Please entertain me for a second as I’d like to make a comparison between Big Sean and our very own Kid X. I know using the US as a yard stick for what hip hop should be is a tired practice. Especially when one takes a look at how far our very own local hip hop scene has come along. Our hip hop scene is not one that resembles a fledgling one anymore and this is evident with the talent that it continuously presents for us. One particular talent is Kid X.
But before I share my sentiments on Kid X let me start at how I came about to this topic in the first place. Let’s be honest, these days talent alone doesn’t seem to be a clear cut ticket for recognition and the resulting fame and adulation. Success seems to be reserved for a select few and the selection process of who gets the lime light in the game is meticulously controlled by the forces that be and sometimes I’m not too sure what artists have to be/ do to get their due recognition. This only got me thinking why are some of our dopest artists underrated so much in the game?
Back to the comparison, Big Sean is without a doubt one of my favourite rap artists right now. His recently released studio album “Dark Sky Paradise” was yet another milestone in the evolution of raps most exciting prospect. But my issue lies in exactly that statement, why are we still seeing Big Sean as a prospect for the future as if he’s not good enough right now? I feel the same applies for our very own Kid X. I first took notice of Kid X when he formed part of the Cash Time trio. The crew hit the road running with their single “Goodbye” and had all the thugs in the streets singing, “It was all a dreeeeeeeeeam”. When the crew later on split up, everyone guessed and wondered what would happen next.
Kid X spread his wings and soured the SA hip hop skies. Hip hop heads took quick note of his talent especially how he can finesse the pen and give us some quote worthy bars. Caracara comes first to mind which shut the show down in 2014. Its video is currently sitting on 2 million views which is unprecedented in the local scene. Kid X went on to make a name for himself as the go-to rapper slaying all the numerous features he’s been in. Pass ‘n Special and Cooler Bag were stand out singles that had every pool party lit AF. Like manna from the heavens, Kid X fans recently received what they had been patiently waiting for when he dropped 3 Quarter Pace. I’ve only listened to it partially so far but I’m making the call that it is infinite fire flame emojis!!! Yonk’ iMali is currently a stand out for me.
With all that has been said, I still don’t understand why Kid X is still underrated for his significance in the game. Instances like back in 2014 when KO and Kid X boycotted the SA Hip Hop Awards for being excluded from the nominations list after releasing the smash hit Caracara makes me believe that we are not taking our top talents in our best regard. One doesn’t have to look far either to find other examples of talent being overlooked. SlikourOnlife has created the “Underdog of the day” platform for up and comers and have a look for yourself and tell me why some of these cats aren’t the most talked about artists right now.
I’m not attempting to be an evangelist for rappers not getting their due plaudits but I feel there’s a dichotomy between raw unadulterated talent and the attention of the masses. There needs to be a shift in how we value our artists and what we seek to promote as the best of what South Africa has to offer. I’m starting to sound preachy again so I’ll end it there but feel free to share who you think is an underrated artist and deserves more recognition below in the comments section.