Hip Hop: who represents South Africa

Hip Hop artists in Africa are faced with a common problem among most musicians in the world, how to reach as wide an audience as possible.  For most the answer has seemed to be the internet, but the internet is not as useful for this problem in South Africa because only 6 million of the 49 million people living here have access to the internet.  The solution for the music industry to this problem has been through sharing music through cell phones.  Simone Harris, editor of Hype magazine, the biggest hip hop magazine in South Africa, says that hip hop artists in South African are now networking with corporate entities to get promotion and funding from food and cell phone companies.  However, since most of the corporations are based in Johannesburg mostly only hip hop artists coming from this city are receiving notice.  One of the biggest independent record labels in South Africa is Pioneer Unit based out of Cape Town, they are known for representing artists that rap in other languages besides English.  One hip hop artist El Nino says he is unhappy by the way music is going in South Africa, because his music is not getting air time since it does not sound American enough.  South African Artist AKA, on the other hand, says if you want to have international recognition, you must speak the international language and that is English.  He says no South African artist can deny being influenced by American rappers.


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