Sampa The Great serves as a prominent example of a female African hip hop artist that gained traction and success as a member of the
Owezzy, an American based Liberian artist, real name Omar Bility, was born February 23rd, 2002, making him a young and up and coming rapper. Owezzy
Ejatu Deen is a Sierra Leonean hip hop artist based in the United States. She is most commonly referred to as QUEEN DEEN or “Rapper
Apollo G is a hip hop artist from Cape Verde. His music has a heavy trap influence and his lyrics are either in Portuguese or
HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights was a radio show first produced on the campus of Rhodes University in South Africa in 1999, and made available on podcasting platforms in 2006. The podcast ran for about three years, releasing more than 20 episodes, some of which can still be heard on Podomatic. HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights was the first regularly produced podcast on African hip hop. The show was the only place to get a variety of music from MCs across Africa, featuring early music from artists like Blitz the Ambassador, HHP, K’Naan, M.anifest, Modenine, and Yugen Blakrok. The show was also pioneering in that it played hip hop from all over Africa, from major hip hop scenes like South Africa to lesser-known hip hop scenes like Equatorial Guinea. The show was on podcasting platforms before most hip hop artists in Africa had a solid social media presence, and before podcasting became part of hip hop culture. While today there are streaming services, like Planet Earth Planet Rap (PEPR) Radio, there is still a void in terms of podcasts one can download to hear what’s happening with hip hop across Africa. In this episode I talk to Sensai T8, one of the founders of HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights, about the show’s start and its evolution into a podcast. We discuss some of the artists that appeared on the show’s playlist, and the show’s legacy in documenting African hip hop during that period in time.
Sensai T8 can be found on Instagram at @Sensaitate
The podcast can be found at hiphocalypse.podomatic.com
In this palaver, we have a lively chat with Ghanaian hip hop/hiplife scholar Dr. Nii Kotei Nikoi. We talked about the hiplife and hip hop music industry in Ghana, especially one of the country’s most popular artist’s Sarkodie. Nii discusses the structure of Ghana’s music industry, the way artists construct their images, and the role of class (and language) in Ghana’s popular music scene. We also get into an interesting conversation around collaborations between African and Diaspora artists in Beyonce’s Black is King project and the depictions of Africa in the Black Panther film.
Nii Kotei Nikoi is an assistant professor of Global Media and Digital Studies at The College of Wooster in Ohio. He studies African popular culture, and has a special focus on how popular culture reinforces and challenges existing ideas around race, gender, and sexuality. His work is influenced by his background in graphic design and documentary photography. Currently, his research examines development discourse in Ghanaian popular culture.
Check out his latest article, “Hiplife Music in Ghana: Postcolonial Performances of the Good Life.” in the International Journal of Communication 14 (2020): 19.
He also hosts the podcast Our Culture. Season 1 of the podcast includes on several reflections on a range of topics.
1:50 The performance of material success in popular music in Ghana
8:08 The popular use of Ghanaian languages and clothing in the Ghanaian music scene
15:00 An analysis of the class divides and language choices in the beef between Sarkodie and M.anifest
26:20 The participation of women in hiplife
33:17 African scholars doing (hip hop) research at home
48:03 I try to get Nii to take the bait and engage in the discussion on Nigerians “borrowing” music from Ghana
52:52 Beyonce & the collaboration with African artists on the Black is King project
1:03:03 Black Panther & the homogenization of Africa, and the presence of Africa film industry in general