THE CURSE OF THE CO-SIGN IN SOUTH AFRICAN HIP HOP
Don't fall into the trap of Clout...
South African hip hop in 2020 is in a weird space, 2019 was the year that amapiano really dictated the urban sound in the country and rap music had to take a back seat and just watch. The Amapiano take over revealed one thing to me about the South African hip hop game, if you are a new artist DO NOT LET A BIG ARTIST HOP ON/ REMIX YOUR FIRST SONG, IT COULD KILL YOUR CAREER.
Over the past 12 months we have seen the rise of the new wave and it has given us some pretty bright faces to look out for. As a new artist getting on at all costs is probably the most imporant thing to you and getting a mainstream artist to hop on your song could help you do just that, but it doesn't always work they way you might think, sometimes it backfires and has the opposite effect. Sometimes you can put out a song that gets a large group of people to find out about you and if a big artist finds out about the song and it's hot enough they could hop on the remix of your song or make a brand new song with you (this is called an exchange of waves). You would think that this would be the best move for the smaller artist to make right?,wrong. Most up and coming artists usually get swallowed by the bigger artists wave and brand, your first song being remixed by Aka or Riky Rick or Cassper Nyovest could really end up killing your career. The people end up only listening to your song because of the big artist and not necessarily because the song is fire. And even if the song is actually fire now you have another problem, the people will be waiting for your next song and they will expect it to be just as great if not better. Having a big artist on your first song doesn't allow you to build a solid fan base that genuienly fxcks with you for your music and not because of who is on your song. You have to build your fan base from the ground up, people have to like you for your music and your own personal brand and not because of anything else.Here are four recent examples of how the co-sign can really mess with your come up...
Costa titch (Nkalakatha Remix Ft Aka & Riky Rick)
- Costa Titch released Nkalakatha and in a month people from all over the country were starting to hear the song and it was building a buzz for him. He got Riky rick and Aka on the remix of the song and the song trended for a week and basically disappeared. The remix didn't do anythig really for Costa's career and he should have rather not put the two rap super stars on the song.
The real 25k (Culture vulture Remix Ft Emtee & Aka)
Similar to Costa The real 25k dropped Culture vulture and the song blew up all over the country. After the song recieved some success they decided to make a remix and he featured Emtee and Aka. Two artists wo were already cemented in the game, they hoped on the remix and the song didn't even make a huge splash. So once again the big name feature didn't do anything but put pressure on the young artist.
The big hash (Dark Horse Ft Riky RIck)
The big hash had a different experience with the co-sign, he got the co-sign from Riky but it didn't really change his career. They released the song Dark horse and it didn't make Hash blow, so he put together a follow up project to his debut ep and it set him back on track. The Riky rick feature on Dark horse should have been kept for after Hash had dropped his second project ''Young'' but luckily for him he wasn't swallowed by the wave and managed to create his own fan base.
Lucas Raps (What it is Ft Riky Rick & Dr Pepper)
Lucas Raps was the main feature of one the hottest tracks in December ''What it is'' ft Rik Rick & Dr Pepper and he instantly became a star. The song was huge all over the country and brought Lucas Raps to the fore front. Lucas then released a new song on his own a month later and it didn't get the same reception as the previous song. People didn't want to hear that new music and it has put Lucas in a very weird place where people only want to hear the hit song and nothing else from Lucas.
At the end of the day it is best to create your own buzz, put out alot of music on your own and build a solid fanbase.