DJ Maphorisa encouraged his amapiano contemporaries to send Mdu Aka TRP money on X (formerly Twitter).
Although he seems too humble to own it himself, many credit South African artist Mdu Aka Trp for developing the log drum sound now popular in the amapiano genre. Some of them are now paying him more than lip service. Amapiano artists have come together, collectively pledging to donate 1 million rand (roughly $51,000) to the innovator.
Leading the charge was fellow South African DJ and producer DJ Maphorisa. “Thank You ‘Mdu AKA Trp’ for changing our lives with Dat LOG DRUM forever be grateful mfanaka,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). He pushed every amapiano artist to donate 10,000 rand as a gesture of appreciation. He himself pledged over 100,000 rand and later followed through with a payment.
Among the other notable donors were Major League Djz, who contributed over 900,000 rand, and Kabza, who also sent over 100,000 rand. Artists like Musa Keys and Sam Deep also made donations.
Mdu Aka TRP (real name Mduduzi Mangena) started out as a house producer but made his foray into amapiano while collaborating with Bongza. His resonant log drum sound, which falls somewhere between a kick drum and a bass note, can be heard on his 2021 single “Isingisi.” The log drum heavily influenced amapiano, a South African blend of house music and kwaito that propelled numerous artists to worldwide stardom starting around 2019.
Previously, Mdu Aka TRP has seemed hesitant to take more credit than he was due. “There’s no such thing as a king of Amapiano, no one can say: ‘Yeah, I own this sound,” he told Johannesburg radio station Kaya 959. “There are always guys who reinvent the genre and put out amazing work, but no one can call me that.”
It remains to be seen how much more will be donated to Mdu Aka TRP for his contributions to amapiano — and by extension, dance music as a whole.