How I Fell in Love with AmaPiano, Pt. 2

Earlier, I shared my earliest recollection of taking to amapiano. By now, the sub-genre has spread out of its local confines. Indeed, amapiano has traveled far beyond the streets of Pretoria, beyond Gauteng and further out of South Africa. To attain such a popularity, into (like any other music novelty that grows into mainstream) had to, on one hand, be infused with elements and flourishes that would make it more palatable. On the other hand, it needed to have an advocate or a powerful co-sign. Enter DJ Maphorisa.

DJ Maphorisa is a master of ambiance — the name says it all, doesn’t it? He’s also an accomplished super producer with the golden touch — his other alias is LOTH, as in “Lawd Of The Hits”. Finally, he’s a fierce promoter of South African music. Just as he had done with gqom — his finest moment to me was transforming Distruction Boyz track “Midnight” into the megahit “Midnight Starring” — DJ Maphorisa has taken it upon to be a major actor in the propagation of amapiano.

DJ Maphorisa allied and started working with Kabza De Small, one of amapiano’s pioneers and recognized heavyweights, and it didn’t take long for news of a joint album. I got wind of the Scorpion Kings album much later. It was after a Maphorisa tweet on a Friday afternoon in early May, wherein he urged his fans to join him for a realtime mix session on Facebook Live. The mix resurfaced on YouTube not so long after and I was still trying to figure out where most of the songs could be found. Thankfully, the Scorpion Kings project quickly followed, first as an eight-track EP, and then an album with four additional jams.

The aforementioned mix, Danko Mix Vol. 1, is below for your sonic delight! Enjoy the mix and I’ll be back soon for part 3.

The Mix

The Playlist

Pick your preferred platform:

Apple Music Deezer Soundcloud Spotify YouTube

Or listen below:

The Tracklist

01. Kabza De Small ::: Sax Feel
02. Weímama (feat. Sha Sha)*
03. Amantombazane (feat. Samthing Soweto & MFR Souls)*
04. Lerato (feat. Bontle Smith)*
05. Scorpion Kings (feat. Kaybee Sax)*
06. De Mthuda & Njelic ::: Shesha
07. ???
08. ???
09. ???
10. uDriver (feat. Dladla Mshunqisi & Professor)*
11. Zero12Finest ::: Baby Are You Coming (feat. Thamagnificent2)
12. Ur Sheetee (feat. Leehleza & Moonchild Sanelly)*

The titles with an asterisk (*) are from the Scorpion Kings (DJ Maphorisa x Kabza De Small) album

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Hewa Yasin

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I wrote as kid. (I'd die if you'd ever get your hands on those poems.) And I wrote as a teen. (We thought our raps would spearhead revolution.) I write these days to share my joys and perspectives. I am as subjective as they come. I found a bunch of blessed souls that are just as expressive. And Africa is all the better for it. (I think I never really changed.)
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