These are some of the albums/EP projects that we had the opportunity to highlight here on MzansiReggae. There are more albums that came out but never reach us because South African reggae artists do not fully comprehend the value of submitting their works for review. The list is a nice blend of Reggae, Dancehall, Dub and some hip hop.
Here is our top ten albums for 2015.
10. Fruity Star – Follow Me
The single Sexual Healing sampling Marvin Gaye, comes from this debut Album – Follow Me, from Maximum Stylez recording artiste Mr. Moda aka Fruity Star. It is also the theme song to a show called Phola on SABC 1. I Read his interview here.
Genre: Dancehall Raggamuffin
9. Yagga Flames – Symptoms of Love
Upcoming artist from Cape Town recorded over 20 singles which culminated in his debut album, Symptoms of Love, recorded at Flyweh Records in Cape Town. The album has 14 tracks with the single ‘Strongest‘ making the most impact in the dancehall scene. The track Addiction was recorded at Natty Natty Recording Studios, with the mixing and mastering done by another hard hitting producer from Cape Town, Seventon. He worked closely with long time associate and mentor, Jah Link, who owns the Flyweh Records label and featured on the song ‘What you need‘.
Genre: Danehall Reggae
8. The Lucky Dube Band – Celebrate his Life
The Lucky Dube band released a 10 track album to keep the legacy of Lucky Dube alive. The album is aptly titled: Celebrate His Life ad was officially released on the 3rd of August, coinciding with the legend’s earthday.
7. P. Postman – The P Postman Album
The fourth studio album from the son of Colbert Mukwevho who was nominated in the Hip Hop Category in the FAME [Film, Arts, Music ad Entertainment] awards. The album includes the hit single Khosi Dzo Vuwa and also features a collaborations with his Father Colbert Mukhwevo, Anthony B and Ras Mashi and other Hip Hop artists. The 21 track Double Disc album is a mixture of Hip Hop, Pop and Reggae.
Genre: Reggae/Hip Hop/Pop
6. Pepsin – KBY2Jozi
From Kimberly to Jozi [KYB2JOZI] is Pepsin’s debut Album after he got signed to Maximum Styles Records. It is a 14-track Raggamuffin/Dancehall album with different elements of other genres such as Jazz, Hip hop, Kwaito, Reggae and Soul music. The project was hugely influenced by South African current stories. It takes you on a true journey from the rural to uptown, from the village to the urban streets of all the nine Provinces in the Country and neighboring countries. Check out the single On Top of The World and his interview here.
5. Ras Themba MelaninMan – Ndzilo wa mavivi
Ndzilo wa Mavivi is a fourth studio album from the fearless truth speaker and Dub Poet Ras Themba The MelaninMan. The album was nominated for Best Reggae Album at the SATMA [South African Traditional Music Achievements] has the beautiful haunting chant song I am a African included. Of the 13 tracks of the album, only 4 are in English and the rest are in Xitsonga. Read an in-depth interview with The Ras here.
Genre: Dub Poetry/ Reggae
4. Sista Phumi – Africa Unite -Tribute to Lucky Dube
Sista Phumi Maduna toured extensively with Lucky Dube as a back up vocalist. It is quite fitting that she put out an album dedicated to him and his legacy. Africa Unite, A tribute to Lucky Dube was independently produced and released in May this year and an accompanying video for the title track: A tribute to Lucky Dube was released this year. She worked with long time associate Thutukani Cele who was also a member of the Band that toured with Lucky Dube. The album features El Supreme on two tracks Reggae Beat and I Believe. The track Heard him cry was featured on Mzansi Reggae Sistas Compilation Vol II
3. Ghetto Queen – I Believe
The First studio album from the Ghetto Queen outta Marcus Garvey Community in Cape Town under the Focus Empire Records stable. The opening track, which is the title of the album, I Believe is a motivational tune delivered in that unmistakably booming Ghetto Queen voice that arrest your attention. The 12 track album also includes the hit single Africa, featured on Mzansi Reggae Sistas Vol II Compilation and a collaboration with Daddy Spencer on a beautiful track Elohim. The track Gonna Be Rasta clearly augments the Queen’s powerful and booming voice. Read her interview here.
Genre: Reggae Dancehall
2. NC Dread – Hustle: The Album
The Debut album from the ultimate Hustler himself NC Dread won the Best Album Award at the Dancehall Reggae Mzansi Awards 2015. The tracks provide a solid presentation of NC’s vocal range. His ability to connect with other artists from diverse genres and different countries is a remarkable feat. The 15 track album is testament to hard work paying off. The mixed bag of producers contributing to it makes it a listening pleasure as it gives varied tastes and sound. The Review here.
1. Freeky – Love Stories EP
This is a well-rounded and well packaged project which is a proud representation of what South African Reggae music currently has to offer. It is clear that a lot of energy was expended in creating the Love Stories EP and, if the overall quality of the project is anything to go by, then Freeky, Christopher Hart and Robin Mabunda ’s efforts were not in vain. What is striking about Freeky is the streetwise lyrical flow he possesses which is not intimidating to the uninitiated and the clarity with which one can hear the various types of music which have shaped his own personal style regardless of the fact that the majority of the songs on his latest offering are Reggae and Dancehall. Continue Reading here.