Breaking into the hip-hop genre can be a daunting task. Success often hinges on offering a distinctive sound that sets you apart from the rest.
However, iFani managed to enter the South African hip-hop scene and build a substantial following thanks to his unique rap style and notable appearances.
In a recent interview on Choppin It With Bhuda T Podcast, Yanga Chief shed light on the transformative role fellow rapper iFani played in making Xhosa rap widely accepted in SA Hip Hop.
“I’ve always stood on the fact that iFani is one of the icons of Xhosa rap. Without iFani, it almost sounds like any other kind of rap,” said Yanga Chief. “Xhosa rap in itself, I think iFani when he came in, he helped to make it distinct.”
Apart from the existing Spaza rap scene, iFani managed to bring Xhosa rap into the mainstream and make it a successful genre in its own right. Yanga Chief emphasized that iFani’s style was different from Motswako and Soweto rap, giving Xhosa rap its own unique identity.
However, Yanga Chief acknowledged that iFani faced criticism and was not taken seriously by some people, not because of his music, but primarily because of his choice of outfits and overall appearance.
“I guess the reason people looked down on iFani is not purely because of the music, but maybe like the outfits,” Yanga said.
iFani burst onto the scene with his debut album “I Believes in Me (1st Quadrant)” in 2013, making waves with his unique approach to rap and unapologetically embracing his Xhosa identity. His music resonated with audiences, and he quickly gained a loyal fanbase.
Despite taking a six-year musical hiatus, iFani is now back to reignite his brand with a forthcoming album, “3rd Quadrant.” Fans eagerly await his return and anticipate the impact he will make once again in the South African hip-hop scene.