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How Blxckie breathed new life into SA hip hop in 2021

Blxckie. Picture: Instagram

Blxckie. Picture: Instagram

Published Jan 1, 2022

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Blxckie's incredible two year run started under unusual circumstances when, during last year's 21 day lockdown, he found himself stuck in Johannesburg .

Cooped up with a few musician friends with nothing to do but make music, the Durbanite and his homies proceeded to release new music almost on a daily basis during an inspired couple of weeks.

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"It gave me the time I needed to really zone in on making music," he told Breakroom Africa's Jade Kelly earlier this year.

"And it is what finally pushed me to abandon everything else and just really do it.

"I spent those three weeks with Lucasraps, 808Sallie, Shouldyuang, and Yungseruno and we really just dropped music on Soundcloud every day. It was like a little experiment and people went crazy for it," he said.

Soon afterwards, Blxckie teamed up with Lucasraps to release the pair's breakout single, "Big Time Shlappa". That single catapulted him into a national star, and he hasn’t looked back since.

After a couple of solid releases at the beginning of 2021, Blxckie kicked off his debut album roll-out with the release of "David" quickly followed by "Ye X4" featuring Nasty C.

Both singles struck gold with fans, and "Ye X4" quickly went on to become an inescapable radio and viral TikTok hit.

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His album "B4Now", and its subsequent deluxe edition, gave rise to several more excellent singles, most notably “Hold", "Sika" and "Joy".

These three singles were lauded by fans and critics alike for how they showcased Blxckie's versatility and depth as a singer-songwriter.

"Joy", an afrobeats-leaning single which features fast-rising Nigerian singer Oxlade, was a particularly strong release, as it showed for the first time that the young rapper could more than hold his own in a different sound than what we'd become accustomed to hearing from him.

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Then came the unexpected amapiano single “Kwenzekile” featuring Madumane and Chang Cello.

Since it’s release in September, the song has arguably become Blxckie’s most popular single.

Another major contributor to Blxckie's continued dominance this year has been his incredible feature run.

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This year alone, he's made guest appearances on songs by the likes of Focalistic, Young Stunna, DJ Maphorisa, The Big Hash, Priddy Ugly, K.O, Una Rams, C-Kay, Tshego, Dr. Peppa and Costa Titch.

It's been a truly remarkable, perhaps unprecedented, run and if his momentum is anything to go by, he won't be stopping any time soon.

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