‘Tsiki tsiki yoh’: 5 South African hip hop songs that pay homage to kwaito classics

I once got into a taxi where the intro to Busy Signal’s Come Over (Missing You) started playing. My heart jumped and I prepared to dance from my seat and sing the lyrics. Only, it turned out to be a song I’d never heard before. When it finished, the intro played again and I thought, “Yes, the original is about to play”. The original didn’t play, fam. It was another sample.

This happened more than three times and it left me thinking about how the same idea can be interpreted differently. Locally, samples show how contemporary hip hop artists take to sampling kwaito songs and reinterpreting them into the modern context.

Here’s a list of five familiar tunes, beats or lyrics audible in today’s music.

Tsiki Tsiki by Duncan

Sample: Tsiki Tsiki — Mdu

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

As dishonest as nostalgia is in that it makes you romanticise the past more than you should; I can’t help but feel it whenever certain songs come on. Duncan slows down Mdu’s Tsiki Tsiki and honestly, it is glorious.

Love it or hate it, sampling definitely makes songs easier to love because of the relationship that we might already have with the original song. It’s good when artists pay respects to their OGs too.

Caracara by K.O ft KiD X

Sample: Bengimngaka  Trompies

While the song was not the first to ever sample kwaito songs in hip hop, Caracara is especially significant for me because K.O and KiD X created this movement, or monster, depending on your position on the increase in sampling. The hook of this song samples the kwaito legendary group’s Bengimngaka.

Run Jozi by AKA ft K.O

Sample: Sikelela — TKZee

In this song Supermega and KO use a trap flow to rap over an electro beat and Yanga comes into the chorus singing ‘Nkosi sikelela thina, thina namagenge’ which is from which is from one of TKZee’s greatest bangers, Sikelela (Sanford and Son Theme) from their Halloween album released in 1998.

All Eyes on Me by AKA ft Burna Boy

Sample: Ngiyakusaba — Brenda Fassie

This one is particularly interesting because it is a sample of a sample. AKA and Burna Boy sampled Brenda Fassie’s Ngiyakusaba, which sampled Got a Love for You by Jomanda in 1991. And through all their instances, the tracks rock.

Destiny by Cassper Nyovest

Sample: Destiny — Malaika 

Malaika’s classic anthem Destiny, recently got revived by rapper Cassper Nyovest and singer Goapele, who slow down the track on their chorus, and introduce a whole new generation to the 10-year-old ballad.


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