The Power of the Collab!

by | Jul 12, 2023 | CSA Celebrates, Culture, Music, Talent, The Wire

  • Best Hip Hop Collaborations.
  • Best Amapiano Collaboration.
  • Best Afrobeat.
  • South Africa, to Nigeria and Beyond.
  • Hits that shift culture.

There is nothing more special in music than when two artists come together to create. That Africa abounds with talent is a given. When they collaborate, however, it’s like to two atoms smashing together to produce even greater imagination and creativity. A nuclear fission of talent so to speak.  That they do this within the context of African heritage, legacy and collaborative culture, virtually guarantees success both critically and commercially.

This issue, The Wire explores these alchemical shakeups, distillations and intended magical fusions in music. From Hip-Hop, Amapiano to Afrobeat and all combined, which collab excites you most?



Best Hip Hop Collaborations:

‘Never Ride’ by MashBeatz featuring Thato Saul and Maglera Doe Boy

Arguably the biggest hip-hop song of the year, ‘Never Ride’ smashed into 2023, already a juggernaut of a track in 2022. Thato Saul and MashBeatz have had a collaborative relationship from their 2021 joint EP ‘If You Know You Know’, but it was Maglera Doe Boy’s verse that took ‘Never Ride’ from a banger to a SA hip-hop classic. Maglera’s verse is contender for “verse of 2022” and, thuds far, ‘Never Ride’ is one of SA hip-hop’s highlights this year.

When ‘SETE’ arrived on the scene it was with attitude and aplomb. Reaching platinum status within just 16 days, the song hit 10 million views on YouTube within a month, and held the number-one spot for 12 consecutive weeks on SA Radiomonitor. Smashing genres – hip hop meets Afro pop with touches of Amapiano – ‘SETE’ was controversial but proved exciting for K.O., the former member of hip-hop group Teargas, who always coloured outside the lines. This time around, he collaborated with new age genre-benders Blxckie and Young Stunna.

Best Amapiano Collaboration

Amapiano welcomes collaboration and inclusivity, providing a platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their creativity and talent. “South African artists are so collaborative,” says Fiyahdred (a Diaspora Amapiano artist in the UK). “You’ll see about five people listed in the credits of almost every Amapiano song ever made. It shows that they want to create, but they want to create because they want to shift the narrative of music, and shift the narrative of their lives.” Leading Amapiano Tracks which demonstrate this philosophy include:

“Asibe Happy” by Kabza De Small & DJ Maphorisa ft. Ami Faku

Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Ami Faku – Asibe Happy (Lyrics) – YouTube

“Siyathandana” by Cassper Nyovest ft. Boohle & Abidoza

Cassper Nyovest – Siyathandana ft. Abidoza, Boohle – YouTube

“Iy’ntsimbi Zase Envy” by Amaroto ft. Busta 929, Beast, & Dladla Mshunqisi

Reece Madlisa & Zuma – Iy’ntsimbi Zase Envy (Official Music Video) – YouTube


Best Afrobeat

‘One of A Kind’ by Jaido P feat Fireboy

Jaido P & Fireboy DML – One of a Kind (Visualizer) – YouTube

The result of these two artists joining forces is a blend of Afrobeats and Hip Hop, producing a swaggering record that showcases Fireboy’s lyrical stretch and Jaido P’s smooth flows.

‘Bienvenue’ by DJ Neptune feat Ruger

DJ Neptune ft. Ruger – BIENVENUE (Official Video| Clip officiel) – YouTube

Nigerian Dancehall maestro Ruger (who The Wire has been keeping a close eye on) has consistently delivered on his records and, in this rare collaboration, further highlights why he’s one of Afrobeats’ best 360 talents. This love record delivers all the goods that Ruger is known for and his upcoming debut album is eagerly awaited.

‘Gbese’ by Majeeed feat Tiwa Savage

Majeeed & Tiwa Savage – Gbese (Official Video) – YouTube

This tingling Amapiano cut sees fast-rising sensation Majeeed combines his smooth styling with Tiwa Savage’s timeless vocals, for an infectious love tune.


United States

Janelle Monaé recently released her new single, ‘Float’, after collaborating with Nigeria’s Oluseun Anikulapo Kuti, popularly known as Sean Kuti, and his band Egypt 80. The song, which is a dreamy fusion of melody and rhythm, crosses genres and also underscores Kuti’s signature instrumental expertise throughout the track.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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