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Thursday, April 18, 2024

12 Best South Africa Hip-Hop Music Artists

South African, being one of the central in music, has multiple artists with diverse talent. 

Music, an integral part of the human, will forever serve as an escape and form of relaxation to the entire public.

South African music artists significantly deliver their music as an inspiration to people, with its music scene being a budding gift that keeps improving by the day. 

The 12 best South African Hip Hop music artist is listed below, and they include the following:

1. Nasty C

Nsikayesizwe David Ngcobo, with the stage name Nasty C, was a South African songwriter a rapper in February 1997. 

His first mixtape, 2013’s One Kid a Thousand coffins, gave him fame and recognition in the music industry. 

Recently, he signed a deal with Def Jam Record where he released his United States Official single ‘There They Go’ that got him worldwide recognition. 

Nasty released songs under labels like Universal music Africa, Tall Racks Records, Def Jam, and he’s an artist with Hip hop, trap, and rap genres. 

He has 16 charting singles, two extended plays [Ep], 23 music videos, three studio albums, with his most successful album Zulu Man with Some Power charting number 1 in the world. 

Nasty’s 2015 second mixtape Price City, which produced the successful single “Juice Back,” contributes to his prominence. 

He won the Best Freshman Award in 2015 at the South African Hip Hop Awards, won two AFRIMMAs, was nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award, Headies African Artiste of the Year, and lots more.

2. AKA

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, popularly known as AKA, is a businessman, record producer, and South African hip-hop artist. 

He was born in January 1988 in Cape Town, and his touching, glossy, insightful, and smooth lyrics made him famous. 

AKA has collaborated with different superstars in Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Burna Boy, Rick Ross, etc., and he is solely a hip-hop artist. 

AKA has been in the limelight since 2002 and has received countless nominations and awards from the Metro FM Awards, South African Hip Hop award, MTV Africa Music award, etc. 

AKA has worked with record Labels like Vth Season Beam Group, and Sony Music Africa has released charting singles and hit albums.

3. Cassper Nyovest

Refiloe Maele Phoolo, well known as Cassper Nyovest, was born in December 1990. 

He’s a songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and hip-hop Kwaito Amapiano artist that Motswako rapper HHP noticed. 

Cassper released his debut single and album in 2013 and 2014, respectively, after separating from his first Label. 

He has multiple endorsement deals from notable brands like Samsung, Shoprite, Ciroc, Coca-Cola, Castle lite, MTN, KFC SA, Nike SA, etc. 

Cassper has won the South African Hip hop award seven times, the South African music Award, Metro FM award, Channel O Music award thrice, and nominations. 

He started rapping at age 12 and gained prominence with his debut album “Tsholofelo” in 2014, featuring his first two singles” Gusheshe and “Doc Shebeleza.” 

Due to what Casper has for family, he established his record label “Family Tree Records” in 2014, named his albums after his name and that of his sisters.

4. Nadia Nakai

 Nadia Nakai, professionally known as Queen Bragga, is a rapper, songwriter, and television personality from Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Nadia won the Mixtape 101 competition as the first female ever to win before rising to fame in 2013 with her debut single “Like Me.” 

She is a hip-hop artist with hits featuring Ice Prince, DotCom, Psyfo, and Cassper Nyovest in “Naaa Megan,” a chart-topping single. 

In 2019, Nadia co-hosted MTV Base hip hop alongside Siyabonga Ngwekazi and released her debut single Nadia Naked” the same year. 

She is an artist with many awards and nominations that includes All African Music Awards, South African hip hop awards, Zimbabwe Music award, SA Style awards, etc. 

Under the record label “Family Tree,” Nadia has produced more than ten singles, several features, one extended play, and one studio album.

5. Kwesta

Sezo Mfundo Vilakazi, whose stage name is Kwesta, was born Gauteng in August 1988, and he’s a South African rapper and songwriter. 

Having sold 210 000 copies of his song in South Africa, Kwesta became a household name and best-selling hip hop of all time. 

His most respectable acknowledgment includes seven songs ranked on multiple radio charts, four South African hip hop awards, one MTV Africa music award, six South Africa music awards, and one Metro FM Award. 

Kwesta, a hip-hop and rap genre artist, has an independent label, RapLyf. He previously worked with two different brands; he released his debut album, second and third albums in 2010, 2013, and 2016. 

More so, Kwesta’s biggest song to date is Ngud, and it’s also one of the biggest and most played South African hip hop songs ever released.

6. Kid X

Bonginkosi Mahlangu, widely known as Kid X, is an exciting artist from South Africa with an unusual blend of music that bridges the gap between modern hip hop and traditional Zulu music. 

He was born in October 1988, developed an interest in hip hop after watching Eminem’s biopic 8 miles, and has released different solo songs featuring the likes of ChianoSky, NOTA, Demi Ma, Stogie T, Zoocci Coke Dope, and Gopsvilla, etc. 

Kid X has consecutively taken the number one spot on YFM’s Hot nine hip hop chart before joining Cashtime Family. 

The Cashtime Family made back-to-back hits before its disbandment in 2014, leading to Kid X working with Teargas K.O for the single Cara-Cara. 

Recently, Kid X has six hit albums on the ground, won several awards and indefinite nominations.

7. Khuli Chana

Khulan Module with the stage name Khuli Chana is a uniquely South African artist who raps with South African national languages, an uncommon feat. 

Khulan Module, the South African rapper, was born in August 1982, and he’s the manager of music companies Raux Studios and My throne Records Johannesburg. 

Khuli gained recognition after releasing his most successful album, “Motswakoriginator,” which blends Setswana and English. 

He shared a stage with Drake, a US rapper, and partnered with Vodka brand for the South Africa market. 

Khuli has timeless songs in his four studio albums Mostswakoriginator [2009], Lost in Time [2012], One Source [2017], and Planet of the Have Nots [2019]. 

The South African rapper has more than 25 hit singles, won many awards and many nominations, and has collaborated with notable artists in South Africa and beyond, including Sarkodie, Patoranking, Cassper Nyovest, Da L.E. S, Victoria Kimani, and more.

8. Riky Rick

Rikhado Makhado, professionally known as Riky Rick, is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, actor, rapper, singer, and composer. 

The South African artist born in June 1987 was famous after releasing his single “Nafukwa” in 2014, a member of Boyz N Bucks and owner of Cotton Club Records Label. 

Makhado, hip-hop, rap, and trap genre artist, held his first concert in February 2019 before its announcement in November 2018. 

He has made countless music that comprises 2Eps, 2 Mixtapes, been nominated severally, and has featured Kwesta, Ginger Bread Man, Maggz, Kid X, Nadia Nakai, etc.

9. Shane Eagle

Shane Patrick Hughes, with the stage name Shane Eagle, is a South African hip-hop artist, songwriter, and television personality born in June 1996. 

The hip hop artist became famous after taking the third-place position on the first season of the Vuzu rapping competition in 2015, which released a debut single, “Way Up.” 

Eagle, who started rapping at age 13, gained world recognition after releasing his debut album “Yellow,” featuring the lead single “Let it Flow.”  

He has produced songs with favorable airplay under the Feel Good Music label and currently, Eagle Entertainment record label owned by him. 

In a short while, Eagle’s most successful album ”Yellow” garnered more than one million streams with one of the hit singles “Let it Flow” certified gold status. 

Eagle has featured industrious artists and has released one album, one Mixtape, one EP, over ten singles. 

His strengthful vocals and a rap style that blends accurately with all music genres make him unique.

10. iFani

With the actual name Mzayifani Boltina, iFani is a South African artist, presenter, and comedian born in November 1985. 

In 2009, his debut single “Hola Haters” received a tepid response and later turned to a hit after being picked by the Gauteng Radio Station. 

In his second single, “Ewe,” iFani described his feelings about the South African music industry, and it gave him a wider reception with breathtaking airplay. 

In addition, he released his first album, “I Believes in Me” [1st Quadrant], in 2013 after a contract with the Sony Music label. 

The I Believe in Me 2nd Quadrant featuring thirteen tracks was released in April 2015, and it achieved Gold status on the day of its release. 

iFani has won awards including the Best Rap Album in the south African music Award, Best Music Video, have one album, and two hit singles.

11. Emtee

Mthembeni Ndevu, professionally known as Emtee, is a South African Hip Hop trap artist born at Matatiele in September 1992. 

At age 9, he already performed on stage at the Yeoville Primary School talent show, and at 17, he was the youngest choir conductor at Barnato Park High School. 

Enter, and Ruff produced a debut single, “Roll Up,” and it turned to a national anthem with Wizkid and AKA featuring on the re-release of Roll up Re-Up. 

Emtee’s single Roll Up appeared in a category where two south African artists were competing, peaked on different hip hop charts, won song of the year. 

He kicked off his career with Ambitiouz Entertainment label, currently working with his established Label Emtee Records, and has worked with A-list artists like Nasty C, Wizkid, A- Reece, Tiwa Savage, Sjava, Saudi, and many more.

Emtee has released five back-to-back hit albums, one Ep, and more than twenty singles.

He has many accolades, including the Best Hip Hop Album for SAMA Awards, Best male artist in Africa AFRIMA Awards, Listeners Choice Award in Metro FM Music Awards, etc.

12. A- Reece

A- Reece, with the actual name Lehlogonolo Ronald Mataboge, is a hip-hop artist, rapper, producer, and songwriter born in Pretoria, South Africa, in March 1997. 

He split with Ambitiouz Entertainment in 2015 to become independent, after which he became prominent following the release of his hit single “Couldn’t” Ft Emtee in the same year.  

The financial dispute with Ambitiouz Entertainment was the birth of The Wrecking Crew [TWC], consisting of MashBeatz, Ex Global, Wordz, with the formers like Flame, Ecco, Mellow. 

A- Reece has associated with artists like Amanda Black, Ayanda Jiya, Emtee, Joey Fatts, Stogie T, etc.


Indeed, the list of South African hip-hop artists above has stood the test of time in the music industry. 

South Africa is one of the countries on the African continent that has gifted artists with mind-blowing talents. 

Though these South African musicians started from the bottom, they now rule the music world, turning to household names in different countries.

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