Viral: Why DJ And Producer Albums Are Important In SA Hip-Hop

By @SabeloMkhabela_ on 07/17/2023 in Article

DJ Clen’s new album, ‘Viral’ brought some excitement to Hip-Hop fans last week Friday when it dropped. L-Tido’s verse on ‘Wrote The Book’ which also features Jay Jody and A-Reece had everyone talking. A reasonable number of fans felt it was disappointing while others vouched for Tido (it’s a dope verse, if you ask us). His bold claim on the line, “Who launched K.O’s solo career? Tido did,” was a major talking point. 

‘Viral’ was the most talked about event on SA Hip-Hop Twitter on Friday, and the conversations were healthy; just fans discussing dope verses, songs and all that good stuff. 

‘Viral’ brought with it some interesting collaborations as most DJ and producer albums always do. If we left it to rappers, we would be robbed of some of the finest collaborations in Hip-Hop. As much as rappers have curated some dope collaborations on their own, DJs and producers almost approach collaborations like fans and they don’t worry about getting washed in their own songs the way rappers could.

Where else would you hear L-Tido and A-Reece on the same song? You’d probably have waited longer for a Buzzi Lee and Loatinover Pounds collabo. How about Ginger Trill and Touchline’s satisfying rap-off on ‘Tony’s Scar’? Only in a DJ or producer album. 

Some of the most memorable collaborations in SA Hip-Hop were curated by DJs; from K.O and AKA’s ‘God’s Will’ by Vigi to Shane Eagle, ProVerb, Kwesta and Reason’s bar fest on ‘Now Or Never’ by DJ Switch, Shane Eagle, Frank Casino, Young Swiss and Bellman on ‘Mayo’ by Speedsta or MashBeatz’s ‘Never Ride’ and its star-studded remix. The examples are too many. 

At the launch of DJ Clen’s ‘Viral’ album, Touchline thanked him for “bringing all of us together”; the event was an SA Hip-Hop fan’s wet dream just like the album itself. 

In an era when SA Hip-Hop has been relegated to a niche movement as the masses flock to Amapiano, it’s important for the genre and culture to create its own moments and serve its loyal fanbase. And DJ Clen and the likes of MashBeatz and Kay Faith are doing just that. 

On top of those dream collabos, DJ songs and albums also introduce fans to new talent that they wouldn’t have found on their own. DJ Clen’s ‘Viral’ featured some emerging talent like Slim Dumpie and K-Rev. Not to mention the number of emerging producers you get to learn about from albums like ‘Viral’. 

DJs had a moment in the 2010s; the likes of Citi Lyts, Vigi, Speedsta, DJ Dimplez, DJ Capital are among DJs who churned out hit singles and interesting albums in that era. DJs and producers like DJ Clen, MashBeatz and Kay Faith are carrying the torch today, and we hope the number will increase. 

Stream ‘Viral’ by DJ Clen below: 




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