Top 10 Best South African Albums of 2017
Top 10 Best South African Albums of 2017 FULL LIST BELOW
- 10. MAFIKIZOLO, ’20’
- Label: Universal Music
- Release date: November 24, 2017
20 is a landmark album celebrating the musical group Mafikizolo after being at the South African music forefront for two decades. The album is promoted by Love Potion, one of the hottest songs this year and top 10 most downloaded on Mp3gist in 2017.
The album hasn’t peaked yet as it’s still fresh, but still represents one of the best project to come out of Mzansi in 2017. DOWNLOAD
- 9. EMTEE, ‘MANANDO’
- Label: Ambitiouz Entertainment
- Release date: September 15, 2017
Emtee’s Manando is a good album but its weakness is that there are too many forgettable songs on the album due to too many songs. The album is 20 tracks long – hence, you need good 1 hour 20 minutes to digest Manando. Nobody has so much time these days. 80 good minutes? Nah.
Despite Manando’s failings, the strength of the album has to be admired. Manando is a good story telling album. The title track Manando, can pass for a movie if well directed and finance, while Ghetto Hero also describes Emtee’s growth from the street to one of biggest trappers in Africa. Me & You, featuring Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage also showed some level of success look out for ‘Plug’ too, the next single on Manando. DOWNLOAD
Prince Kaybee is one of the best mixer of house music in the country and as such a lot was expected from his album. The ‘I Am Music’ album houses some of the biggest songs out of South Africa in the past 2 years. Charlotte was the most played song in South Africa in 2016 and Yokinto is still getting massive rotation.
- 7. AFROTAINMENT, ‘AFROSUMMER17’
- Label: Afrotainment
- Release date: September 22, 2017
Afrosummer17 is the biggest Gqom album released in 2017, although Gqom Is the Future beats it slightly in terms of hit records but not my a large mark. The album which features some of the biggest musicians in the game such as DJ Tira, Kwesta, Dunca, Busiswa, Distruction Boyz, NaakMusiQ, DJ Gukwa and Character.
The album houses monster hit records including NaakMusiQ’s Mamelani, DJ Tira’s Malume, Tipcee iScathulo, Duncan’s Change 4 Nobody, DJ CNDO’s Bheja, and DJ Gukwa’s Amadada. It’s nearly impossible to name any other album in 2017 that has as many hit. Any party is incomplete with at least one song off the Durban-made album.
- 6. DR TUMI, ‘THE GATHERING OF WORSHIPPERS’
- Label: Universal Music
- Release date: October 20, 2017.
Gospel music is not for everyone, but Dr Tumi managed to go gold within few days after his album, The Gathering of Worshippers was released.
The album featured tracks he performed after he became the second only South African artist to fill Johannesburg’s 20,000-seater Ticketpro Dome for his Gathering of Worshippers concert. The song “Speak A Word”, remains a frequent play on radio and even in churches.
On selling out The Dome, Dr Tumi said, “This concert shows that if you have a dream and the willingness to see it become a reality, you can. You need to keep your faith, work hard and find others that are willing to help you. But no dream is impossible,” and also revealed his financial troubles are over with the success of the album. DOWNLOAD
- 5. CASSPER NYOVEST, ‘THUTO’
- Label: Family Tree
- Release date: May 5, 2017.
Promotion and accomplishment is everything. When Thuto was released many feared the album won’t stand the test of time but Cassper Nyovest, the hardworking rapper from the North made sure he made success off Thuto.
It wouldn’t be a Cassper Nyovest album without talk of money and women. The tracks Tito Mboweni and Destiny, the two biggest songs on the album sees Cassper talk on two of his most comfortable subjects. In Africa, artistes seem to give more credit to their mother but Cassper made sure fathers also got credit on the song ‘Superman’ which featured his dad, a retired teacher and legendary Tsepo Tshola.
In another year, Thuto might not have been this high but when you check other accomplishment of the rapper this year and most recently Filling Up FNB Stadium, his project has to be as high as possible.
- 4. ZAHARA, ‘MGODI’
- Label: Warner Music
- Release date: October 13, 2017
Zahara came back with nothing short of a classic album in Mgodi, her sixth studio album. The multi-platinum and multi-award winning singer, born in East London went gold 2 days after the Mgodi album was released, a statement of intent and reassurance from her fans that they still believe in her music after it was thought that she has fallen off with multiple controversies chasing her. Mgodi has been certified double platinum as at the time of this post.
Zahara’s music is not for everyone, but it connects to all age group both the old and the young. The album talks about familiar topics, love, faith, heartbreak and most importantly, the strength of woman. DOWNLOAD
- 3. DISTRUCTION BOYZ, ‘GQOM IS THE FUTURE’
- Label: Distruction Boyz Records
- Release date: October 6, 2017
Gqom Is The Future could be the best album of 2017 if it were as commercially successful as the two albums above it, but in terms of number of hits, ‘Gqom Is The Future’ is certainly the best album in 2017.
Some of the songs on the album redefined South African music. Shut Up and Groove, the first single on the album was so huge in 2016 that it cemented the position of Gqom, a music genre out of Durban as the most played in clubs. Madness, another cut out of Gqom Is The Future, represents one of the most downloaded songs on Mp3gist.Com in 2017 while Omunye, another single on Gqom Is The Future is currently the biggest song in South Africa on this day. DOWNLOAD
- 2.LADY ZAMAR, ‘KING ZAMAR’
- Label: Universal
- Release date: March 31, 2017
LadyZamar shook the industry with impressive vocals on Prince Kaybee’s chart bursting single ‘Charlotte’, her position in the House game rose a bar or two higher. She released her debut single ‘Love Is Blind’ under Universal shortly after.
Love Is Blind is the first track on the album King Zamar, her debut offering. The album is refreshing for House music which has been on the back seat for a year or two following the growth of Hip Hop and Gqom in South Africa.
My Baby, the second single on the album is one of the most played songs on radio in 2017, an instant party starter and a frequent play at weddings.
King Zamar the album is so good and dominative that some veteran female house musicians like Bucie have struggled to make a come back. Lady Zamaris surely here to stay. DOWNLOAD
- 1. SHANE EAGLE, ‘YELLOW’
- Label: Eagle Entertainment
- Released: August 31, 2017
Has to be said that nobody expected Shane Eagle’s debut album ‘Yellow’ to be as good as it was. The project sounds whole as the Johannesburg born rapper who rose to fame through The Hustle preached simplicity, family and relationships on the album that will soon go platinum.
What made the project ‘Yellow’ even great is what could have made it bad – lack of collaborations. Shane only worked with Ambitiouz Entertainment’s Kly on ‘Need Me’, one of the most stand out tracks on the album.
Let It Flow, the biggest song till date on ‘Yellow’ defines Shane Eagle’s strength. His easy to relate with lyrics sees him compared to J. Cole. Overall Shane Eagle has set a very standard for himself as an independent artiste and it may be tough to repeat the success of ‘Yellow’ as an album.