There hasn’t been a more successful rapper coming from Africa than Cassper Nyovest in the past decade. His star grew rapidly with the success of his debut album, Tsholofelo in 2014. South Africa’s beloved rapper rose to fame with Doc Shebeleze, but it would be a huge understatement to say that it’s his only hit.
In the years after his debut album, he established his own record label Family Tree. Nyovest is known for selling venues out with his concerts, making him one of the most successful musicians from South Africa. He’s also ventured out to other businesses, partnering with Bitcoin casinos and endorsing numerous brands while appearing on TV too.
Over the years, Cassper Nyovest has released so many hits that we stopped counting. In the paragraphs below, we’ll list the best songs the rapper has released so far in his career.
Doc Shebeleza (2014)
Is there a bigger hit than Doc Shebeleza in Cassper Nyovest’s portfolio? The mega hit from his debut album is widely considered the best rap song in Africa of all time. While his rival AKA (who Cassper has a long-standing beef with) will say otherwise, Doc Shebeleza is an ageless hit wonder that make Nyovest a household name.
It represents everything he believes in – energetic and pantsula with big beats and staying true to kwaito. The track was produced by 16-year old Sean Craig Beats, which shows that Cassper Nyovest always had an eye for talent. He signed some of the biggest current talents to his label which he built thanks to the success of this song and his debut album.
Even when his career comes to an end, Doc Shebeleza will fill up clubs across the continent.
Produced by Ganja Beatz like most of Cassper’s early tracks, this is one of the best tracks on Tsholofelo. It’s a gift to Tswana and has so many quotes it’s hard to count them. It’s an absolute display of power from Nyovest and proof that he can rap as good as the biggest rappers on the continent.
Many would have picked another Tsholofelo single as the second-best track, but if you ask us, Tsibip is the better choice.
That other second-best tracks others would have picked among Cassper Nyovest’s best songs is Gusheshe. And it’s no wonder. It was one of the three free singles released from the album and they all made his name known. This kwaito banger is as energetic as it gets and features a guest performance from Okmalumkoolkat. Nyovest’s flow control is all over display, putting him in the hip hop pantheon early in his career.
Is this the track that started the beef with AKA? Another one from his debut album, Phumakim was produced by Zimbabwean artist Brian Soko and meant as a diss track to Supa Mega. However, it features one line in which Nyovest says “I told my story and made a fortune. AKA’s favorite rapper, I guess I made it on the Forbes list”. To put things into context, AKA’s surname is Forbes, so this was surely a shot at the rival rapper that he couldn’t stand.
I Hope You Bought It (2014)
Who says that Nyovest only releases bangers? The opener on Tsholofelo shows his mellower side, but it’s just as good as any of his other hits. It proves that he can rap over boom-bap production and spit out rhymes that put him above the competition. I Hope You Bought it is an emotional vent where Cassper shares his thoughts about the African rap industry, and throws another jab at AKA.
From a technical aspect, Refiloe from the eponymous album shows the full range of Cassper Nyovest’s possibilities. It may not be a club banger like Doc Shebeleza, but shows him in his illest form. The flow is unmatched, emotions are on display, and the message and storytelling are personal and deep. If you ask experts from South Africa what’s his best song, many will tell you it’s this one.
Ask us, and it shares the number one spot with Doc Shebeleza. The great thing is that all these songs are great, but there are other tunes that everyone will enjoy by giving Nyovest’s catalog a few plays.