South Africa’s music and entertainment industry is still, arguably, lacking diversity and this has been the case for quite a while.
However, with more LGBTQ+ people pushing forward for visibility and representation, this is starting to slowly but surely change. Adding to the growing diversity of the country’s musicians, these are some notable black queer artists who we think should be on your playlist.
Their music borders somewhere between electric and New Age Kwaito. Mx Blouse has, without a doubt, brought a new and fresh approach to South Africa’s most popular and listened to genre. However, just like the true meaning of Kwaito, Mx Blouse, raps about injustices and issues in society today, like in their latest single, Isiphukuphuku, where they rhyme about the Marikana Massacre and Cyril Ramaphosa, and also women being slut-shamed by men after refusing being offered drinks. Mx Blouse’s combination of different sounds and melodies, and their bar spitting talent makes one easily hooked on their music.
A choreographer, a fashion stylist and well-known for throwing the best live performances on stage, Mr Allofit, is arguably one of South Africa’s rappers who actually spit bars; never letting a beat go to waste. The signature Madonna-feel silver heels definitely makes one pay attention when they’re performing on stage. From flossing about their dripping fashion swag, to rapping about Joburg’s queer club culture, MrAllofIt is someone our local rappers should be looking out for.
A prominent face on our tv screens, Caddy Fresh, or Fresh By Caddy is a hip-hop, R&B, and pop artist from Duduza, in the East Rand. His recent music, including Thela Amanzi and Blow, have a trap-feeling which could help get you in the mood before a night out. Check out his Apple Music page for more of his upbeat tunes.
Gyre is another queer rapper whose music is unapologetically sex positive, through his catchy metaphors and similes. Despite his brand still being in its infancy, as he describes it, Gyre brings a whole new dynamic in a very heteronormative and anti-LGBT music industry. Using his sexual orientation and his personal struggles, which are seen as ‘abnormal’ by society, he’s helping to broaden South Africa’s hip hop and rap scene.
FAKA is a duo that uses gqom, as a music medium to highlight the realities of being a South African black queer body and to explore the notion of sexual fluidity. The duo has gained prominence in the queer community and are starting to gain traction in mainstream media, especially in the United Kingdom. Boping while debunking masculinities, the challenges faced by black queers and the culture of After 9s, they round up this list of some of South Africa’s black queer artists who should be on your playlist.