Five Kwaito samples in South African Hip-Hop

I once got into a taxi where the intro to Busy Signal’s “Come Over (Missing You)” started playing. My heart jumped and I prepared to dance from my seat and sing the lyrics. Only, I heard a completely different song I had never heard before. Whatever. When that song finished, the intro played again and I thought ”yes, the original is about to play”. The original didn’t play, fam. It was another sample. This happened more than three times. As agitated as I was with these multiple samples and different renditions, it left me thinking about how the same idea can be interpreted differently. In this way, samples show how differently creative people can be. Today’s Hip-Hop artists have taken to sampling kwaito songs and reinterpreting them into the modern context. Here’s a list of five familiar tunes, beats or lyrics that we’ve heard in today’s music- along with the songs kindly put together by Irrelevant Padrino (who made the greatest musical project of 2016) starting with the sampled versions.

  1. Caracara by K.O ft KiD X: while it was not the first to ever sample kwaito songs in hip-hop, Caracara is especially significant for me because K.O and KiD X created this movement (or monster, depending on your position on this increase in sampling). The hook of this song samples Trompies ‘Bengimngaka’.
  2. Run Jozi by AKA ft K.O: In this song, Supermega uses  a trap flow to rap over an electro beat and KO comes into the chorus singing “nkosi sikelela thina, thina namagenge”which is one of TKZee’s greatest bangers, Sikelela (Sanford and Son Theme) from their Halloween album released in 1998.
  3. All Eyes on Me by AKA ft Burna Boy: This one is particularly interesting because it is a sample of a sample. AKA and Burna Boy sample Brenda Fassie’s “Ngiyakusaba” which sampled “Got a Love for You” by Jomanda in 1991.
  4. Free100kMacasette by Okmalumkonsentmotherfuckerdoyouspeakit: This song samples Mdu’s MaBankbook.
  5. Tsiki Tsiki by Duncan: I’m not crying. You’re crying. As dishonest as nostalgia is in that it makes you romanticise the past more than you should; I can’t help but feel it whenever certain songs come on. Duncan slows down Mdu’s Tsiki Tsiki and honestly, it is glorious.

Love it or hate it, sampling definitely makes songs easier to love because of the relationship that we might already have with the original song. It’s good when artists pay respects to their OGs too.


1 Comment

  1. Yazi wena 😃😃. And ke nje these artists did these old tracks Justice coz some samples can just go compleeeeetely left. And they made me quite nostalgic even though o was probably murduring the lyrics to the original songs coz i was young. Do you remember song book tho and thos lyrics 😂😂 I wish i still had mine.
    one person I’m glad we won’t have to reimagine how her sound would have been today through other artists is Mshoza. Abantu bam labo!!!

    Mvumikazi | Urban Mnguni

    Liked by 1 person

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