Top 15 Local Songs Released by Hip Hop DJs
Words by Glenn Kisela
DJs putting out hot tracks with a powerful cast of rappers is a trend that has been dominating the hip hop scene for the last few years. Beat makers are no longer relegated to the studio but are creating and growing their personal brand by being more visible. In light of this now powerful and prolific trend, we rated the top 15 tracks released by DJs in the South African hip hop scene that made a huge impact.
15. Junior De Rocka – Ufunan (ft. Kwesta, L-Tifo & WTF)
Ufunan came at a time in the scene when the American sound was still strong and prevalent, so for Junior De Rocka to come with a strong South African sound in this track was powerful. The beat itself is nothing to write home about, but with the cast that jumped on the track, it was a Mzansi track with a South African sound and in the time of 2015, when the track came out, its significance cannot be understated.
14. DJ Dimplez – Yaya (ft. Dreamteam & Anatii)
DJ Dimplez is a DJ to be reckoned with. His ear for catchy beats that will have clubs dancing till the lights come on is not to be underestimated. Yaya is a track that perfectly illustrates this, with a catchy beat that makes you move your feet whether you want to or not. The chorus is also mad catchy and fits perfectly with the mood of the beat. With over 350K views on YouTube, this was a hit that resonated with the people.
13. DJ Switch – Now or Never (ft. Kwesta, Shane Eagle, Reason & Proverb)
It’s arguable that DJ Switch had a very American sound and that is a debate for another time whether that’s a good or bad thing, however his ear for beats is admirable. Having Shane Eagle, an artist who at the time in 2016 when this track dropped was relatively unknown, was a smart move. The beat hits the right notes and overall the track is a club hitter that you can never go wrong with having in your playlist.
12. DJ Capital – Skebe Dep Dep (ft. Kwesta, Reason & Kid X)
This track by DJ Capital is particularly amazing as it has a well known sample and remixes it in a way that is interesting and catchy to the ears. Kwesta’s voice on this track is undeniably enthralling and the rest of the cast makes for an ear-popping song that you can’t help but dance to. The beat may not be complex but sometimes less is more and that is the case with this song.
11. Ms Cosmo – Connect (ft. Nasty C, Rouge & Kwesta)
This track brings out the pop in this hip hop track. Nasty C is arguably one of the best hook makers in the country and he doesn’t disappoint in this track. If anything, the hook overpowers the rest of the song. A bubblegum beat and some nice verses from the line-up on this track makes this a great summer hit. With over 1m views on YouTube, the rest of the country clearly agrees.
10. Major League DJz – Zulu Girls (ft. Riky Rick, Cassper Nyovest & Danger)
When you’re talking about hip hop DJs in South Africa that make bangers, the conversation isn’t complete until you bring in Major League. Zulu Girls is a track that clearly illustrates why they are so highly related. A mix of an American sound with a South African feel, Zulu Girls is an anthem the whole country can get behind.
* For some reason the official video for “Zulu Girls” is not available on YouTube.
9. DJ Sliqe – On It (ft. Shekhinah)
DJ Sliqe is arguably one of the hottest hip hop DJs in the scene right now. His style is unique and his beats are something that will have you on the edge of your seat. On It is a great example of how distinct his sound is and partnering with the talented Shekhinah makes for a track that is as haunting as it is beautiful. This is a track that you can have on repeat. It also soared on YouTube with over 1.5m views, an impressive feat in the South African music scene.
8. Vigi – Sorry Makhe (ft. L-Tido, Kid X, Maggz & Yanga)
Sorry Makhe is another track on this list that has a distinctly South African sound. That coupled with bars from talented rappers makes for a compelling entry into this top 15 list. Such a catchy beat will have everyone in the club bumping to it.
7. DJ Speedsta – Special Somebody (ft. Anatii & Cassper Nyovest)
No hip hop list is complete without DJ Speedsta in it. This prolific producer and artist has a talent for making undeniable hits. Special Somebody has a unique beat, coupled with top talent like Anatii and Cassper, it couldn’t be anything but a hit. With over 700K views on YouTube, this is a track that resonated with the people, something Speedsta is incredibly good at doing. That it’s also a love jam and speaks to both men and women is just another reason why this track belongs on this list.
6. Major League DJz – Slyza Tsotsi (ft. Okmalumkookat, Cassper Nyovest & Riky Rick)
Major League features again on this list, as their skill of honing the South African sound and creating a club track that appeals to so many is unparalleled. The beat is very Kwaito in nature and coupled with such a star-studded lineup on the beat, this was always going to be a hit. With over 900K views on YouTube, this was a song that South Africans loved.
5. DJ Sliqe – iLife (ft. JR, Okmalumkookat & WTF)
Dj Sliqe continues in this list with a beat that is again unique and distinctly Sliqe. The hookman that is JR only serves to enhance an already incredible track and the bars from the rest of the line-up takes this song to another level. The hard sound is what Sliqe works so well in this track and showcases his expertise in creating an incredible sound unlike any other.
4. Vigi – God’s Will (ft. K.O & AKA)
When you have a track with AKA, there’s no way it won’t be a hit, but credit needs to be given to DJ Vigi for curating a beat that both AKA and K.O could go hard on. It may not have a uniquely South African sound, but the beat is smooth and allows for a great flow from the cast on the track. This is an old track, having come out in 2013 and yet it still sounds like an absolute banger that could sit comfortably amongst tracks released this year.
3. DJ Milkshake – My Own (ft. Cassper Nyovest & Anatii)
My Own has a low tempo beat and yet it creates the perfect platform for the line-up on this track to jump on it and deliver bars. With over 1m views, this was a track that South Africa absolutely embraced. The beat is consistent but never gets boring. This is a track that highlights the standard that hip hop DJs should aspire to when releasing tracks.
2. DJ Dimplez – Way Up (ft. Cassper Nyovest & JR)
DJ Dimplez continues to deliver tracks that have a South African flavour yet you could also easily imagine this being played in a club overseas. The beat is not high tempo, but will still have you tapping your feet and vibing to it. The combination of Cassper and JR makes for an interesting track that hits all the right notes. With over 700K views, Way Up can’t be called anything but a success.
1. DJ Speedsta – Mayo (ft. Yung Swiss, Tellaman, Shane Eagle & Frank Casino)
It should come as no surprise that DJ Speedsta tops this list. Speedsta is a musical artist that showcases a lot of versatility in the beats and line-ups he puts together. Mayo is an incredible track with a beat that is smooth and enthralling. Coupled with an incredible cast that you would rarely see together, it’s a compelling entry for the best track released by a South African hip hop DJ. With over 1.7m views on YouTube, this was an incredible track that really showcased what Speedsta can do and how talented he is.