Who are the best South African rappers today? Today’s article is centered on the top 10 best rappers in South Africa. South African rap music has grown to be one of the most preferred music types in the country and the rappers and their music have been able to win the heart of music lovers both in South Africa and the whole of Africa.
Back in the days, Nigeria has always been the home of all music types in Africa ranging from rap, hip-hop and other music genres and as we have the influx of Afro-beats and many commercial musicians much attention was being placed on Afro-beats and hip-hop leaving the rap music for just a few people.
The likes of M.I Abaga, Mode 9, Ruggedman, Neato C, Eldee have been the soul of rap music in Africa before the bragging rights were taken away from Nigeria, this was seen by M.I. and he raised the alarm by dropping a song titled “fix up your life” but nothing was done about it as musicians placed their focus on hip-hop and Afro-beat which seems to be fetching more money and quick fame.
When talking about rap music in Africa South Africa leads as we have more South Africans among the top 20 best rappers in Africa than other African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and so on.
The South African Music industry has grown over the years boasting of great and legendary rappers like Nasty C, AKA, Emtee, Sho Madjozi and so many others, both male and female rap artists in South Africa have been delivering their best which has elevated the South African music industry and the economy of South Africa.
South African rappers over the years have paid their dues and they have been able to turn South Africa into the powerhouse of rap music in Africa.
Mind you, the ranks of the rappers on this list in Soth Africa is quite different from their ranks in Africa, some of the artists are well accepted in South Africa while some are much more embraced in other African countries so don’t be surprised to see them on the list of best rappers in Africa.
Over time rap in South Africa has been a culture and not just a hobby or profession and this has been used to raise awareness and express their feelings about the high rising crime rate in the country likewise using it as a medium to preach morals.
Without further ado, let us dive into the topic of the day, join us as we reveal to you the updated list of the best rappers in South Africa.
Top 10 Best Rappers In South Africa
His real name Smiso Zwane and popularly known by his stage name Okmalumkoolkat is a South African rapper born on the 27th of July 1983 in Umlazi, South Africa.
He is a rapper, music producer and graphics designer, he came into the limelight in 2013 after he had a collaboration with Cassper Nyovest single titled “Gusheshe”, although he has been in the music industry since 2007 doing rap.
Okmalumkoolkat was also known for “Mswenkofontein” featuring $tilo Magolide & uSanele, the song makes waves and grabs the heart of most South Africans, he also was able to rake in a lot of money and new fans.
Before becoming a full-time rapper Okmalumkoolkat once worked with Nike and now it is visible that music is the right profession for him as his album “Mlazi Milano” got certified as Gold after the release in 2016, some of his songs are; Amalobolo, Amakamera Angshoote, Gqi!, Ooh Ya Ishu, La Liga, iNkunzi and many others.
He has also featured other top-rated rappers and musicians in South Africa like Riky Rick, Cassper Nyovest, Kwesta, Kid X, Nadia Nakai, Ginger Trill, AKA, K.O and many other artists.
Aside from his popular stage name Okmalumkoolkat he is also known as DJ Sharp Sharp, Mlazi Milano, Future Mfana, Smart Mampara and he was able to get listed on the top ten best rappers in South Africa list because of his music style and the number of fans he was able to capture.
The list of the best South African rappers will not be complete without mentioning Mthembeni Ndevu popularly known by his stage name Emtee, he is a talented South African rapper born in September 1992 in Matatiele, South Africa.
Emtee is a well-exposed rapper who has been able to link up and feature many A-List musicians in South Africa and also beyond the shores of the country. Also, he has been able to feature African best musicians, the likes of Wizkid, A.K.A and many others.
He started his musical career at the tender age of 9 years performing on stage in his school talent show Yeoville Primary School and since then he has taken his career seriously which later paid, although he officially started at the age of 17 when he released “Roll Up.”
As a multi-award-winning-rapper Emtee has grabbed some high ratted awards, his single titled “Roll Up” where he featured Wizkid and AKA in 2016 won him the “Song of the Year” by South African Hip Hop Awards, he has won many other awards and also got numerous nominations.
His full name is Senzo Brikka Vilakazi and known by his stage name Kwesta was born on the 11th of August 1988 in Katlehong, South Africa. He is an award-winning South African rapper and songwriter signed under his own record label named “Rap Lyf,” of which Kid X is its co-founder.
Kwesta at the age of 15 alongside some of his friends formed a rap group named “Ghetto Fellaz” which later got renamed in 2003 to The Juvenylz.
The top-rated rapper has been active since 2002 and over the years has featured many A-List musicians in South Africa and other African countries.
He had a song with Cassper Nyovest in 2016 placed on his studio album “DaKAR II” which went Platinum 5 times, some of the international musicians he has worked with is Kelly Rowland on “Spirit” alongside Wale, the song also went Platinum and reign for long, he also had a song with Rick Ross titled “I Came I Saw”.
7. Priddy Ugly
Priddy Ugly is also one of the best rappers in South Africa presently, he was born on the 2nd of April 1992 in Luanda, Angola. His real name is Ricardo Moloi while his professional and stage name is Priddy Ugly.
Right from his childhood before embracing music Priddy Ugly is known to be an accomplished sportsman, very successful in all he does.
In 2018 Priddy Ugly released a mindblowing song he titled “EGYPT (Everything Godly Yearns Patience and Time),” this is one song that went viral and got him a lot of fans all across Africa.
His fame has made him win a lot of albums and nominations even deal with top brands in Africa and also in the world one of them being “Diesel”. He is the first African Ambassador for the Italian clothing brand.
Some of the songs that earned Priddy Ugly listeners across the continent are; Alter Ego, Come to My Kasi, You Don’t Know Me yet, Pray, Cocaine Ghost, Bula Boot, Beneficial Friends, Thula Mama, Nobody, Ambition, OMG just to mention a few.
Another top-rated South African rapper is Lehlogonolo Ronald Mataboge famously known by his stage name A-Reece, he was born on the 27th of March 1997 in Pretoria, South Africa.
He is currently one of the youngest rappers in South Africa that have been able to achieve musical success, a rapper, songwriter, record producer with over 3 albums to his archive.
A-Reece is currently signed to his own record label named “RubberBand Gang” after he had a disagreement with his previous record label “Ambitiouz Entertainment” which he got signed to in 2015.
A-Reece has always been a rap lover right from his kid days and he pursued this dream of his of becoming one of the best rappers in South Africa.
His albums include; Paradise, From Me to You and Only You and he also has some mixtapes with some singles.
Who doesn’t know K.O in South Africa? In case you do not know him K.O is an A-List South African rapper who is also one of the best African rappers. He was born on the 13th of October 1980 in Soweto, South Africa.
K.O became famous in 2014 after the release of his debut album of which in 2017 he released another of which both are exceptional.
His hard work and resilience brought him to this spot and has won him numerous awards most especially for his hit song “Caracara” which he featured KID X in 2014, he has also received a lot of nominations for this song and some of his songs like Mhlobo Wami, Supa Dupa, Flight School and many others.
4. Shane Eagle
Among South Africa’s best rappers we have Shane Eagle who was born by a coloured mother and an Irish father on the 7th of June 1996 in Rabie Ridge, Midrand, South Africa. His real name is Shane Patrick Hughes and famously known by his stage name Shane Eagle.
Shane Eagle is one of those rappers that will always keep you glued to your speaker or earphone, he is signed under his own record label named “Eagle Entertainment” after leaving his former record label “Feel Good Music.”
Although Shane Eagle got popular for his presence in the South African television show “Vuzu: The Hustle” after becoming one of the top four contestants, the TV show is where most top-rated south African rappers got their heels from.
He got famous for his song titled “Way Up” which happens to be a hit, he also released an album under his record label in 2017, after that he has released other songs and over the years he was able to become a successful rapper in South Africa, never forget he also won the “Best Hip Hop Album 2016 SAMMA Awards.”
The third best rapper in South Africa goes to AKA, his real name is Kiernan Jarryd Forbes and his stage name A.K.A, he is a controversial South African rapper born on the 28th of January 1988 in Cape Town, South Africa.
He is a rapper and also a businessman, he started his rap career back in high school around the year 2002 and his success in the South African music industry over the years has got him a lot of mouthwatering gigs and he was able to sign a multi-album deal with Sony Music in 2014.
As one of South Africa’s finest, A.K.A has been able to collaborate with top musicians in South Africa, Africa and the world. He has several albums to his name and many singles.
In 2015 his album “Levels” went Certified Gold, he has won a lot of awards and has gotten numerous nominations and endorsement deals.
2. Cassper Nyovest
Cassper Nyovest has moved from being a South African rapper to being a top African rapper loved by all, though a South African rapper but it won’t hurt to say he belongs to the whole of Africa.
His fame cannot be compared, he is one of Africa’s favorite rappers and he is known for his songs Gusheshe and Doc Shebeleza which recorded huge listeners, those two songs are hits that took over Africa earning him many awards.
Cassper Nyovest was born on the 16th of December 1990 in Mahikeng, South Africa. His real name is Refiloe Maele Phoolo, he is a rapper, songwriter, record producer and also a successful entrepreneur.
He is currently signed under his own record label which he named “Family Tree Records”, some of his songs are; Siyathandana, Baby Girl, Summer Love, Good For That, Nokuthula, Destiny, Mama I Made It and many others.
As a successful rapper, Cassper Nyovest was the first South African musician to fill up a stadium with over 72,000 fans while having his concert, as he businessman he was also successful and made it on the list of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 List which is a great feat other South African musicians haven’t reached.
1. Nasty C – The Best Rapper In South Africa
Multi-award-winner Nasty C is ranked as the best rapper in South Africa currently, as young as he is he has achieved a lot, people call him an achiever. Remember this is made possible with his wonderful rapping talent, his hard work and his dedication, this didn’t just happen overnight.
Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo is a South African rapper popularly known as Nasty C, he was born on the 11th of February 1997 in Diepmeadow, South Africa. He is a rapper, songwriter, record producer and he operates under the record label Universal Music Africa, he established his own record label on the 20th of August 2018 which he called “Tall Racks Records.”
Nasty C is also rated as the best rapper in Africa currently, he reformed hip-hop in Africa and has been able to win himself quality awards from BET Awards and other top awards in the global music industry.
Most if not all his songs are hit, so much from a young rapper who started rapping at the tender age of 9 years, he has had numerous nominations and endorsement deals and also has collaborated with many top musicians in Africa and in the world, Nasty C is the face of Africa and the pillar of the South African Music industry.
What is rapper Emtee real name?
Emtee real name is Mthembeni Ndevu, he is an award-winning South African rapper born in September 1992 and also rated as one of the best rappers in Africa currently.
Who is K.O?
K.O is a South African top-rated rapper with his real name being Ntokozo Mdluli, he is an award-winning rapper signed under Sony Music Entertainment Africa.
Who is the best South African rapper presently?
The best rapper in South Africa currently is Nasty C, he is a rapper, songwriter and record producer, he owns the record label “Tall Racks Records” and he is also ranked as the best rapper in Africa.
South Africa’s Music Industry is blessed with good and talented musicians, the top rappers have laid down a good foundation for the upcoming artists which sees them as role model. The lesson to be taken in this article is just persistence, for new people coming into the music industry all that is needed is persistence in what you know how to do best.
Hard work and dedication have been the driving force of the top best rappers in South Africa and it is the same in other countries, with this – the sky will always be the starting point.
Top 10 Best Rappers In South Africa (Recap)
Here is the list of the top ten best South African rappers today:
- Nasty C
- Cassper Nyovest
- Shane Eagle
- Priddy Ugly
Read Also: Top 10 Best Rappers In Africa [Updated List]
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