turned the game on its head and had everyone rapping for their lives. Before he even signed, he one of the most sought after rappers in the game – this not only made him dangerous, but it showed other upcoming artists that social media is a very powerful tool for an artist. Nasty C has opened a lot of possibilities for young artists, grabbing bag after bag like his partnership with us that resulted in lots of dope clothes. His presence surely has changed the game – wonder what he has up his sleeves for his next album.
From the minute the game paid attention, Nasty C has been relentless. His hard lyricism and dynamic flow turned the game on its head and had everyone rapping for their lives.
Before he even signed, he one of the most sought after rappers in the game – this not only made him dangerous, but it showed other upcoming artists that social media is a very powerful tool for an artist. Nasty C has opened a lot of possibilities for young artists, grabbing bag after bag like his partnership with us that resulted in lots of dope clothes. His presence surely has changed the game – wonder what he has up his sleeves for his next album.
The Wrecking Crew
The Wrecking Crew is arguably the strongest music collective in the country right now. Since their inception, consistency has been key for the crew and they kept a good, balanced flow to it, too. Formed with a point to prove, The Wrecking Crew has been disruptive to the game and it works! Their unpredictability has made it fun to look out for their music and social media.
Their sound is a soulful kind of trap that will get you bumping your head and in your feels at the same time. Their raw approach has created an entirely new lane for hip hop in South Africa and they are riding through it like true bosses.
Shane Eagle is a beast to be reckoned with. After coming out at top 5 on Vuzu’s “The Hustle”, he took no L’s and made it work for him better than anyone to come from it. He mastered the art of staying in his own lane and lets the music speak for him. Shane has pushed the envelope quite a few times with his music and that’s got him lots of bags like Ellesse.
Shane’s music does all the work for him and he makes it seem so effortless to make. With his straightforward messaging and undeniable swag, you can’t resist but listen and either relate or admire his writing and delivery skills more and more!
Shekhinah is the perfect example of how tenacious the youth can be. She has faced rejection 3 times on Idols South Africa and never gave up. Her never say die attitude carried her from a misunderstood artist to newcomer of the year – now that’s a story! Her beautiful music has bagged her recognition throughout Africa and interest from artists like Sy Ari Da Kid.
Shekhinah’s moves are nothing to look down on and her music is nothing but heaven to the ear. She’s proof that sometimes a door is closed because you have your own door to open.
Tweezy could possibly be the biggest hip hop producer of this generation. Having made some of the most iconic hits by AKA, Emtee and lots of other artists, it’s hard to deny that the boy really works. He’s been working behind a lot of hip hop’s biggest, creating some of the best albums in the industry. This youngin came in the game young and already has OG respect as a producer.
His beats punch like he studied from the School of Hard Knocks and his catalogue is longer than the cue at the ATM on payday. His music can only get better and the hits will surely keep on coming from Tweezy.
Frank came into the game misunderstood and completely different but little did we know that he’d be one of the most streamed artists in the country. Frank jumped into immediate fame after his single, “Whole Thing” caught fire and he never stopped. From features with A$AP Ferg to opening for Chance The Rapper, Frank is one of the biggest doing it in the game right now.
His sound is distinctive, swaggy and it got too much sawce for real. As the only one who can do what he does the way he does, he’s identified as one of the game’s future kings of the game.
There can never be a list of young hustlers without the don hustla, Emtee himself. He can be easily put in the list of 10 most loved and most hated artists in the country and the one thing he does best is make people dance and trap out regardless of where you are or where you come from. His biggest talent is not his music but his ability to connect with South Africans from any background and he can do it with tons of shwag! Emtee has been one of the most prolific rappers in the game since he came in and he seems like he’s not stopping soon.
Emtee’s smooth flows, heavy drums and his oozing swag keeps makes him the guy to beat in the trap genre. He’s on his own lane, musically and he makes sure that he drives his AMG as fast as he can.
Contrary to popular belief, Bragga is not as new as people think. She broke into the game with a scorching verse on Riky Rick’s “Amantombazane Remix” alongside some kings of the game like Kwesta and Okmalumkoolkat. Since then, she’s been breaking boundaries for women in the rap game and solidifying herself as one of the pioneers of the game. Right now, she’s on a strong road to her W’s with the recent releases of “Naaah Meeaan” and “Money Calling” alongside Cassper Nyovest and Frank Casino respectively.
People usually sleep on Nadia’s ability to rap alongside the best and she’s been proving herself over and over. With her “Nah Mean” release, she proved how she’s capable of making music with the best.
In South Africa, RNB & Soul was thee most uncrackable market until this guy came in. He pulled off the most difficult task and came through with a fire RNB mixtape right on time for winter 2016. After that release, KLY became thee hottest RNB singer in the country, with recognition from African kings like Wizkid and Maphorisa. KLY’s entrance into the industry opened up South African listeners to RNB & Soul artists in the country.
His soul touching music will warm you up and make you feel fuzzy at any time of day on any kind of weather. He’s the future of African RnB being exported into other spaces of the world and when in the mood, he can get you dancing to a few of his bangers, too.
Rouge is one of the hottest rappers in the country, male or female. She has been coming up slowly, working hard and proving herself as a prolific rapper and musician. Rouge has been on the end of a lot of love lately and it’s all thanks to her tenacity and patience for the game to let her in so she can show us what she’s capable of.
Bar for bar, she’s one of the best rappers in the game and she shows no sign of stopping. Her aggressive flow and delivery demands attention and her strong concept skills are on another level. This woman is a true queen and the future looks very exciting with her in it.
J Molley is a blow-up sensation like no other. His Justin Bieber-ish approach to Hip Hop is both refreshing and exciting. He’s one of the most sought-after rappers in the game right now and his not going anywhere. Molley is not just a great musician, but he’s stylish, too – his swag is always dripping.
J Molley’s music is good for drives with your turnt friends (Don’t drink and drive), chilling at the crib or the club. Regardless of where you are, issa party with the hood pharmacist. He just got started, wonder what he has next.
Darne is notorious on the Twitter streets for keeping his fans waiting 3 years for his self titled single. His innovative thinking in both making and marketing his music has gotten him compared to Kanye West’s level of genius. His most recent single “Location No Location” was shot on an iPhone 8 and edited to look like a live video of you using the phone – it even charted number 4 on the MTV Base Chart in it’s format. His abstract thinking is some of the most genius in the country and his music is made with such a high level of detail, some songs take months for him to finish.
Darne’s music is next level hip hop with strong lyrics with some of the most interesting arrangements. His pairing with Venxm BLVD has produced some of the best music you can find in South Africa. If you don’t know him, try him!
The Tsonga queen has been at it consistently for the last couple of years and there’s nothing more fun to see pop. Sho Madjozi brought a much needed colourful twist to music and her pride in her Tsonga roots is very encouraging. She has managed to make her culture shine brighter – she has been educating us more about it and showing the youth that culture is a beautiful thing.
Madjozi has shown lots of versatility since she blew up. She has gone from gqom to hip hop alongside queens Moozlie and Ms Cosmo. Her bubbly personality translates beautifully in her music, making her music fun and colourful.
Rowlene is one of the best upcoming singers in the country and her collaborations with Nasty C and A-Reece have shown exactly that. Her beautiful music shows so much about the artist that she can become – a RNB queen that’s relevant in hip hop spaces as well. At such early stages of her career, she’s already getting the bag with sportscene on the Redbat x Purple Reign campaign.
Musically, Rowlene’s vocal range is amazing and the way she floats on her music, she will have you begging her to break your heart. You definitely need to add her to your feel good and winter nights playlists – she’s worth it!
Champagne69 is the definition of a “Soundcloud rapper”. Champagne69 is one of the most booked artists in the country. His turnt music turns any party into a rage. Recently signed to Universal Music Group, Champagne69 had already created a very big name for himself – getting tens of thousands of streams for every song that he drops and has already worked with super producer, Gemini Major.
With obvious influences from Trippie Redd and Travi$ $cott, Champagne69 makes hardcore trap – one would even think that he makes rock ‘n roll. The sound of the future is on Champagne69’s Soundcloud, you should try it!
PatricKxxLee is another Soundcloud king. His “sad boy” defined music has broken literal borders and has resulted in him being one of the most booked in the country, too. His numbers are enormous and his ethic is on another level – dropping music consistently and doing shows every weekend.
With his crazy numbers, his bookings local and abroad, PatricKxxLee has forced himself into the industry with an explosive blow up. Keep an eye on this boy, he’s about to create a shift in the industry!
You know what’s crazy? These aren’t all the hot ones right now, they’re just the hottest. Here’s a playlist with these kings and queens and more:
By Apinda Ximbi.