30 Nov, 2015

Youngsta – leading the pack of Cape emcees

Youngsta recently knocked it out the block with his verse on DJ Switch's new track 'Way It Go' featuring the masterful Tumi and Durban's hot new talent Nasty C. The beat is haunting, the bass will rattle your bones and the raps are fire!

Cape Town is the birthplace of South African hip hop, with the likes of Prophets Of Da City and Brasse vannie Kaap laying the foundations way back in the 90s. Just like those before him, Youngsta is flying the flag for real hip hop, leading the current pack of Kaap emcees with a lot on their mind.

Youngsa is one of the most gifted and hard working emcees in the game, just waiting to crack the big time. Born and bred on the Cape Flats, he's one of many kids who grew up on the block with hip hop culture as a path to a better life. He started rapping at the tender age of five, wrote and recorded his first track at 12, and burst onto the scene between 18-20 when he smashed out 24 mix tapes in 24 months. Now that's work ethic!

He has since established his own label, Y?Gen, and shared the stage with international stars like Lil Wayne, Talib Kweli and Masta Ace.

Youngsta spits lyrics that are relevant and he has a strong local identity. Although he's not overtly political, his rhymes are often socially and politically conscious, his flow is tight and his delivery – crystal clear. Suffice to say, Youngsta is a natural born rapper…

"When I'm on stage, I feel like I'm just rapping in my room again," he says about performing. "I do it without thinking."

Youngsta's new solo joint 'Salutas' is an ode to Cape Town with everyone from Helen Zille to Jo Barber catching a mention. He has recently embraced his roots, dropping die taal and plenty of local slang rather than the American twang that tends to dominate commercial South African rap.

Youngsta has been in it to win it since day one, but he's decided to go the independent route, working his way from the underground up.

"This is not for everyone, you're not going to get rich quick, and it's gonna take a lot of time and energy," he says like a sage. "I've only done a fraction of what others with 10 years in the game have done, but from what I've learnt in my little time in the industry, it's that you have to be patient. You have to be willing to try new things, and be open to criticism. And by applying those rules and structures, I think it's possible to win."

Wise words from a young man, growing in stature and confidence with every new release. Watch this space… 

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