When you think of wackest rappers in South Africa, I’m sure a few names come to mind. It’s no secret that we’ve seen our fair share of wack rappers gaining an audience in the South African Hip Hop market. Today we’ll highlight and discuss some of the wackest rappers that we’ve seen on our shores over the last 5 years.
Criteria for Wackest Rappers in SA
Before we talk about any rappers, we need to define our wackness score card otherwise we won’t have much basis for our claims. We know how people like to come after the writer because they didn’t define the criteria. For the purposes of this piece, we’ll define wackness by the following standards with a subjective score out of 10.
Relatability – Measures whether the artist still relates to their fans. Highlights whether artist faced issues with identity and lost their way a bit because of this.
Lyrical content – Bars! Does this rapper have lines that are memorable. This score relates to current technical ability as a rapper.
Impact – Measures whether the artist has had a lasting impression on the Hip Hop industry over the past 5 years.
I know you may be thinking that the criteria aren’t fair. You may want to add more points because the list isn’t exhaustive, but that’s your opinion and you’re welcome to add your criteria and your list to the comment section. We’ll battle it out there.
In addition to the typical research, we conducted an informal survey, and the results were pretty interesting. We asked hip hop listeners to list 5 of the wackest rappers they’ve heard in the past 5 years. Names that appeared on the list included Nadia Nakai, Big Xhosa, Blaklez, Cassper Nyovest, AKA, Big Zulu, Stilo Magolide, Ma-E, K.O., L-Tido among many others. The survey showed just how divided a small sample size of hip hop consumers can be.
Below we’ll cover 10 of the wackest rappers. They’ve been ordered from most tolerable to most wack according to our criteria.
List of Wackest Rappers in South Africa
AKA starts off this list as our most tolerable wack rapper. He makes the list due to his questionable releases and collaborations over the past 5 years. One wonders if he’s become wack by association. He seems to have gone on a downward spiral since the AKA who ran the Hip Hop game. We owe his mention on the list down to the fact that his fans may be tired of his party-time sing-along songs. He served us with Incredible jams like Congratulate and All Eyes on me, the latter of which has a feature from an African talent who has gone on to be a global artist while AKA remains a continental performer. We know that AKA had it in him to take his achievements to the global stage, but he seems to have squandered his chance. We can therefore also claim that he’s wack owing to his failed potential.
From a rap standpoint, we think his recent work with Costa Titch was the last straw for his fans. It appears we’ve grown tired of his delivery on songs. If he is to make a comeback, he’ll require reinvention of the highest order.
Another name that featured in our poll a few times was Blxckie. Since Blxckie started releasing notable Hip Hop songs, listeners have been questioning his lyrical ability. His relatability is unquestionable with his audience, but his ability to go toe to toe with the best in the country with regards to rap leaves a lot to be desired.
Blxckie’s strength lies in his versatility, not his rap ability. His only project to date entitled B4Now has been described on his Wikipedia page as a ‘highly relatable compilation’. This isn’t a comment a rapper with stature would take to kindly too. The diversity in ability means he’ll be relatable for a long time, but we think his diverse sound works against him in this case and is the reason why his name came up in the poll.
L-Tido and K.O.
L-Tido and K.O. have notable mentions on the poll. Both have been noted as older rappers and were probably added to the list by the younger generation. Morale was mentioned on the list, but we won’t entertain his nomination as he hasn’t released any hip hop music in the last 5 years. Both L-Tido and K.O. Seem to be stains that always return with the latter moving towards focusing on the youth and passing on the torch through the establishment of Skhandaworld. Both artists can boast high levels of impact but fail on the scale of relatability as their original crowd doesn’t have as strong of a voice as they once did. It seems the older South African Hip Hop generation aren’t captivated by their work anymore.
Nadia Nakai’s mention in this list is down to some feeling that she has relied heavily on her affiliation to Family Tree on her come up. Reliance or not, she has made the most of her time in the music industry, carving out a lane and ensuring her relatability long term. She has since pursued her own label in addition to appearances on Channel O and Netflix over the past year.
Costa must make this list based on his origin story and what he has done so far in the hip hop industry. The ‘white guy who raps in isiZulu’ is a walking gimmick. Between his dances, his raps, and his origins, he will always be a polarizing figure who will struggle to get hip hop listeners to see him as anything else. I liken him to a watered-down version of Tekashi69. Sure, the gimmicky nature of what he does will be appreciated in the short-term, but there seems to be little hope for long-term impact. He won’t be remembered as a rapper.
Minutes on streaming platforms reveal that Moozlie’s biggest songs all have features. The reason she makes our list is that each track with a feature left us anticipating the feature’s verse more than hers. As a credible rapper, this shouldn’t be a common occurrence on your tracks. The last time she had social media abuzz was in 2019 when she partnered up with VW for their drive dry campaign
Boity doesn’t sound terrible, we just know that she’s not a rapper and her tally of under 10 songs, proves this. Use of a ghostwriter on her songs is also common knowledge and this is one of the main reasons she sits comfortably near the bottom of our list.
South Africa hasn’t had a proper spoof artist since the days of Mzekezeke. Big Xhosa gave us a feeling of nostalgia with his confidence and delivery. This artist’s big break came when he dropped a song in 2021 where he dissed a long list of prominent South African artists. We all like a little bit of controversy served with our hip hop, but he ended up being more of a parody artist than anything as he didn’t receive any notable replies to his attempts to shake up the game with his freestyle. He would then go on to ‘appear’ on Sway in the morning. He used a green screen and a shot a video where he ingeniously made it look like he had been invited by Sway Calloway himself. It was later revealed that he didn’t actually appear on the show, but the stunt had already accomplished its purpose.
Subsequent to this, he released some music under the name SOS. It’s believed that he created this caricature of a rapper to gain clout and then leverage it for his main persona, SOS. The jury is still out on whether his plan worked.
Faith tops our list of wackest rappers. She pips Big Xhosa for the number one spot because
Faith reminds us of multiple rappers that we’ve heard before. This trait makes it difficult to listen to her body of work from back in 2019. Her very short stint as a rapper in an otherwise diverse career earns her a solid spot at the top of our list.
A point we need to talk about is how polarizing this topic is. If there’s one thing all this research and these informal conversations have shown us, it’s that Rap and Hip Hop require a fresh batch of hungry individuals to take the industry by its horns and release good music consistently. One comment noted that the ‘artists aren’t wack, they just make wack songs’. Though this is true in some cases, we’re definitely dealing with a problem where the calibre of songs that are being dropped in 2022 don’t have the impact of the hits gone by that shaped these artist’s careers.
Below you’ll find a list with our scores for each of the artists mentioned in the article.
We don’t take this list lightly. We’ve made some claims based on what we’ve seen over the years, and we’ve definitely left some people off this list that comfortably deserve a spot on it. If you have opinions about this list and its justifications, please make a point to leave a comment with your thoughts. Our industry rides on the opinions of the masses and this is a platform to get yourself heard. If you liked this article, let us know and we’ll serve up more pieces just like this one.