Hip-Hop ain’t DEAD Edition 3: GRND BREAKERS & 4: GOLDN ERA.


The 2000s saw a shift in musical influence in South Africa, with Hip-hop growing bigger than Kwaito. This led to some of the biggest Kwaito songs becoming derivatives of hip-hop with artists such as Zola winning kwaito awards with raps in their songs. Shocking to some, distasteful to others, however, this clearly meant a new dawn was approaching. This is the age that gave birth to Kasi rap and popularized motswako and boom-bap. A floodgate of acts such as HHP, Proverb, ProKid, Zuluboy and Khuli Chana emerged and cemented their place in SA rap thereafter. Collectives such as Skwatta Kamp, Morafe, Teargas and Cashless Society broke through and showed what a hip-hop collective could achieve with Skwatta Kamp winning best rap album at the 2002 SAMAs and Metro FM awards.
This selection of songs journeys you through the unique sound of early SA rap. Jump in!

Apple Music link: GRND BREAKERS
Spotify link: GRND BREAKERS


The 2010s were arguably the golden era of South African hip-hop. These songs form part of those that cemented the arrival of mainstream hip-hop and, most importantly, signified a crossover appeal for hip-hop for the first time in SA after the foundations laid by the likes of ProKid, Morafe and Teargas, to name a few. Particularly one where the younger generation was involved, we saw a surge in interest when acts such as Cassper Nyovest, Emtee and Nasty C dropped hit songs such as ‘Doc Shebeleza’, ‘Roll Up’ and ‘Juice Back’ respectively. This new age of artists transformed the sound of what hip-hop is and what it could be.

Aside from the music, the 2010s also saw the acceptance and adoption of SA hip-hop by international brands and cooperates. This further pushed financial backing into hip-hop headed events such as the Hennessy Back to the City International Hip-hop Festival, Castle Lite Unlocks Experience and Cotton Fest. This gave and promoted upcoming or established hip-hop artists a platform to perform crafts to thousands of people. In short, the culture expanded to new horizons.

Apple Music link: GOLDN ERA
Spotify link: GOLDN ERA