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South African Hip Hop Artist Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, better known as Nasty C, is one of the country’s most prominent performers, and he’s widely regarded as one of the country’s best young rappers.
Nasty C hails from the coastal city of Durban, where he grew up with his father. His mother died in a car accident when he was 11 years old. In an interview on a local television station, the now 21-year-old star spoke frankly about losing his mother, saying that no one would be able to fill that void. According to the rapper, he found comfort in music after her death, and used it as a way to get through the trauma.
Ngcobo got into music at a young age – he started rapping at nine years old. He was heavily influenced and inspired by his older brother, who was a producer at the time. According to reports, the young rapper would put lyrics to beats that his brother was making, and they soon realised that he had a special talent for the genre.
Nasty C is inspired by a range of international rappers, including Drake, Lil Wayne, T.I, Kendrick Lamar, and Hopsin. But it was his opening performance for local artist AKA in 2013 that stands out as his most profound memory and achievement. Though just 16 at the time, this performance made him realise his dream of becoming a rapper, and he went on to tour across South Africa with the AKA’s debut studio album launch.
Nasty C released his first mixtape in the same year as his performance with AKA. Entitled ‘One Kid a Thousand Coffins’, it received critical acclaim and featured prominently on local radio stations and across all music-streaming platforms. He released another collection of tracks one year later, but it was his 2016 mixtape, ‘Price City’, that received the most attention.
In 2018, after the success of ‘Price City’, and a feature on Nyovest’s single, ‘Jump’, Nasty C left his label, Mabala Noise, and signed to music giant Universal. He released his second album, ‘Strings and Bling’, later that year, which had critics praising his songwriting abilities and catchy melodies.
In July 2018, Nasty C and his former label Mabala Noise were sued for R4.5-million (approximately £223,318) for allegedly not paying booking and endorsements company Freeworld Music. The rapper and his label allegedly reneged on a deal that should have netted Freeworld Music millions. According to court papers filed in Johannesburg, the company was entitled to 25 percent of all of the revenue generated by the rapper’s performances.
Nasty C is often praised for his interactions with fans, and he has a public WhatsApp phone number for them to use. He’s received millions of chat messages on this number, which, according to a 2018 interview, include ‘the odd nudes and crazy messages’.
Nasty C released his music video, ‘Jungle’, in June 2018 to coincide with his album launch, which led to a widespread social media frenzy. Fans took to Twitter to have a first listen and immediately heaped praise on the young musician’s social media pages. In just 10 days, the ‘Jungle’ video received 237,000 views on YouTube, making it one of the most popular local tracks on the site in recent years.