Music channel MTV Base recently released its list of the 10 hottest newcomers of 2016 – and as usual the names that made it onto the list got people talking just as much as those that didn’t. The list was compiled by a panel of judges who includes radio host Moeti Tsiki, aka MoFlava, Kwaito legend Arthur Mafokate and veteran rapper Amukelani “Amu” Tshawane.
There was no debate on whether soul musician Nathi Mankayi deserved to be on the list or not. In just a matter of months, Mankayi went from being an ex-convict to being one of the most sought-after musicians in the country. His debut, Buyelekhaya, went double platinum and he has been nominated for five Metro FM awards.
Other deserving musicians on the list include rappers Emtee (Mthembeni Ndevu) Nasty C (David Junior Ngcobo) and Fifi Cooper (Refilwe Mooketsi). Both Emtee and Nasty C made waves with the singles Roll Up and Juice Back last year and they show no sign of slowing down. Emtee’s dedication to television personality Pearl Thusi has got a lot of people talking, while Nasty C’s feature on Jump makes it clear he is in a league of his own.
Shekhinah Donnell, Fifi Cooper and Gigi Lamayne are the only women who made it onto the list. Last year we saw the rise of female rappers such as Nomuzi Mabena, Nadia Nakay and Rouge, but Lamayne and Cooper have stood out. Lamayne’s single Jungle Fever took the number one spot on one of Nigeria’s largest commercial radio stations, The Beat 99.9 FM, in September last year.
Cooper has been rapping for several years but never really made an impact until she dropped her debut album 20Fifi with the hit singles Puntsununu, Kisses and Monate C. With three Metro FM Award nominations, Cooper could make history by becoming the first female rapper to win an award at the ceremony.
Shekhinah also made her breakthrough last year with the single Back To The Beach, featuring former Idols SA contestant Kyle Deutsch. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the panel regarded DJ Merlon a newcomer. The DJ, whose real name is Sibusiso Mhlongo, burst into the entertainment industry in 2014 with the massive hit Koze Kuse. He has toured Europe and worked with DJ Black Coffee and Khaya Mthethwa.
Some took to social media to argue that rapper Aewon Wolf was more deserving