AWA on the RISE

Zimba Hip Hop in Zimbabwe draws inspiration from the East Coast of America. Similar to the East Coast, Zimbabwe’s hip hop scene has seen the rise of female artists that have diversified the sounds of the industry.

Awa is a name that is on the rise in female Zimbabwe Hip Hop. This female rapper represents who and what she has been through even including her name goes along with that. Awa which is a acronym for African Women Arise, reflects her aim to improve women’s rights in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a country where two-thirds of females report having experienced some type of gender discrimination. Individuals imagine that rapping is for young men, however she address issues that influence ladies in the public arena, similar to aggressive behavior at home, adolescent pregnancy, assault, prostitution.

As far as her past she has definitely been apart of that coming from a home where domestic violence was a key factor. Awa was raised in the Makokoba, a poor suburb in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo.

Even in the culture of female hip hop she has experience from some spectators that females should be boxed in a certain way. For example some think that she should sing, dance and have a sweet voice, then be a female rapper.

Awa has taken part in political actions where she was arrested for taking part in a protest against Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe. She is truly passionate about her country and who and what she stands for.

Awa1

Below you can see her killing the mic with her lyrics. Her style is one of bright clashing colors and face paint or toothpaste dots. Her raps are as fast as the sound of the American rapper Twista but she raps  the Zimbabwean language Ndebele. Look out for this up and coming female artist.

 

Episode 21 Promo

Next month’s episode of the podcast will be available March 1 and will feature an interview with South Africa’s Yugen Blakrok.

Myam Mahmoud: Egypt’s First Veiled Rapper

Myam Mahmoud is an Egyptian rap artist, writer and women’s activist from Giza, Egypt. She initially gained popularity as a semi finalist on Arabs Got Talent in 2013 at the age of 18, becoming known as Egypt’s first veiled rapper. Her hard-hitting lyrics condemn issues faced by Egyptian women, especially the different social and educational standards for women compared to men, sexual harassment and victim-blaming. Continue reading “Myam Mahmoud: Egypt’s First Veiled Rapper”

Bomb$hell Paving the Way – Alannah Baiyina

Bomb$hell, formally known as Bwalya Sophie Chibesakunda, born and raised in Zambia, on Hip-Hop and Rap music. Continue reading “Bomb$hell Paving the Way – Alannah Baiyina”

The Queen of Kenya

Stella Nyambura, better known as STL, is one of the best Kenyan female rappers out right now. Continue reading “The Queen of Kenya”

HHAP Episode 17: Abena Rockstar on Hip Hop and the Music Industry in Ghana

Abena Rockstar is a Ghanaian hip hop artist who is known for writing hard hitting, raw hip hop lyrics. She performs mostly in Twi, and is among a small group of female artists in Ghana who’s style focuses on strong hip hop lyricism. Many female artists in Ghana choose to enter into other genres, whether it be Hiplife or gospel music. The idea that women are not supposed to be hardcore hip hop lyricists is a perspective we see throughout hip hop globally.

In this interview, we sat down at a local restaurant near Abena’s home in Tema, outside of Accra and talked about a lot of different topics. Abena Rockstar discusses the visibility of women in Ghanaian hip hop, the pressure to sing instead of rap, ideas of how women should behave, and her views on the category of “female rapper”. She also talks about her views on Hiplife, her participation in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher” project, and the music industry in Ghana.

In 2014, Abena Rockstar released the EP “Only Few Can Relate” and in 2017 she released the EP “MAFIA”. The songs featured in this podcast include the singles “I’m Ready”, “Abena”, and “Broke Nyass Brodas” is a commentary on male and female relationships. We have included links to her music, website, and social media profiles.

Abena Rockstar was among several artists featured in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher”. Other artists featured on the project were Eno, Esbee, Porsche, EyiRap, Xcot, Mila, and Scrach. The track can be heard at http://youtu.be/ztRX0qbOU4I

Abena Rockstar’s website: http://abenarockstar.com
Twitter: @AbenaRockstar
Facebook: AbenaRockstar

Episode Playlist
:28 “Abena”
3:30 Episode intro
10:35 “Broke Nyass Brodas”
13:25 “I’m Ready”
16:17 Interview with Abena Rockstar
47:22 “Now u Know”

*This episode was produced and mixed by Howard University student @Yashua7Rashad

Abena Rockstar is a Ghanaian hip hop artist who is known for writing hard hitting, raw hip hop lyrics. She performs mostly in Twi, and is among a small group of female artists in Ghana who’s style focuses on strong hip hop lyricism. Many female artists in Ghana choose to enter into other genres, whether it be Hiplife or gospel music. The idea that women are not supposed to be hardcore hip hop lyricists is a perspective we see throughout hip hop globally.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 17: Abena Rockstar on Hip Hop and the Music Industry in Ghana”

Review: “Str8 Up” by Phlow

This week, I had the pleasure to review a song called “Str8 Up” by a Lagos based female hip hop artist: Phlow. She’s apart of Str8Buttah Productions crew and has a lot of other work out like her EP, “Mind, Body & Phlow”, her upcoming LP “Flux” and consistently features DJ Teck-Zilla who helps with instrumentals in most of her work. My first impression of the accompanied video was, “Wow! This is unique!”. Not only did I like the production of the video, setting and good quality, but the way the video was structured was quite unique! Here and there the lyrics would be animated on the screen to  emphasize the expressions of Phlow which was different than what I usually see in hip hop music videos. Not only that, but the beat to this song is like the young-ins say nowadays is “fire emoji”! I realized my head was bopping to the beat without much work. The beat had a modern hip-hop feel and went pretty well with Phlow’s lyrics. The overall feel of the song/video had a tough but determined and unapologetic theme to it which can definitely relate to a majority of how our recent female hip hop artists portray themselves in their songs/music videos today. All in all, I’d definitely give Phlow a round of applause for the effort put into the production and content of her music, it should not be unnoticed! Her unique unapologetic style is very inspiring not only for females in the music industry, but females like myself, who aren’t artists but can appreciate and respect other women for expressing themselves without anyone else’s permission or approval. Needless to say, Phlow has just gained a new fan!

Here are links to her works:

YouTube video to “Str8 Up”: https://youtu.be/_OMvWrozbIo

SoundCloud:https://soundcloud.com/phlowetry/str8-up

Audiomack: https://www.audiomack.com/song/diamond-media-360/str8-up

 

2018 Trinity Hip Hop Festival

The call for submissions from performers and presenters at the 13th annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival will be held April 6-8, 2018. The yearly festival brings together artists, organizers, & scholars from around the world for 3 days of workshops, performances, battles, lectures, film showings, and networking. Submissions are due by 17th of November, 2017.For more information check out the festival site: http://trinityhiphop.com/call-for-submissions-2018-festival/

Gigi Lamayne’s #1BAR

South African MC, Gigi LaMayne releases her new track, #1BAR (Prod. ABZA) this Friday.

Gigi Lamayne is one of our favorite lyricists.

A part of the “Born Free”* generation, Gigi Lamayne has matured so much as an artist since her first single “Ice Cream” was released years ago.

Her new track #1BAR samples sounds rom Kwaito Legend, `Makhendlas, “Iminwe”. In the track, Gigi Lamayne “displays not only flawless lyricism, but also vernacular wordplay”

*The Born frees are South Africans Born after the fall of apartheid in 1994.

HHAP Episode 15: Kanyi Mavi on Hip Hop, Xhosa, & Rap Culture in South Africa

In this episode I sit down with Kanyi Mavi, an MC out of Cape Town, South Africa. She was recently in New York City and I was able to catch up with her at the famous Red Rooster soul food restaurant in Harlem. In the interview we spoke at length about being a Xhosa-speaking hip hop artist in South Africa, as well as the politics of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also spoke about the dynamics of gender & hip hop in South Africa.

Tracklist
Ungalibali
Rise (featuring Driemanskap)
Ngqangqa (prod. T.Krotkiewski)
For more information about Kanyi Mavi check her out on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kanyimavi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kanyi_Mavi

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/anyiavi

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/kanyi/id535359468

In this episode I sit down with Kanyi Mavi, an MC out of Cape Town, South Africa. She was recently in New York City and I was able to catch up with her at the famous Red Rooster soul food restaurant in Harlem. Continue reading “HHAP Episode 15: Kanyi Mavi on Hip Hop, Xhosa, & Rap Culture in South Africa”