Student Project: 5 Nigerian Artists to Know

This is a special episode produced by our students for their project looking at Nigerian musicians: In our episode, we are focusing on the top five Nigerian artists that have an influence in American mainstream media. We are giving you a breakdown of these artists, their beginnings, and of course, a listen to one of their most popular songs. Each artist has their own distinctive style and sound, and some even do much more than just sing/rap. You should definitely have heard one of these artists on the radio, or even while you’re out partying, but if not, be sure to listen and get to know a bit about each of them. Stay tuned all the way to the end to hear which American hip-hop artists we think they should collaborate with.

Follow the artists we discussed on social media to keep up with their music, events, and more!
1. WizKid
Instagram: @WizKidAyo
Twitter: @WizKidAyo
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sounds-from-the-other-side/id1245549634?app=music
2. Davido
Instagram: @DavidoOfficial
Twitter: @iam_Davido
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/davido/id254654363

3. Tekno Miles
Instagram: @TeknoOfficial
Twitter: @AlhajiTekno
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/ng/album/diana-single/1165390646

4. Korede Bello
Instagram: @KoredeBello
Twitter: @KoredeBello
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/korede-bello/833611554

5. Maleek Berry
Instagram: @MaleekBerry
Twitter: @MaleekBerry
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/last-daze-of-summer-ep/1158084658

This is a special episode produced by our students for their project looking at Nigerian musicians: In our episode, we are focusing on the top five Nigerian artists that have an influence in American mainstream media. We are giving you a breakdown of these artists, their beginnings, and of course, a listen to one of their most popular songs. Each artist has their own distinctive style and sound, and some even do much more than just sing/rap. Continue reading “Student Project: 5 Nigerian Artists to Know”

Review: “Story”by Minz

I had the pleasure in choosing to review one of my favorites, Minz! Damilola Aminu aka Minz, is a recording artist, singer/songwriter from Lagos, Nigeria and producer that produced one of his recent songs “Story”, which has been by far, one of my favorite Afrobeats type of songs. A fun fact about Minz is a recent graduate of International Law from Babcock University but decided to pursue his dream of making music in 2016 and as we can see, has definitely started to pay off. Minz also refers himself as “fireboy” or says the phrase “minzu lode” in all of his songs, which is a cool indicator when listening to a song that it’s him singing it. Once I heard “Story”, I automatically downloaded and kept it on repeat because the beat is that good! Although the song contains some lyrics that I don’t understand, I get the gist of it, which is about him singing to a women he will do anything in the world for and professing his potential love for her. Other than the lyrics, this is definitely the type of song where your body will move without you even knowing because of how smooth the beat is. Minz also has other work out like one of his other popular songs called “Aunty Paticia” produced by Mowizzy and Minz himself, which is another song I suggest to listen to for anyone into Afrobeats music. It will move you (literally)! I highly recommend everyone, even if you don’t usually listen to Afrobeats, to take a listen to “Story” by Minz and you will not regret it. I’m sure you will keep the song on repeat too! Check them out and happy listening!

Here are his soundCloud and Youtube Links to stream his work:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/minznse

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxUq5I9bQ7m07a9I4u8MtOA/videos

You’re welcome in advance!

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

 

Artist Music Review: “KMG” and “Yung Swiss”

I had the pleasure to review a song under Kalakuta music, which is the only Pan African and bilingual record label in the Ivory Coast. Continue reading “Artist Music Review: “KMG” and “Yung Swiss””

Black Girl Magic

The power of women on the hip hop scene is growing each day in Africa. Female hip hop artist often struggle to get there music and art pushed into the mainstream of a genre that has been historically male dominated. I believe this is the reason that these women are producing more revolutionary hip hop art. Two artist that have made particularly creative music videos are Little Simz, who hails from London but is born to Nigerian parents, and Patty Monroe, who was born and raised in South Africa. These artist show very different sides of the artistic spectrum in the themes they convey and hopefully this blog can give some insight into their messages.

Continue reading “Black Girl Magic”

Nigerian, South African/Kenyan connection. The battle of the “Koolest”

Today on The Hip-Hop African Blog we analyze the comparison between Nigerian rapper Davido’s song “Coolest kid in Africa” featuring, awesome, South African rapper Nasty C and Kenyan pop singer/rapper Stella Mwangi’s song “Koolio.” Both songs are exciting and begin with catchy beats, however, where Davido’s “Coolest kid in Africa” starts low and slow, with heavy bass and a sick trap beat drop, Stella’s “Koolio” picks up the pace with a faster electro-hop beat that is reminiscent of Pitbull’s I” I Know You Want Me.”

In Davido’s song “ Coolest kid in Africa” he describes that the reasons that he is the coolest are that he is both rich and connected, has enough money to change your life, if you let him, and because of the amount of women who choose to accompany him wherever he goes. Whereas, Stella in “Koolio” describes her “Koolness” as a product of her awesome life, which you should already know about, because of her gangsta style, though she does profess to not be a gangsta. Additionally, she suggests that you should not try to hinder her style or movements, because she keeps her Kool cooler that Coolio, which is not only a metaphor for being the pinnacle of coolness, but also a reference to famous 90’s Hip Hop Artist Coolio, who was known for not only his Coolness but his gangsta lifestyle, point of reference “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

The biggest comparison between the two can be found in Nasty C’s verse on the “Coolest kid in Africa” which connects the party vibe of knowing how cool he is, much like how Stella professes her coolness as a fact before the song, to the concept of finding out how cool he is like Davido suggests throughout the song. Two braggadocio songs professing to how cool the other is based on previous memory of their exploits.

Davido – Coolest Kid in Africa (Official Video) ft. Nasty C

STELLA MWANGI – KOOLIO (Official Video)

Nadia Rose and Gigi Lamayne

For today’s blog post I analyzed “DFWT” by Nadia Rose and Gigi Lamayne’s freestyle. Both artist had, what I believe, non conventional videos. In both videos, neither of the women were super dolled up. In fact, throughout the entirety of her video, Gigi Lamayne was, basically, in lounge wear. Rose was not much different. Throughout her video she wore typical, everyday outfits. I believe the artists’ wardrobe choice can be attributed to what they believe is most important in their videos, the lyrics and message. Neither artist wanted to be distracting through their choice of clothing. With that being said, you would think the videos contained substantive messages, yet “DFWT” and Gigi Lamayne’s freestyle were not in anyway associated with political or societal issues in their country. But, I do believe they still felt their messages were substantial. In Theresa Renee White’s Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and Nicki Minaj: Fashionistin’ Black Female Sexuality in Hip-Hop Culture—Girl Power or Overpowered?, she analyzed ideas on women controlling their sexuality. In her conclusion she stated the views of Michel Foucault, “Making sense of our sexuality, Foucault holds, is perceived in the modern age to be a method for discovering the truth about who we are. The truth that we seek about ourselves is a truth we associate with the power of self-control.” I believe both of these artist hold a truth about themselves. “DWFT” by Nadia Rose was filled with self-exemplifying statements. She continuously posted about herself, her status, and her achievements. Similarly, Gigi’s video was a basically glorified rebellion. It began with her mother scolding her and the remainders of the video was her making a mockery of her mother. Both of these women are examples of women who do not let their sexuality define them. They are the Missy Elliot’s and Nicki Minaj’s.

African Hip Hop Femcees

Female emcees in Africa are challenging the traditional roles of Women in hip hop while also changing the direction of the feminist/womenist movements through their lyrics, and sexuality. Different artists have taken different approaches to challenging these norms. Some embrace the power of hyper- sexuality while some shy away from it, and take a more subtle approach to  expressing their sexual liberation.

In Eva Alordiah’s video “Double Double” she challenges many gender norms often inflicted upon female emcees. Her half shaved hair cut, and gold chains definitely make a bold statement, also her  camo shirt and bright purple lipstick shows that she is somewhat neutral in her expression of her sexuality.  While she is not parading around scantily clad she is still exuding a sense of femininity while spitting solid bars. Her confident delivery may be perceived as being un-ladylike, her wide stances and hand gestures are not typically viewed as feminine. Alordiah’s lyrics are witty without being raunchy. Her use of the rihanna sample of “pour it up” makes the song a nice mix between hard core rap, and a more pop vibe.

In  Patty Monroe’s video for “High Fashion” she adheres more to the conventional roles of female sexuality in hip hop. She is wearing more form fitting and slightly revealing clothes while doing things that bring more attention to certain areas of her body. Monroe is very upfront with her use of her sexuality,  her lyrics  include many sexual innuendo’s which at the same challenges some of the gender roles that assume sexually explicit lyrics are mutually exclusive to male emcees.  Eva Alordiah and Patty Monroe both challenge the traditional roles assumed for female emcees through their lyrics, and different displays of female sexuality. They go against the grain in order to continue to excel in their craft in a male dominated field.

Comparing Ghanaian Hip Hop to Nigerian Pop Culture

I’d like to draw your attention to two very talented African artists that have been making major mainstream noise in the music industry and show no signs of slowing down in the future. African rapper Sarkodie and African pop artist WizKid both are musically talented artists but vary differently in the deliverance of their genre of choice. I am going to compare style and lyrics from Sarkodie’s song Adonai ft. Castro to WizKid’s song Ojuelegba. Adonai begins with a nice beat and then soon goes into a steady uptempo tune with Castro speaking and then followed by Sarkodie. Now, this isn’t your average hip-hop song that normally would catch you off guard but Sarkodie is making an ode to God for blessing him with gifts such as his talent amongst other things that he is grateful for. For an artist such as Sarkodie, he raps mostly in his native language which is Twi so you will not understand anything in the song except for the part “Hallelujah”. As noted, he does rap rather fast and he carries all the qualities of being a rapper such as the dark glasses, the choice in clothing and the hand gestures he uses. His style can be considered multifaceted which is always good for rappers trying to tell stories. On the other hand, you have a softer mellow beat when WizKid’s Ojuelegba comes into play. I first heard this song on the radio because the remix had featured Canadian recording Drake. Ojuelegba speaks about Wizkids experience in his native land Nigeria. Unlike Sarkodie, WizKid sings in English use what it sounds like, a little of autotune to enhance his voice. There is one shot in the video that shows him in the studio wearing dark glasses and his chains which definitely separates him from Sarkodie but both artists show gratitude in their songs.