30minutes to Soweto is a conscious rap song that uses Woody Guthrie’s American folk anthem This Land is Your Land as a reference to paint a portrait of his own home grounds.
The track is a sobering listen that sees Priddy Ugly recounting tales from his family and upbringing. Continue reading 30minutes to Soweto – Priddy Ugly [produced by Shooterkhumz], Top 22 Songs of 2022
Our next selection is a piece of African folk music that’s crying for a culture it can feel eroding. Ziyobalwa is sorrowful music that sooths in how it wallows. It’s a cry for preservation from a bold voice fighting for his space and culture. Continue reading Ziyobalwa – Xhanti Nokwali [produced by Nduduzo Makhatini], Top 22 Songs of 2022
Armed with a piercing voice and a revealing pen, Bad Weather finds Nanette establishing the persona of a contemporary balladeer who’s mode of storytelling is often dripping in anxious energy. Our pick for this list is a song that finds her lyrically swirling within that anxiety whilst providing one of her best vocal performances thus far in Vent. Continue reading Vent – Nanette [produced by Nanette, Lee Global, Zadok & Batundi], Top 22 Songs of 2022
If there’s one thing K.O knows his way around it’s a hit. The iconic artist is nearing an almost two-decade run of capturing the zeitgeist, if not outrightly shifting it, with his music. This year saw him extending this run by producing one of the biggest hits of his career and of this decade with the sumptuous Sete. K.O recruits Blxckie & Young Stunna for this extravagant Afrobeats banger that finds them fawning over their partners, assuring these ladies that they will be set with them. Continue reading Sete – K.O featuring Young Stunna & Blxckie [produced by Calliemajik Beats, K.O & Glody ‘GloBeatz’ Kasongo], Top 22 Songs of 2022
Kick It With You is a grand display of affection that finds Thato Saul trying to show how serious he is about a girl. It is finely-tuned hip-hop soul that doesn’t relent on Saul’s general optics in its pursuit of romance, and that’s really what makes this such a captivating listen for me. This isn’t just a love song, it’s a Thato Saul love song tightly fitted to his image. Continue reading Kick It With You – Thato Saul featuring Marcus Harvey [produced by MashBeatz], Top 22 Songs of 2022.
If Kelvin Momo is an Ivy League Graduate of Amapiano then the title track of his project is a thesis on the intersection between South African jazz, house music and Amapiano. Ivy League is a towering display of musicality that makes 17 minutes feel like 8 as Momo immerses you in a blend of South African musicology. Continue reading Ivy League – Kelvin Momo featuring Ch’cco, Yumbs, Ta Skipper & Thlolo [produced by Kelvin Momo], Top 22 Songs of 2022
iLL Prelude is climactic music that feels primed for stadiums. As a lover of hip-hop and theatricality, iLL Prelude is the exact kind of hip-hop excess I’m drawn to. It’s music you use to pump yourself up for life’s battles or when you just want to immerse yourself in grand soundscapes. Continue reading iLL Prelude – Zoocci Coke Dope featuring Tellaman & Stogie T [produced by Zoocci Coke Dope], Top 22 Songs of 2022.
I Don’t Sleep Anymore feels like a love letter to music from musicians whose main source of comfort comes from making it. You can feel that comfort and love all over the track as it continues to find ways of inject euphoria into its orbit with an orchestra of instruments. This Charles Gene Suite gem is a paradoxical gift that keeps on giving. Continue reading I Don’t Sleep Anymore – The Charles Gene Suite featuring Rāms, Laliboi, MANGALISO ASI, SOMESAYFEDI & Muhammad Dawjee, Top 22 Songs of 2022
Tyson Sybateli tapped into a new creative gear with the release of Home. The album saw his style of storytelling become more exploratory in arguably his most thematically-driven body of work thus far. Less autobiographically personal in text, the record carries some of the artist’s most daring, accessible and personality driven records. My personal highlights being the soaring Growth that kept me going through the thick of things and our official pick, Heaven’s Gate, which provides concept storytelling that has enthralled me in any mood. Continue reading Heaven’s Gate – Tyson Sybateli featuring Francis Jay [produced by IllRose], Top 22 Songs of 2022
“Oh, I’m torn apart; I should have known from the start. I can’t believe… I liked it when you loved me.” Backdropped by rain and instrumentation that’s just as gloomy, our next song is an act of fragility. Luh’ra delivers a heart-aching jazz ballad with the mournful EP-opener that is Falling Apart. Continue reading Falling Apart – Luh’ra, Top 22 Songs of 2022