When I visited Johannesburg in 2000, I got turned on to South African music in a big way.
A young brother drove me and David Simon out to Sun City for a gambling excursion. And what came out of his car stereo sounded like London club music. That’s when I learned South Africans love house music.
The groove of the streets is called “kwaito,” and it doesn’t sound like American hip-hop, it pumps like house.
But there’s a lot of variety in South African dance music. There is hip-hop and R&B and disco and African reggae and teched-up versions of traditional styles like mbaqanga.
I’m into all of it.
One group I liked was Boom Shaka, which had a slick disco/R&B sound. One of the group’s lead singers, Lebo Mathosa, went solo and became a pop diva... “South Africa’s Madonna.”
She died a year ago in a car accident. She was 29.
Let me share a little Lebo with you. The video below is “Awudede/2 Dangerous.” It’s hot.
Audio-wise, I’m streaming a track from Lebo’s debut solo album, “Dream” (2000). Click here to hear “Lord.”