I have blogged about Teddy Yo the Ethiopian hip hop artist before and I have decided to raise him as a topic again. The title of this blog post is how do African rappers use their native language, slangs and other types of languages in their songs.
When he started rapping years back he was looked at as kid who is confused about his Identity. He mainly rapped in English and more than 90 percent of his audience was a non-English speaking Ethiopian native. It was a bad PR done by his team with the motive to break into the Ethiopian music market. Then after going underground for years he popped up out of nowhere when nobody was expecting. But, this time he was well versed in Amharic bars. Even though the beat and all the accompanying things were American and European influenced, the language that was used in those bars was pure Amharic. He used the regular day to day Amharic and “yearada quanqua”. Yearada quanqua – is an urban language used mostly by the youth of Addis Ababa. This language is a sanctuary for the younger generations of Ethiopia. It is mainly used to share information among the youth that is not intended for the older generation. It could be insults, secrets about dating, things that happened the previous night while you were out at the club with your friends and such.
He mashed the “Arada Quanqua” with proper Amharic and his song became a hit in the Ethiopian music scene in a fleeting period of time. The older generation was able to relate to him because there were lines in there that were put together in proper and formal Amharic. And the youth and my generation were able to relate to him because there were bars in the song that were in “Arada Quanqua”. Overall, the use of native language that is easily understood by the local population is a way to get a message and music out to the crowd.
Please find the song below that inspired this blog. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!