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.
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
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/
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.
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”
This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists’ social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided.
We sat down with 2 groups of young hip hop artists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first interview includes Mukimala, Salma, & Catalyst. The second interview includes HIM, Victor the Traveler (who is a producer), & Sima. Both groups have different styles and approaches to hip hop culture. But both groups are among a new generation of Tanzanian MC’s rapping in English, instead of Swahili.
Next month we’ll be doing an entire episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast dedicated to the works of female MCs from all over Africa. If you are an African female MC and would like to have your music included, or you know of someone that needs to be included, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, check out our YouTube playlist of the African women MCs we know about so far.
This post is dedicated to the comparison of two talented female emcees, from two different countries that share a first name. Nadia Nakai and Nadia Rose both speak on the fact that no one can step to them, whether lyrically or otherwise. With upbeat rhythms and fast rap patterns one could definitely draw a comparison between their styles of delivery and topic choice, however the visuals to accompany the video could not be more different. Nakai brought the b-girl aspect of hip hop to her video, whereas Rose’s Station is literally at a train station saying that she has the go. Station starts with a uptempo boom-bap pattern beat, and a song that would leave you understanding that she won’t be in the same position, space or even place as she is always on the go. Meanwhile, you cannot forget Nadia Nakai, nor can you get close to have the relentless flow that she professes to use throughout the track. Typical in Nakai fashion Nadia flaunts what she has and challenges anyone who thinks that they can step to her about it.
Meanwhile, Nadia Rose calls out fans who talk about her as if she wont talk about it to their face, and when they do reply they want to keep up and if it weren’t obvious at this point, they cannot. Even down to the more specifics of the beats that they decided to use for the songs are tough, as Nakai’s beat for Like Me sounds like a Swiss beats classic and, Rose’s beat selection sounded like a Neptune’s sound. The overall message trying to be conveyed as previously mentioned is that you cant step to these talented ladies with anything short of amazing. Both Femcees also defy the standard representation of what’s ladylike for an emcee, with the overaggressive crumping in Like Me, and to the aggressive styles in which she tells you that you can’t see her in Station.