Wanna learn how South Africans tell each other to fuck off? This menacing rap song by Boyznbucks Riky Rick, international collaborator Cassper Nyovest (he’s worked with Casey Veggies and Talib Kweli) and producer/hook-provider Anatii will teach you. “Fuseg” or “voetsek” is an impolite Afrikaans word for “go away.” And by impolite, I mean if someone tells you to voetsek, you’d best be fucking off.
Who exactly are they telling to voetsek? SA social media seems to think it’s aimed at local rapper AKA. While the rest of the world had Drake versus Meek Mill, South Africa has been gifted with Cassper Nyovest versus AKA, with both rappers, so far, playing the role of Drake: AKA uses the Drake flow on "Composure” and Cassper put out his very own “Back to Back” freestyle. Riky has publicly tried to keep the peace between the two, so would he really take sides now? Nope. How do we know? We asked him about it.
“It’s just a song.” That’s all he had to say on the matter. As usual, social media is wrong.
“Fuseg” is Riky’s second foray into telling people to fuck off, with "Nafukwa" a.k.a. FokJulleNaaiers (translation: Fuck you fuckers) being his first. The Adriaan Louw directed “Nafukwa” which won an MTV Africa Music Award for ‘Video of the Year,’ but this time Riky has gone with “a fresh perspective on visuals” thanks to Kyle Lewis. Kyle is behind the powerful “9 Shots” video for Khuli Chana and the controversial “In Defense of my Art” for Tumi Molekane. We realize this might be all greek to those unfamiliar with the South African music scene, but consider this your heads up to check it all out. Noisey’s been reporting on the best music coming out of the area for a several years—see articles on Umlilo, Naas, Thor, Dookoom and many more—and these are just a few more feathers to South Africa’s musical bow.
But back to the video which is largely black, white and greyscale, with enough smoke to give everyone on set cancer. While there are the usual hip-hop tropes of a dope car, models writhing around and flashing cash, it’s got the unusual “Scarecrow” sack headed people (very Guillermo del Toro), dental microscopes and balloons. It’s dark, moody shit and the song itself is ominous with a bassline that stays with you long after you’ve closed the tab.
Ten years ago South African hip-hop was mostly imitating American rap but in the last couple years, that’s al changed. Guys like Riky, Cassper, Okmalumkoolkat and even AKA are all adding unique and diverse voices to the zeitgeist.
“The most important thing for me is teaching African kids that we can have the resources to create,” explains Riky. “I don’t want people to judge our work based on where we are from, we are high quality and can be out of the box visually and sonically.”
Watch the video for “Fuseg” below and you’ll see exactly what he means.