The 100 Best Songs of 2021
After a year largely stuck indoors, South Africa spent much of 2021 with one foot out the door, ready to keep the spirit of groove alive. It was the year of amapiano, as genre pioneers and prolific collaborators Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa continued to flex their muscle, and new stars emerged in the likes of Aymos, Mas Musiq, Busta 929 and Musa Keys. Africa Rising alum Blxckie kicked off a new wave of trap-infused hip-hop, bringing collaborators like Lucasraps and FLVME along for the ride. House veteran Zakes Bantwini brought the summer vibes early with “Osama”, and Afrikaans artists like rising star Riaan Benadé kept our spirits up. Lloyiso and MOONGA K. delivered soulful moments of reflection, while tracks like 25K’s “Hustlers Prayer” helped us remember just how far we’ve come—and Wizkid, Burna Boy, CKay, Drake, The Kid LAROI, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat and Silk Sonic kept us connected.