South African Kwaito — Some Ridiculous Great Tunes…

Blackdown’s Blog got me going on this kick, but what really got SA on my radar was DJ Mujava’s Township Funk which was an undeniable floor filler from 2008.

I can’t even keep up on Iowa City music, much less America or the world, but the Kwaito stuff is so fresh — it reminds me of the more stripped down UK Funky stuff that’s caught my ear lately. It is another example of the Soca beat being picked up and thrown into the global dance music blender. I made a quick expedition through the Afrodesia MP3 site and picked up a few things, but I’ve barely scratched the surface…

And if that’s not plenty to think about, the Afrodesia site has a crazy selection of stuff from all over the continent, including a boatload of very nice deep house.

Here’s Big Nuz doing his thing, which is apparently rapping in Zulu…

2 Replies to “South African Kwaito — Some Ridiculous Great Tunes…”

  1. ‘barely scratched the surface’ of a genre can also mean ‘heard the really good top 5%’ too, digging deeper is not necessarily guaranteed to result in more good music.
    i theorize that upon initial discovery of most new subgenres/genres you probably are exposed to the best and brightest first.

    1. “…upon initial discovery … probably exposed to the best & brightest first”

      That’s the cool thing about AfrodesiaMP3 — it’s a firehose site like, where you can do a needle drop check of a ton of music quickly. I think there’s a huge amount of stupid good Kwaito, not because they’re more talented in Durban than they are in the rest of the world, but because it’s an urban music scene where a bunch of very hungry, ambitious producers are constantly trying to top each other.

      Try looking for Big Nuz on Youtube. There’s video of him at whatever the S.A. equivalent of the Grammies, doing an award show performance. He seems like a cross between Biggie and Michael Jackson to South African audiences. Which is another aspect of Kwaito that is crucial — it’s a popular music, not an underground thing. And the thing where the Taxi drivers are the street team, blasting out the latest hits, it’s like an idea from a Sci Fi novel.

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