There’s a group of five young UK music lovers on YouTube, who call themselves UK Guys. They are showing major love to South African hip-hop songs by recording themselves watching the music videos and then reacting to them. They have reacted to videos by artists including AKA, Gemini Major, Cassper Nyovest and Nasty C.
On their latest video, they react to Cassper Nyovest’s latest hit “Tito Mboweni”, and it’s one of the most hilarious so far. They are amused by the title, which they don’t know the meaning of, and also the “sha sha” part of the chorus. “I respect you, gaddamnit,” says one of them at the end of the song.
Another hilarious reaction video is to DJ Citi Lyts’ “Vura”. “I feel like Young Thug’s producer must have made the beat for this tune, fam,” says one of the guys with a contorted face. He’s clearly feeling the mean bassline. Who would blame him? That’s one of the most well-produced songs of our era.
What’s also great about the UK Guys is how they understand that African music is not this homogenous thing that most people from Europe and the US have made it to be. “When we say have an African source to it, we not saying you need to play drums,” says one of the guys responding to a comment on a previous video. “But we are talking about representation, something unique to your country. For us in the UK, what’s Tito Mboweni, we don’t know, but for you, it’s something you can vibe to, something that’s unique to you.”
It’s so pleasing watching foreigners admiring aspects of South African music that we ourselves overlook, because of the familiarity. They do explore music from other regions, but South Africa seems to be one of their favourite. “Were drawn to the South African quality,” they say on one video. They admire everything from camera angles, rappers sipping lean, and even try to figure out what language is being used.
Watch more of their reaction videos below and visit their YouTube channel here.