HHAP Episode 45: Phlow, Navigating Hip Hop & Representation in Nigeria

In this episode of The Hip Hop African Podcast, we speak with Nigerian hip hop artist, Phlow. We talk about the impact of Afropop on hip hop culture in Nigeria, and the choices artists often make between hip hop and Afropop. Speaking of Afropop, we also discuss the possible opportunities for Nigerian hip hop in the wake of one of Nigeria’s fastest growing exports: pop music.

Phlow also talks about the struggles with longevity for women in the Nigerian hip hop scene, as well as the term “femcee” and the evolution of attitudes towards the term among women artists. In the conversation Phlow discusses the media’s focus on her ascetics, especially the reference to her as a “babe that can rap” by some media outlets. She discusses the pressure within the music industry that would like her to highlight her looks as a way to market her music. Phlow also points out that it is not only within hip hop that she experiences this type of objectification. She discusses being referred to as a “babe”, or a “beauty” in both hip hop circles and in her 9 to 5 job.

Phlow also tells us about her writing process and the inspirations for her material. Phlow discusses being a member of Str8buttah and the plans she has for her music. She is specifically interested in the question of representation, and allowing her music to speak to who she is. She speaks on incorporating different music styles, as well as the possibility of performing in other languages.

Songs

  1. “Hip Hop” (feat. MC Bravado) – Single
  2. “Fall” – Gloria – EP
  3. “5 Pages” – Gloria – EP

Phlow Online

HHAP Episode 44: From Gabon to the US: Ya Minko on his Experiences in American Hip Hop Culture

Gabonese artist Ya Minko came by campus for a conversation about his experiences in hip hop communities in Gabon and the United States. We had a long discussion on hip hop culture and the business of hip hop. Every artist has to decide how to market themselves, how to speak to their audience, and how to navigate the politics of the music industry.

Ya Minko spoke to us days before his presentation at the Apple Carnegie store in downtown Washington, DC. Where he performed his song “Tired” during a workshop on hip hop lyricism.

Ya Minko can be found on social media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MinkoEmmanuel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/minkoemmanuel/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnHYdkLknAUR1z2Ma_7QECQ

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/minko-emmanuel

HHAP Episode 43: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/neva-again. The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.  

In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa’s history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”.

The opening song is “Persevere” by Monishia Schoeman, Emile Jansen, Adam Haupt with additional vocals by Razeen Haupt, and the closing song is “Trickle Down” by Emile Jansen, Stefan Benting, Agape Dirtypro Tadana, Shameema Williams, and Adam Haupt. Both are on the album In The Key Of B

HHAP Episode 42: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 1

This is part 1 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/neva-again. The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.  

In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa’s history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”.

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