Organic Mag

‘Vernac rappers aren’t respected in the industry’ – Duncan

Mcebo Mpungose

Last week Afrotainment and Sphethu Records recording artist, Duncan Skuva, made a bold statement on his Facebook page, comparing himself to American rapper, J. Cole. The Durban-born rapper claimed to be the J.Cole of South Africa in multiple posts that had a hint of humor and realness about them. Chatting to O R G A N I C Mag about his posts, Duncan explained why he compared himself to the internationally acclaimed rapper.
“I referred to myself as Jermaine Cole of South Africa simply because of the lyrical content in my songs. We are both storytellers,” he said.
“I’m not in anyway saying my music sells double platinum like his, but I was emphasizing the point of storytelling, teaching and sharing my life experiences through my music, which is something that isn’t common in South African rap.”


Duncan currently has an album out, titled Balaclava. From the album, he has released two singles, Ring of Lies, and Baby Enzo.
“Both songs have done really well, but Baby Enzo has been a surprize especially for older people that have heard it. Parents have often expressed their gratitude towards me for releasing music that has a message because for them Hip Hop has never been about that, so I will make sure the next single I release will be consistent with what people have heard so far,” he said.
On his Facebook post referring to himself as the J. Cole of SA one of his fans commented, “Skuva the problem in Mzansi is that vernac rappers are underrated, it’s like being real is a sin.”

Duncan agreed with this comment.
“I feel like we don’t get the respect we deserve for our work in the industry. And I am not speaking for myself only here, I can count other names like Zakwe, and many other rappers that are rapping in their mother tongue. You only get recognized if you rap in English,” he said.
Recently the rapper missed out on a #SAMA23 nomination for Best Rap Album. On the list were Stogie T (Stogie T), Kwesta (Dakar II), Nasty C (Bad Hair Extensions), Khuli Chana (One Source) and A-Reece (Paradise).
“It’s the same thing every year because even on the MTV Base Hottest MC, vernac rappers miss out,” commented Duncan.
The rapper said he is inspired by Babes Wodumo, the undisputed Gqom’ Queen who has earned her first BET Award nomination for Best International Act: Africa.
“She does her thing in vernac, and she has done really well for herself. I’m truly inspired by her never say die spirit in the industry.”

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