Unknown to many, South African Hip Hop has been circulating throughout the nation since the mid 1980's.  As a migrating genre, it has extended its arms to this part of the world and has shown signs of growth since the beginning, without any of slowing down. Some believe it came from the vibes of America, others believe it started from the African love of dance, which naturally encased break dancing (a staple in early hip hop culture), but all can agree that it has in fact shown heavy influence in the hearts of many in South Africa.

Just like in America, South African Hip Hop was represented heavily by the "crews" and "sets" such as Crowded Crew and Black Noise which allowed the following to gain momentum leading all the way through the mid 1990's and early 2000's. In 1997 the arrival of YFM allowed listeners to get a real taste of the reach of Hip Hop and how much it was in a position to take down other genre's such as Kwaito and Jazz. Now South Africa has embraced artists such as AKA, Zakwe, and Pitch Black Afro and is ready to continue moving to the next level. This section will outline artist spotlights, performance information and everything we can give you in the Hip Hop industry world wide so be sure to stay connected!

As one of South Africa's most favored types of music, "Kwaito" is believed to have started in the 1990's. The music is a mixing bowl of everything from the marabi sounds of the 1920's and kwela of the 1950's to even UK House and African Hip Hop influences. South African idols like Miriam Makeba and Chicco Twala have gotten the genre to where it is today and have paved a way for artists to keep building upon their foundations. "Kwaito’s" lyrics originated in South Africa’s townships and express the known street language of the ‘kasi’, which emerged as the vehicle to express the real lives, struggles and aspirations of the South African youth, which formed a large part of the country's first post-apartheid generation.

Stars in the scene today include individuals such as Arthur Mafokate, Mandoza, Zola and groups such as Malaika, Mafikozolo, Mzekezeke.  In South Africa, "kwaito" culture has ultimately shifted the forefront of the local music culture and has in turn shifted to mean more than just a music genre. It has become a way for the youth of the country to express their true feelings and thoughts in the form of music! It has been said that "kwaito" is derived from the Afrikaans word kwaai, which can be loosely translated in English to mean 'angry. Why call it this? In everyday slang in this culture, negative words or phrases can often get a positive connotation or ‘cool’ status, thus lining up perfectly with the youth of the nation. Take a peak in to the world of Kwaito and see what the buzz is about!

As the world shifts year after year, music genres seem to be moving up and down on the popularity scale with listeners all around the world. Even though there are many language barriers, the world does seem to have a symbiotic relationship, however, when it comes to music trends across the globe. In the more recent years, Electronic Dance Music, or EDM, has swept internationally in leaps and bounds to record breaking crowds and some of the most famous venues in the world. Internationally, with music festivals such as Tomorrowland, Ultra, and Electronic Daisey, the world of EDM has shifted mindsets and preconceived notions to a more positive light. 

South Africa has kept right up with the times in this regard as well. They have not only started to produce big name artists such as Die Antwoord, Spoeck Mathambo, and Das Kapital, but have also made moves to hosting big name events and world renown music festival production teams like Ultra Worldwide in South Africa. It is sure to be a prominent and popular music genre in South Africa for years to come and we are excited to watch it grow as it does in the world surrounding us. Check in to see the latest songs, mixes, event information, and artist spotlights at Music ZA!

Some people in this world misuse the term "Gospel Music" and assume that it can be referred to any type of religious song, however throughout the years we have seen it gravitate solely towards christian music and ministry. With its roots reaching back to the early African nations, we can see the music shift from a necessary piece of life to a celebration of life, community and spirituality. In the early days of the music, it was mainly used in the likes of hunting and war songs but was never really used as a spiritual practice until it reached the United States. As slavery spread throughout the colonies so did the gospel music as a means of not only passing time, but passing messages and raising moral as well!

As this style of music began to grow, it also made its way back to the African nations and the world alike. In South Africa there has been plenty of game changing Gospel singers that have shifted the momentum back in their favor. With performers such as Rebecca Maiope, Benjamin Dube, Keke Phoofolo, Sipho Makhabane, Lundi and Debra Fraser, the Gospel music industry has began to gain legs and sprint towards their goal of reaching the world! 

SIPHO MAKHABANE

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