When the history book of South African hip hop music is written, 2014 will be remembered as the year that the genre celebrated Caracara, the first rap song to reach one million views on You Tube. And the storybook will also reveal that rapper Ntokozo Mdluli, musically registered as K.O, is the face behind the record-breaking single – alongside Kid X, birth name Bonginkosi Mahlangu.
The 3. 53 minutes music video of Caracara (K.O Feat. Kid X), K.O’s second solo single and follow up to Mission Statement, made its debut at the video-sharing website on the 25th April this year. A few months later, it was announced as the first ever most watched hip hop music video in South African history.
The track highlights South Africa’s iconic VW Caravelle (nicknamed Caracara) minibus, which can be seen throughout the music video.
“We also owe a lot of it to the entire African continent and certain parts of the world… when we look at our You Tube stats, they’re coming from all over the world.”
The popularity of Caracara on radio stations and music TV channels earned the Mpumalanga-born artist five Channel O Africa Music Video Awards (CHOAMVA) nominations: Most Gifted Male; Most Gifted Duo/Group or Featuring Artist; Most Gifted Hip Hop; Most Gifted Southern Artist; Most Gifted Video of the Year.
With all the single’s success, record breaking statistics and global attraction, what has been the catch towards Caracara which led the to its historical dominance?
“Well, first of all, I think we got the ingredients right in the way that the song is uniquely South African. So I just figured that the culture, the sound, the image that we painted in the video is what attracted people to us,“ says the Cashtime Entertainment co-founder – who rose to prominence with the award-winning group, Teargas, after releasing their critically acclaimed debut album K’shubile K’bovu in 2006.
Speaking to the Voice of SA, KO – who recently premiered the third single, Son of A Gun, from his anticipated album Skhanda Republic on Twitter – reflects further on the success of Caracara.
“I think beyond just the success of the song locally, we also owe a lot of it to the entire African continent and certain parts of the world as well. Because when we look at our You Tube stats, they’re coming from all over the world.“
The Skanda Republic album will be released on the 27th October.
K.O’s Twitter handle: @MrCashtime
Quibell’s Twitter handle: @QuiRams