Best New Music: Dee Koala taps Blxckie & K. Keed for assured Trap slapper, “Spazz”
Best New Music: Dee Koala taps Blxckie & K. Keed for assured Trap slapper, “Spazz”

Best New Music: Dee Koala taps Blxckie & K. Keed for assured Trap slapper, “Spazz”

One of the catchiest rap songs you'll hear this year

In front of the mic, Dee Koala’s presence is something like a force of nature. Sure, her naturally squeaky voice gives her diminutive physical figure away, but she imbues her raps with the bright and combustible energy of a Supernova. The emerging South African rap star’s 2019 debut mixtape, ‘4 The Khaltsha’, served as a raw and technically adept statement of self, bruising her way through Trap-indented beats as she documented the rough and rowdy ways of her young life, while repping for her township—Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

In the eighteen months since that tape, DK has been working her way into mainstream rap conversations, winning Best Female Act at the 2020 South Africa Hip-Hop Awards. She’s also grown into a more refined rapper without losing an ounce of the authority that made her captivating in the first place, as shown on last year’s Costa Titch-assisted “We Deserve Bettr”, and in awe-inspiring features on Yanga Chief’s “Uthatako (Remix)” and 031 Choppa’s “User”. Having signed a distribution deal with U.S-based label Services Company, EMPIRE, DK is getting set to fully unveil the growth in her artistry since her debut, evidenced by her new single “Spazz”, one of the catchiest, most assured rap songs you’ll hear this year.

In comparison to the raging essence of her early defining hit, “Whuzet?” and the bulk of her catalogue so far, “Spazz” is by far DK’s least rambunctious attempt at anthemic Trap. The song’s premise is standard rap fare, a middle finger to posers and unflinching self-glorification, but its execution is measured to cut out any embellishments and direct full focus on the swaggering mix of chagrin and infectious overconfidence. Amidst the twinkling piano riff sample that rings throughout, along with skittering hi-hats and cavernous 808 bass drops, “Spazz” opens with a vocal interpolation of the famous “Gerrarehere” meme, seguing perfectly into K. Keed’s delightfully disrespectful hook: “You talking ‘bout bitches, get outta here/you not even dripping, get outta here/you talking ‘bout glocks, get outta here/I’m smelling on opps, get outta here.”

Limiting herself to just the song’s first verse, Dee Koala springs out sixteen bars of casual ferocity, almost exclusively delivered in isiXhosa and local Cape Town slang. Per a friend who understands every word of the verse, “DK is simply saying, ‘I’m special, you should know by now…and don’t cross me.’” Even if you don’t understand her, it’s impossible to not marvel at the size of DK’s personality on “Spazz”, the chip on her shoulder is impossible to ignore and the control she exercises over her flurry of bars is an impressive technical feat.

Fellow SA Trap wunderkind and Fresh Meat alum Blxckie holds forte on the second verse and, in his regular feature-killing element, he pulls off a stunner of a verse that’s arrogant of his growing popularity. “Talk to me nice, I got millions of listeners/I’m really the business, running the game I be looking all fit and shit”, he says at the top of his verse, eventually going on to refer to himself as the G.O.A.T.  Keed returns with the hook for the fourth time, closing out the song with the same deadpan vigour as its opening moments.

“Spazz” capitalises on every involved artist playing their role to inch perfection. As the headlining act, Dee Koala doesn’t succumb to the temptation of wanting to consume the song with more of her presence, a sign that she now has a superior understanding of the dynamics required to turn a simple idea into a great song.

Listen to “Spazz” here.

@dennisadepeter is a staff writer at the NATIVE.