The first to independently release a solo hip hop album in South Africa back in 1999, Zimbabwean native Hechichamunorwa Mount Zion Kwenda, better known as Mizchif, paved the way for a culture that has been responsible for countless independent releases that have flooded the South African hip hop scene for the past few years.
Mizchif’s Life from All Angles LP gave birth to a new voice that encouraged hip hop artists across South Africa to think and act independently when it came to pushing their product on the streets. That culture of doing for self has resulted in many rappers being able to use their art as a source of their livelihood. One such example is Durban based rapper Abdus who has over the past 7 years managed to build a successful career as an unsigned artist.
Legendary crews like Cashless Society and Skwatta Kamp have also created historic moments of note in the South African hip hop scene. Their independent hustle has helped them establish ties with major record labels resulting in successful commercial releases that have served as a clear reflection of the level of talent this country has to offer from its underground hip hop scene.
With all the technological advancements that today’s rappers have at their disposal to create, market and distribute their material, it is only a matter of time before underground hip hop establishes itself as one of the highest selling independent genres in the South African music market. Thanks in large part to the pioneers of the culture of doing for self, Mzansi hip hop is well on its way to being a multi-million rand self generating industry.