HHAP Episode 47: Lola Monroe, Representing Ethiopia in Mainstream American Hip Hop

Model, video vixen, MC, BET Awards nominee, & reality TV star: Lola Monroe is an Ethiopian artist who has found success in the mainstream music industry in the United States. Going by many names, including Queen Roe, Lola Monroe was born Born in Ethiopia & raised in Washington, DC. She started her career in entertainment as a model & “video vixen”, and later moved to music. In 2011, she was nominated for BET’s Best Female Hip Hop Artist, and she also became the first woman to join Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang label. Throughout her career, she’s worked with hip hop artists such as Wiz Khalifa, King Los, Trina, and others. She has also appeared in films & on TV, including the reality show, The Platinum Life on the E! network.

In this interview we spoke about growing up rooted in both Ethiopian and African American communities, and representations of Ethiopians in the entertainment industry in America. She also discuses her decision to go vegan, and choices she has made regarding her health and diet. She also discusses her experiences in the music industry, and the relations between women MCs in the industry.

The episode starts with her single “Blah Blah”, and ends with her song “Grime”. Lola Monroe can be found on all social media & streaming platforms.

Instagram: @Iam_QueenRoe
Soundcloud: Iam_QueenRoe
Twitter: Thee_LoLaMonroe

HHAP Episode 46: Rwandan-Canadian MC, Shad, on the Evolution of Hip Hop

Shad is a Kenyan born, Rwandan hip hop artist, who hails from in London, Ontario, in Canada. With an eclectic sound, that blends musical influences, and a unique lyrical style, Shad made a name for himself in the Canadian hip hop scene, winning a Juno in 2010 for his 3rd album, TSOL. In addition to being an MC, Shad also hosted three seasons of the hip hop documentary series, Hip Hop Evolution, which can be seen on HBO Canada and Netflix. The series delves into the history, and evolution, of hip hop culture in the United States. In this interview we talk about Shad’s experience growing up as a Rwandan-Canadian hip hop head and MC. He talks about his career, beginning with his 1st album When This is Over (2005), to his more recent projects. He talks about the different cultural landscapes in Canada, which ultimately influences Canadian hip hop. Shad also talks about the influence of hip hop artists like Drake and K’naan on the international reach of Canadian hip hop. Both very different artists, but both have influenced the visibility of hip hop in Canada in different ways.

Shad also talks about hosting Hip Hop Evolution, the artists he’s interviewed, and some of the insight into hip hop culture that he gained in working on that project. He also talks about his approach to music, as well as the influences of his background and experiences in his music.

The intro song in the podcast is “FamJam”, the closing songs are “Magic” and “The Fool Part 2 from his most recent album, A Short Story About A War.

Shad is on social media at

HHAP Episode 41: Teck-Zilla Talks Hip Hop, Str8buttah & Afropop Breakbeats

The DJ, producer, or beat maker is an important element in hip hop. The beat is the first thing we hear when a song starts, and it is the first clue that our favorite song is about to come on. Hip hop producers usually work with several artists, and some of the more well known producers have their signature styles. In Nigeria, one of those producers is Teck-Zilla, as well as other producers in the Str8buttah camp. Teck-Zilla is a hip hop producer and co-founder of Str8buttah, a hip hop collective that consists of several producers and MCs. In this episode Teck-Zilla talks with us about his own career & influences, the beginnings of Str8buttah, and his approach to beat production.

Teck-Zilla has a distinct style. Listen to his beats on his BandCamp page and you will hear his diverse musical influences, from soul and R&B, to Afrobeat, to hip hop. After DJing a breakdance battle in Nigeria, Teck-Zilla produced an entire mixtape of break beats, B-Boy Zilla (A B-Boy Breaks EP) in 2017. In the EP Teck-Zilla turns Afropop tracks into break beats! His BandCamp page also includes remixes and tributes dedicated to artists like Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, and Nigerian music legends Fela Kuti and Sade. In addition to beats and remix EPs, Teck-Zilla’s work includes production projects with several established and upcoming hip hop artists.

Teck-Zilla moves between Nigeria, Canada, & the UK regularly. We were able to catch him while he’s in Lagos working on some new projects. We start the episode with his beat “Dear Summer”, then “Skelewu B-Boys” from the B-Boy Zilla EP. We end the episode with his beat “Summer Zilla” from his EP of the same name. Teck-Zilla also teamed up with Modenine for the recently release album Esoteric Mellow. All of these are available on his BandCamp page: https://str8buttah.bandcamp.com

Teck-Zilla is also on social media
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/teck-zilla
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Teckzilla/
Twitter https://twitter.com/TeckZilla108
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/teckzilla108/

HHAP EPISODE 40: Modenine Shares His Views on Hip-Hop Culture and Industry in Nigeria

The second episode of our month of Nigerian hip hop is a conversation with hip hop legend, Modenine. Modenine’s hip hop career began in the 1990s, and he has produced over 10 albums and mixtapes. Currently based in England, he talks about the early days of hip hop in Nigeria, as well as the experiences that influenced his entry into hip hop culture.

Modenine discusses the history of hip hop in Nigeria and the diversity you find across Nigeria. He also has strong views on the direction that hip hop is going in, as well as the music industry in Nigeria. This includes an interesting discussion on how Nigerian artists are treated compared to U.S. artists, and how some U.S. and Nigerian artists have handled that unequal treatment.

Modenine also retells his experience in Nigeria with WaPi (Words and Pictures), a program through the British Council that promoted hip hop culture through the British Council in several countries.

He also explains grime music! Grime a genre of music related to hip hop, which emerged among African and Caribbean migrants in England. Grime music is very similar to hip hop, and many grime artists are also hip hop lyricists.

You can find the new album, Esoteric Mellow, by Modenine and producer Teck-Zilla on iTunes music, Amazon music, and Bandcamp (https://str8buttah.bandcamp.com/album/esoteric-mellow)

Modenine is on social media at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/modenineofficialpage
Twitter @modenine
Instagram @modenine_polimaf

Nigeria has the largest Black population in the world, and has the 7th largest population in the world. The country’s music and film industries are two of the largest in the world. In the series of episodes on Nigerian hip hop, we get several different perspectives on hip hop in one of Africa’s powerhouses.

1 2 3 35