2014 was undoubtedly the biggest year for SA Hip Hop since it’s emergence! Not only has SA Hip Hop dominated all radio charts but SA local rappers have toured globally, sold gold, filled concerts! I mean the biggest song in 2014 is K.O’s CaraCara song! Which is hip hop by the way and we thought why not compile a Top 5 SA HipHop Albums of 2014 List and gather yall’s two cents!
1. AKA- Levels
Levels changed the SA Hip Hop landscape in a massive way in the past 3 years. AKA has penned songs that got people interested in SA Hip Hop and not just any SA Hip Hop but English hip hop. Now for people who follow the genre , SA Hiphop over the past 7 years or so has been predominantly vernacular and Motswako to be more specific . AKA’s radio success from singles such as Kontrol and Jealousy changed the scene so much that he has paved the way for non vernacular rapping artists and that’s something worth noting. The production on levels is on point. One other thing Levels did was expose SA Hiphop to a broader African audience through his collaborations with artists from Nigeria and Ghana, and that added so much value and exposure for the SA hip hop and because of that the album deserves the nod. By the time we published this article, Radio singles wise this how Levels compares to Tsholofelo – Run Jozi, Kontroll, Jealousy, Congratulate, All Eyes On Me vs Doc Shebeleza , Gusheshe , Phumakim’ . Very competitive but Levels take the crown here.
2. Cassper Nyovest- Tsholofelo
This album was the best selling SA Hip Hop album of 2014 and the only hiphop album to sell gold. Great album production. Huge radio singles (Doc Shebeleza and Gusheshe) Some people will argue why it didn’t make the first spot if it has massive commercial success but let’s not forget that there is still massive bias towards vernacular hip hop in SA and more or so Africa and to base ranking of an album on just sales will be a baseless attempt to the objective. Tsholofelo is a great album but not better than Levels.
3. KO- Skhanda Republic
This is an interesting album because it brought along a whole new genre and sound.New Age Kwaito which is only unique to this stable. The album is home to the biggest SA song/ video in 2014 and some good lyricism.
4. Reason -Audio High Definition
Undubtebly the best SA HipHop album lyrically . The subject matter alone elevates this album so much that it’s on a planet of it’s own compared to his peers.
5. Kwesta – Dakar
Kwesta is highly underrated and so is this album. Lyrically the album is a great listen. Kwesta is definitely the only rapper worth vying for the best lyricist in SA this year with Reason. Great album which is highly deserving of better recognition.