While researching rappers in Cameroon, I came across a blog that mentions Cameroon’s Jovi as a pure rapper with undeniable talent. Of course I wanted to see this for myself. The first song I came across that actually sounded like hip hop was his single “B.A.S.T.A.R.D”. Intrigued by the name, I clicked the video and was treated to a cypher style setup. The video transitions from that to Jovi riding with his group, then to them blowing censored substances and then to him along with featuring artist Reniss on a rooftop. The song itself is in pidgin language, an English- Cameroonian slang mix. Jovi raps along with Cameroon’s urban youth about the conditions they face, calling themselves bastards.
Ndukong Godlove Nfor (Jovi) was born October 24, 1983. Born in Douala, Cameroon he came to fame as a rapper, songwriter, sound engineer, entrepreneur and record producer. It should be noted that Nfor also graduated from the University of Yaoundé with a BA in Economics and Business Management. It was his singles “Don 4 Kwat” and “Pitié” that put him on the map as a music artist. In 2013 Jovi went on to leave his own record label to begin his own with Rachel Burks called New Bell Music. He also produces under the name Le Monstre, with which he can also be traced under. In 2015 he was nominated for an MTV Africa Music Award for best francophone artist. Today his music and music videos are played regularly throughout French francophone countries.
The sound of the song B.A.S.T.A.R.D is one of the most interesting I’ve come across in African Hip Hop. It combines an American feel of hip hop with music so clearly African. The two merge together for an upbeat and dance-worthy tone. The chorus by Reniss features quick wording and catchy rhymes that I only wish I understood. B.A.S.T.A.R.D might be a personal favorite.