When Riky Rick infamously went on a rant encouraging artists to shun the struggles of radio and television airplay and put their music on the internet, many called him naive and blasted him for misleading young artists.

However, for young rapper, Sadist SA, this sentiment holds true. Over the past few weeks, Sadist has received publishing and distribution offers from two multinational music distribution companies, CD Run and Tunecore, and both found him through his Facebook page. Skeptical about the authenticity of these offers, he says he did his research to make sure that they were legitimate enterprises. And they were. “Now it means that I’m on an international level, no more of that national level stuff,” he said.

Sadist has always had a strong connection with words. From a young age he looked at synonyms, alliterations, onomatopoeia etc as pieces to a bigger puzzle he had to solve. He was intrigued by the possibility of manipulating words and bending them to his will. As this fascination grew, he became drawn to poetry and for a while his mind was fixated on writing poems. Then he heard Eminem’s Cleaning Out My Closet and immediately found himself interested in exploring this new medium.

His first exposure to the rap scene was as a gritty battle rapper. Having experienced bullying during his school days, he found this the appropriate avenue to express himself and vent. Over time, having achieved success as a battle rapper, he decided to branch out and start recording music.

Initially, this proved more challenging than poetry and battle rap. "People say they want to listen to you. The truth is, people always want to support what’s already out there, what’s already known. When I tell my story, everybody has advice on how you should improve. Getting an audience has been a big challenge.”


To improve and break through the glass ceiling, Sadist studied the game and learned useful tricks from other artists. Since he started consistently posting pictures, quotes, videos and lyrics on his Facebook page a few months ago, his following has grown considerably and consistently.

His Soundcloud is populated with soulful and introspective hip hop songs and a capella recordings. He isn’t afraid to lay bare his pain and troubles and that gives his music a unique appeal. A few weeks ago Sadist says he bumped into Cassper Nyovest in Sandton, and in the brief conversation he had with him, he was inspired to stop chasing a record deal and continue doing what he’s been doing.

“He said, ‘you don’t need Cassper in order to make it’. Because lots of rappers who were coming through were asking him for a feature, but I didn’t ask for that. He told me that I don’t need anybody to make it and I have everything I need to do it myself. Those wise words stuck with me. I was like if somebody comes with an offer on the table that’s great, but until then I’m gonna push and not focus on anybody to help me out.”