Half a year after dropping ‘Doc Shebeleza’ and a year after we were first exposed to ‘Gusheshe’, Cassper…
Half a year after dropping ‘Doc Shebeleza’ and a year after we were first exposed to ‘Gusheshe’, Cassper Nyovest has dropped ‘Phumakim’, the third single off his upcoming album Tsholofelo. In the last twelve months, Nyovest has become one of the biggest music stars in the country, and has done it all without shredding an ounce of credibility. Where ‘Shebeleza’ mined the fertile ground somewhere between Migos and A$ap Ferg, ‘Phumakim’, finds him closer to the sound of the saturated cluster of “rappers who sound like Future”. The Atlanta-native’s influence on global hip hop is one of the strongest musical subplots of the past few years, and it is felt heavily on ‘Phumakim’’s chorus and Soko’s production, but the verses find Nyovest refining his own perspective and coming to terms with his recent success.
The richness of South African hip hop at present is evidenced by the fact that the genre’s inherent hyper-referentiality is taking on an increasingly local flavour; no longer are American artists and trends exclusively being name-dropped by local rappers. The culture and standard of South African hip hop music has never felt more vibrant, and that fact on its own is one of the main threads throughout ‘Phumakim’. Nyovest raps here: “AKA’s favourite rapper, guess I made it on the Forbes list”, name-checking the rapper he was beefing with earlier in the year; and “Life is crazy they been asking me where the album at / Put out two singles that made n*ggas push their albums back.” Cassper has expressed his desire to surpass Pitch Black Afro’s record for highest-selling South African hip-hop album of all time. Based on the strength of his singles thus far, and the hype surrounding them, that might come sooner than he imagined.
You can download ‘Phumakim’ for free here.