Drill is proving popular on the continent. Kenya and Ghana’s localised version of the subgenre which started in Chicago and travelled to the UK are international, having received coverage from Complex, BBC, OkayAfrica and other Western publications. Ghana’s version is called Asakaa which is defined as a Twi-infused iteration of drill.
South African rappers such as Cassper Nyovest and Roiii have experimented with drill, but it’s in the Western Cape where drill as a movement is poppin’. Rappers such as Matt Levai from Laingville, Fabreze from George and Young OG CPT, from the Mother City, are at the forefront of the movement which could soon take the rest of SA by storm. Afrikaans drill clips go viral on TikTok and the music videos rack up tens of thousands (a few have surpassed 100K) of views.
The music is aggressive, the music videos are equally grimy. If you are educated enough to understand Afrikaaps (the version of Afrikaans spoken by Coloured people in the Cape Flats and other parts of the Western Cape), you’ll be taken through dark tales of hustling, survival and triumph over drill’s defining basslines and 808s.
“The grimy sound was the perfect tone to express myself. It made me tap into my Afrikaans roots, our Cape Slang. I started looking around me, here in Kaapstad, in the Cape Flats, and I felt inspiration like never before. While everyone was trying to sound like the Drill artist from the US and UK, I said, ‘Woi, masekines, die is os se tyd nou.’”
Here are 10 music videos, listed in no particular order, that will get you up to speed with the Afrikaans drill movement: