Over the last decade, hip-hop has continued to assert itself as the voice of South African youth culture, even more so in urban spaces. Although we can trace South African Hip-Hop’s birth back to Black Noise and Prophets of Da City in the 80s, there hasn’t been a prominent representation of the coloured community in the culture.
Until recently, coloured representation in the form of sound, culture and aesthetic has been missing in mainstream hip-hop. Over the last three years or so, 24-year old Cape Town native Riyadh ‘Youngsta’ Roberts has broken into the mainstream with a distinctive coloured aesthetic that is hard to miss.
One of the hardest working MCs in the game, YungstaCPT has featured on countless hit tracks in the past year, dropped 24 mixtapes in 24 months, won Lyricist of the Year at the SA Hip-Hip Awards, consecutively topped Slikour on Life’s monthly Verse Of The Month and performed in Europe and Australia in the past year.
Never before have we seen such a genuine representation of the coloured community in hip-hop. Yungsta’s breakthrough could be the catalyst for a new wave of coloured rappers to break through the system and enjoy mass appeal. AKA and Shane Eagle are noteworthy mainstream names but they hardly explicitly rep their ‘colouredness’.
Vodka brand Russian Bear’s #IAmNext campaign with Kwesta might’ve birthed the next coloured rap star. The campaign saw the brand search through 4 provinces over 4 months to find Mzansi’s next hottest artist who would collab on a single with KWESTA. That artist, unearthed in the smallest of towns, is Caleb Heynes from Aliwal North!
On Friday, Caleb dropped his #IAMNext single titled MAMA featuring Kwesta. The kid impressively holds his own against one of the best in the game, but what stands out is his coloured influenced accent and elocution.
If MAMA is anything to go by, Caleb could be the next rapper to not only rep the coloured community but appeal to the mainstream market to become the next rap superstar.
The kid is exciting!
Listen to MAMA below;