A rapper, label owner and entrepreneur
Singer | MC | Presenter
In South African hip-hop, Cassper Nyovest is an institution unto himself. A rapper, label owner and entrepreneur, he has vaulted to stunning success since the early 2010s, packing the biggest stadiums in the country and garnering fans across the continent with his combination of glorious trap braggadocio and open-hearted rhymes. Raised in the city of Mahikeng, Cassper (born Refiloe Maele Phoolo in 1990) got his start in hip-hop after dropping out of high school at the age of 16. Under the tutelage of celebrated rapper HHP, he made a splash in the late 2000s on a couple of singles guided by the regional styles of kwaito and motswako. His career really took off with his 2014 hit “Doc Shebeleza”, a tribute to a kwaito legend delivered over a monstrous 808 beat. In more recent years, his savvy mix of South African and American sounds has served to highlight his sensitivity and rootedness: Two of his albums are named after his siblings, and he nods to his mum in vulnerable moments. But even at his most humble, Cassper projects a larger-than-life persona. As he once boasted in an interview with Apple Music, “When you speak about hip-hop in Africa, you have to start with me.”
Cassper Fills Up the Dome!
It all started with a tweet from Cassper, “I want to fill the dome, which currently accommodates up to 20,000 people… to its full capacity!” and then that tweet became history! Cassper in 2015 successfully became the first local artist to sell out the Ticketpro Dome in Joburg. That milestone gave birth to the #FillUp series where Cassper challenges himself yearly to #FillUp a certain venue just for control!
In 2016, just when people thought he had done it all, he took it a step further and filled up Orlando Stadium selling almost 40,000 tickets. As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, he announced he was planning to sell out the biggest stadium in Africa in his #FillUpFNBStadium. He sold out a record of 68, 000 tickets!
“My first one-man show only had twenty people. But those twenty people came to see me so I told myself that if I impress them, they will definitely go tell one friend and my next show will have forty people. We kept on repeating the same formula till we had 68 000 people at FNB stadium,” he had posted on Instagram.
His last concert was held in 2019 where he took it back home and attempted to fill up Royal Bafokeng Stadium, which was the fifth #FillUp in the series. Africa Facts Zone has since certified the #FillUp series as the most successful solo-concert series in history!
Now, not everyone who quit school in Grade 10 will go on to be as successful as Cassper Nyovest. But his story proves that whatever you can conceive, you can achieve. Cassper believed he could do it – and he did***