CFP: Politics of Language in African Hip Hop

The question of language in African literature was debated in the 1960s and 1970s. At the heart of the debate was: who qualifies as being an African writer? and what qualifies as African literature? African authors like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Chinua Achebe weighed in on different sides of the debate. Today a similar debate is occurring in various hip hop communities in Africa.

Please see the call for papers for a special issue of the Journal of African Cultural Studies on Language and Hip Hop in Africa. Abstracts due: November 8.

HHAP Ep. 68: Edem, On Navigating the Music Industry in Ghana

In this episode, Ghanaian hip hop & hiplife artist Edem talks about the music industry in Ghana and the popularity of Afrobeats. Edem also talks about the presence of Ghanaian and Nigerian artists in shaping Black popular music globally, especially in the US and the UK. He also talks about how Ghanians have always done music according to their own rules, creating genres and trends like highlife, hiplife, and azonto; and innovating hip hop and Afrobeats.

We also talk about being Ewe and why language and identity are important in his work. Coming from Ghana’s Volta region, he’s one of the first hip hop artist to begin rapping in Ewe.

Edem’s music is a mix of hip hop, hiplife, and dancehall. He released his 1st album, Volta Regime in 2009, followed by 2 more albums and the recent EP Mood Swings released last year. Throughout his career he’s collaborated with several international artists, and has won and/or been been nominated for several music awards, including the Black Canadian Awards, the Ghana Music Awards, and the 4syte (for-sight) TV Music Video Awards.

Edem is on Twitter at @iamedem https://twitter.com/iamedem and Instagram at @iamedemgh https://www.instagram.com/iamedemgh and YouTube at @iamEdem https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXwdOmMKtY9-NXjDq-yqxYg

This episode is part of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.

Mixtape: Francophone Hip Hop and Political Consciousness

Hip-hop is at the forefront of political contestation in Francophone Africa, and has been for decades. Too-often unrecognized in the

EDEM – Favour (feat. Efya & Sarkodie)

The song  Favour by EDEM featuring Efya and Sakordie is a tremendous musical message that highlights some essential ideals of