Cassper Nyovest releases anticipated Amapiano album, ‘Sweet & Short 2.0’

Evidence of the symbiosis between Amapiano and Rap music in South Africa

In 2018, Cassper Nyovest emboldened his affinity for Kwaito with the release of his fourth official project, Sweet & Short. Up until then, the South African rapper’s preceding projects leaned heavily into modish Rap trends, with his own infusion of a distinct SA swagger and references to parochial pop culture. For Sweet & Short, however, Caspper paid explicit homage to arguably South Africa’s most influential musical genre, post-Apartheid.

Over blaring Kwaito beats with a modern twist, he sang and chanted as much as—or even more—than he rapped, and while it might not have been as wildly successful as previous releases, it’s a project that’s clearly dear to him, so much so that he’s returned with a new sequel, Sweet & Short 2.0. Shortly after the last September release of A.M.N (Any Minute Now), Cassper began teasing the possibility of a titular follow-up to Sweet & Short, with Amapiano as the sonic focus of the new instalment. On the 2018 project, he’d flirted with the Yanos sound on tracks like “Remote Control,” but that was around the time the House/Dance subgenre was beginning to gather mainstream momentum.

These days, Amapiano is the global sound of the South African hood, holding sway amongst young audiences locally, getting widely proliferated across the continent, and improving its global appeal. Due to this level of dominance, Amapiano is being co-opted by artists who might not primarily identify as purveyors of the subgenre, especially amongst South African rap artists. Sweet & Short 2.0 is the latest evidence of the increased symbiosis between Amapiano and Rap music in South Africa, and for Cassper, it feels like a befitting follow-up considering the foundational significance of Kwaito to Amapiano.

“Ama Number Ayi ‘10” kick-started the project roll-out earlier this year, a boastful cut with guest vocals from Kammu Dee. Few weeks later, Cassper teamed up with breakout star Lady Du for “Angisho Guys,” a grittier single aimed squarely for the Kasis. In early June, “Siyathandana” dropped as the final single, a smooth, romance-themed song that is currently the biggest song in South Africa. The variety of these three singles are a precursor to the musical versatility of Amapiano, which is purposefully explored on Sweet & Short 2.0.

Cassper is joined by a cast of prominent Amapiano vocalists, including Samthing Soweto, Boohle, Reece Madlisa, and Zuma. The album is primarily produced by Abidoza and Alie Keys, with musical contributions from Fresh Meat alum Semi Tee, DJ Sumbody, LuuDadeejay, and Cassper himself. Released just over nine months after his last album, Sweet & Short 2.0 is a statement from Cassper Nyovest that he’s willing to push beyond any boundaries to the music he’s associated with, and earned the right to share it with the world on his own timeline.

Listen to Sweet & Short 2.0 here.

@dennisadepeter is a staff writer at the NATIVE.