Throughout Africa, artists use hip-hop both to describe their lives and to create shared spaces for uncensored social commentary, feminist challenges to patriarchy, and resistance against state institutions, while at the same time engaging with the global hip-hop community. In Hip-Hop in Africa, Msia Kibona Clark examines some of Africa’s biggest hip-hop scenes and shows how hip-hop helps us understand specifically African narratives of social, political, and economic realities.
In a country where the elder is always questioning the purpose of hip hop music, Teddy Yo thrives every year. Teddy yo is an Ethiopian hip hop artist who has been in the entertainment industry for a long time. Initially he started in a group called GAMO BOYS. The group had four members, all hip-hop artists but with their own style and flow. Later, he emerged as the dominant one and made his own single rap hit song. He has tried time and time again to mash the traditional pentatonic Ethiopian style of music with hip-hop. In the hope of presenting something unique to the world stage, he has worked with different rhythms from different regions of Ethiopia. Continue reading “A blog on the song “Algentaye” by Teddy Yo ft. Joe Lox”
The opening credit reads, “Somewhere in Africa”, showing a well-groomed lawn, large home, or school presumably, and a classroom that could easily be transposed into American society. The clothing worn by the students is very heavily influenced by American culture, with large headphones, sports jackets, and elaborately jeweled outfits can be seen throughout. In fact, the first noticeably “African” element of the film is the accent heard from the first female speaker. There is a heavy emphasis on materialism in this video. From the gold watches and headphones, to the cars that Diamond Platnumz and Mont Flavour lean against in their solo shots, each character has a unique style that still manages to conform to a trans-Atlantic image of what hip-hop culture should embody. Continue reading “Diamond Platnumz and Mr Flavour Re-examine what Hip-Hop Looks Like in ‘Nana’”
“Senegal slang” signifies more than its catchy nature would insinuate.
It is impossible to watch this “Y’en a marre” (enough is enough) video without recollecting Golden-Age American hip hop artists discuss social progression some 20 to 30 years after the civil rights movement. The video begins with Senegalese rapper Djily Baghdad discussing crumbling social and political institutions contemporary with the 2011 Arab Spring movements. Continue reading “L’argot de Sénégal”
In his well-known song and music video, “Votez pour moi” [“Vote for me”], Burkinabé rapper Smockey takes to the microphone to simultaneously parody and criticize the 2005 presidential re-election campaign of then-incumbent Blaise Campaoré. In both the lyrics and the ridiculous video accompaniment, Smockey works to make fun of and tear down the messaging of Campaoré’s campaign. Continue reading “Parodying the President: Musical Activism”
While researching the hip hop scene of Cameroon , it is impossible to come across Stanley Enow and his most awarded song, Hein Père. Stanley, who is a rapper, voice actor, radio and TV presenter, is also a breakthrough artist who became the first Cameroonian to win Best New Act in the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. Enow began writing lyrics and break dancing during his years in high school. Soon he began performing at popular night shows and on private radio stations. He has also hosted the show Mboa and done advertising for the Pan African telecommunications company MTN Group. Continue reading “Hein Père by Stanley Enow”
Next month’s episode of the podcast will be available March 1 and will feature an interview with South Africa’s Yugen Blakrok.
Liberian artist Christoph the Change is one of the country’s most innovative artists that are beginning to put the Liberian music scene on the global map. He is known as a pioneer of Hipco, a native genre that incorporates Liberian English, a patois and colloquial language, with a unique rap style and traditional beats. It uses Western hip hop influences with their traditional languages and slang to create music . Continue reading “Christoph the Change Wants to Know WHAT YALL WANT!? (Liberian Music)”
Born in Mansoura City of Egypt, Ahmad Amin AKA MC Amin AKA El- General is a member of the record label Arab League. He grew up analyzing the lyrics of the late great 2pac and began to rap at an early age. In 2004, MC Amin talents started to become recognized and he gained several gigs within Mansoura. In 2006 he created two bands: Black Attack and the Arab Rap Soldiers. The idea was that he wanted to make his own music and mix his voices to attract more listeners. He has an east coast punch line type of style when it comes to his raps. His punchlines are truly aggressive. What makes MC Amin stand out is his voice for the Arab people. Continue reading “Egyptian Flows”
Myam Mahmoud is an Egyptian rap artist, writer and women’s activist from Giza, Egypt. She initially gained popularity as a semi finalist on Arabs Got Talent in 2013 at the age of 18, becoming known as Egypt’s first veiled rapper. Her hard-hitting lyrics condemn issues faced by Egyptian women, especially the different social and educational standards for women compared to men, sexual harassment and victim-blaming. Continue reading “Myam Mahmoud: Egypt’s First Veiled Rapper”
As a young, but seasoned, artist from Botswana, Ozi F Teddy has been responsible for hits for many years now. One of his most recent projects, Lord Summer, features a mix of beats and context that attracts global fans. The young artist has no doubt shown that his music transcends Botswana and local cultures by remixing songs from American artists, and using similar trends in the realm of fashion, lingo, and visuals. Continue reading “Ozi F Teddy: Connections between hip-hop and local culture in “Ring the Alarm” music video”