Xtatic, whose real name is Gloria Mecheo, is a Kenyan hip hop artist from both Nairobi and Kisii. She explains that the two locations are completely different and she had to adjust to speaking a completely different language, style and overall culture. She began rapping at thirteen and growing up in Kenya she enjoyed attending For Words and Pictures, in which she eventually participated. Then she went on to compete in the African rap battle Competition Emcee Africa. Her first video, ‘The Prep Track’ was independently produced and caught the attention of Sony. She was signed at just 20 years old. Yet, after success she disappeared for two years with no explanation.
Let Me Explain is her first single after her hiatus, explaining what’s taken so long for her return. The song has a clear R&B sound. The beat is soft and the tempo is smooth and steady paced. It’s not a song that commands attention, instead it creates a peaceful or relaxed ambiance. Static’s verses speak of her struggle to get to where she is now. Her verses have an overall theme of the road to success or overcoming a rough time. She also talks about struggles as a female artist in a male dominated industry. The chorus, which Iddi sings, is soft with subtle autotune. “I’m trying’ to be the change of my time,” he sings.
The video is a combination of clips of her and her team from other videos and her and Iddi against a smoky backdrop.
M.anifest is a Ghanian born rapper and songwriter who has worked with a variety of musicians. Music has been apart of M.anifest’s life and family for some time and naturally inspired him to become a poet and eventually an MC. In his song, “Someway Bi,” he discusses the twisted occurrences that happen in everyday life. The lyrics “e be someway bi,” in the chorus literally translate to “it’s twisted.” He provides many examples of how people in his country have to hustle in order to survive, whether they are male or female, child or adult.
Although M.anifest’s song seems to be about the harsh struggles and hustles of everyday life in his community, the chorus discusses contrasted occurrences. He doesn’t speak much about or provide examples of the contrasts that occur. Instead he focuses on the hustles that he and other have to make. The video shows the realities of modern Ghanian life, using children, women, and men.
This is Ayo Jay most used pictures.
Born Ayoola Ogundeyi Jr., in Nigeria. In his earliest years, his parents noticed his immense love for singing and song writing. Although the realized his mature voice and skills, like the most Nigerian parents, they placed an emphasis on higher education. He finished secondary school in Nigeria then pursued his college degree in the United States, while his maintained his focus on his music.
During his collegiate experience, he began to reach out to producers and music engineers so that he can perfect his talents. This is when he created the original “Your Number.”
The original “Your Number,” which was released in 2011.
“Your Number,” reached top charts in the African charts, but it did not gain any popularity in the United States. This single caught enough attention for Ayo Jay to get signed two years later by One Nation Entertainment and he subsequently graduated from Baruch College. Her began claim that his music is African pop, Hip Hop and R&B. His record label started to help him hone in his craft and started to market him to radio stations in the United States.
After more popularity was created around his name, he landed a hot new artist, Fetty Wap, to feature on his old song, “Your Number.” Although the song is now, five years old, the new remixed version has begun to blow up in the United States, especially in the New York community. This song shows the artist’s Nigerian dialect and Fetty Wap’s unique flow. The duo created a song that would be able to grab the attention of both audiences. African music has began to crossover to the United States and this has allowed for Ayo Jay to prosper in the music scene. Leading his hit single “Your Number Remix,” Ayo Jay will touring in the States with other African artist such as: Seyi Shey, Skales, Falz, and Boj.
Heres the official cover photo and single “Your Number Remix,” where Fetty Wap and Ayo Jay are featured.
Born in Nigeria, and raised on an air force base in Kaduna, Nigeria, Loose Kaynon has risen to the occasion in the world of hip hop. At the age of 15, on the air force base with his family in Kaduna, Loose Kaynon began rapping about the day to day struggles of his life. However, it wasn’t until he left Kaduna to attend Lagos State University, that he fully invested himself in his craft. Signed in 2012 to Chocolate City, previously called Loopy Music, has opened up the world of music to Loose Kaynon.
In his latest project ‘Gemini Project’, Loose Kaynon delivers us a variety of sounds including club bangers, and heartfelt messages. One of his most thought provoking songs ‘Runaway’ discusses the struggles of having anticipations for his dreams of “making it” at the age of 25, yet being grateful that he even made it to that age alive. He realized that he has more things to be grateful for in his life that he failed to acknowledge. As the successful founder of Wax Lyrical, the number one hip hop show in Nigeria, he has come full circle to understanding his true purpose in life; to make a statement. Unfortunately Wax Lyrical was discontinued in 2015 as a result of management complications.
With the heavy influence of American beats, his music is slowly working its way over to the States. It has been said that he had had many comparisons with Maybach Music Group founder, Rick Ross, but I think its just the beard.
Loose Kaynon has emerged as one of the hottest hip hop artists in Nigeria, as of recently. It is no surprise that due to his bachelors in Business & Finance that he understands how to stay on top of the business side of the music industry. In a recent interview with ‘Lyricists Lounge’ he stated that he was a rapper and artist first, everything else comes second. With this mindset, he is sure to have his eyes on the prize. Coming from the popular country of Nigeria, he remains hopeful that one day he will be able to give back to the very community that raised him to be the artist & man that he is today.
If you would like to learn more about Loose Kaynon, and listen to the full project visit http://loosekaynon.com/.
Khuli Chana is a South African artist and has been performing since the early 90s. Chana gets his inspiration from artists such as an African artist AKA and Kendrick Lamar. Chana began rapping at a young age but was given the opportunity to open for Drake receiving his true start. Chana is definitely seen as a mainstream Pop, Hip Hop artist. The song “No Lie” was produced in collaboration with Patoranking, a Nigerian dancehall singer and songwriter. The song demonstrates the style of music motswako, by blending different languages together throughout the song. The song “No Lie” was difficult to understand, as I was unaware to the style of motswako. For example, the verse would start in English and the next line a different language, etc. The song surprisingly lacked substance. Listening to this song following the knowledge obtained through readings and videos thus far, I was under the impression that most African Hip Hop contain a message of some sort; this song proved otherwise. After listening and reading the lyrics of “No Lie” I found myself comparing the song and style to the watered down mainstream songs in America. The song “No Lie” spoke primarily about superficial gratification and “stepping on the scene [and] looking so fly” (No Lie). Although I was not a fan of the message in the song, the instruments and beats were very interesting. I can definitely picture this song being played in the club. This song and artist demonstrates how mainstream artist must water down the message and talents for fame and money.
In urban Africa, Griots was rapper/poet who told a story about what is going on in their country and how the people to feel about it. Youth in urban Africa took the griots traditions and made it their own by rapping about empowerment of a group of individuals. Life in urban Africa at the time of hip hop’s arrival was swept under the rug because America’s media wanted to paint a negative perspective of African such as the diseases, poverty stricken community, and violence. However, in the 1970s hip hop in America was born based on tradition from many artists African roots. Many American did not know that hip hop was in Africa before it was in the State. Hip Hop in Africa came at a cost to many who spoke out against any wrongdoing.
The evolution of hip hop in South Africa was interesting because most artists spoke about the Apartheid, which fused mostly young people who wanted to speak English in school instead of Afrikan. Another interesting fact about South Africa’s artists was they knew the danger of rapping about the struggle and how they as a community need to unite to the uprising against injustice and racism. Finally, America’s media betrayed South Africa in a negative light Meanwhile many great artist and youth wanted to have freedom which was the reason they decided to fight for their independent for education, work, and equality. The artist who spoke about injustice knew that they could be killed because the government did not want South Africans to unite or speak about the unfair treatment happen there.
However, A latest South African artist out of Cape Town made a new song that speaks to real struggle still there. For example, he stated in his lyric that Africa “isn’t the land of the free.” Many South Africans are not being educated properly because some people can not read. Besides, the country is still divided because of wealth and poverty, which was the reason AKA began his song with material items. The other artist name Khuli Chana stated that people would pretend to be another person friend and kill that person, which mean people can be murder about anything. Then AKA brought up politicians and what they are doing to fixes these problems in South Africa. Even Though the rapping is current to the beat America hear on the radio, the rapping is different because they speak about real issues, not about females, sex, and money. AKA and Khuli Chana are keeping the griot tradition alive by talking about the problem their country is facing and that politicians and the people in the country are being oblivious.
Please watch video to understand what AKA new song trying to say about South Africa in today’s society.
AKA New Video
AKA image is from
Jude Abaga or “M.I” is a hip hop artists from Nigeria. He has won multiple awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards. He continues to be a strong voice of representation for African Hip Hop today, and makes his presence felt in the industry through lyrical songs that represent the culture and his background. You can hear the African descent in the music through the wide range of instruments, most notably the drums, and his accent.
I can see some similarities between his raps and hip hop in the U.S. In his song “Africa Rapper Number One” he claims to be the best rapper in Africa. This is something that can be seen throughout hip hop rappers referring to themselves as the best and then proceeding to try and prove why they are the best. Hip Hop can be very competitive, with M.C’S constantly releasing new music, and fans constantly ranking artists. This competitiveness is great for the music industry because it pushes rappers to produce their best work. The music can speak for itself, but often times rappers use examples, or similes for why they are the best. In the chorus of the song M.I. is referred to as a “microphone magician”. During his verse he says “I’m on top of the rest, ah Cassius clay what I do to the list” Phrases like this are often used to place a rapper above others. All artist should be confident in their ability, and think of themselves as the best in the game. But, if you’re going to claim it you have to be able to back it up. From what I heard M.I is one of the best MC’s from Africa and can claim to be the best after years in the industry.
Africa Rapper Number One
In Chosan’s song “Hoodie On” ( a tribute to Trayvon Martin)he discusses social issues such as racial profiling, police brutality etc, which affects many black people,as well as Africans, today. It also shows the the globalization of social awareness and how people from all around the world can relate to someone in a particular predicament without actually living there. For example, people living in Europe can know about social injustices in South America thought the internet (via social media), art , music etc. Also in the song, Chosan mentions how people are judged based on what they wear and how they look. From a certain angle, one can say that he is directly addressing the flaws associated with respectability politics (the notion that a person will be respected if they speak , dress and act properly). He is basically trying to say that a person wearing a hoodie & sweats should be treated the same as a person in a suit.
Chosan also shows his exceptional storytelling skills in his song. He tells the story about how Trayvon Martin was stalked & shot to death. He even includes George Zimmerman’s police call in his video. He paints a clear picture of the whole incident. He addresses the flaws in the American justice system; on how it is biased and racist. In conjunction, he also states how stand your ground is basically murder, implying that the law is flawed and unjust. Chosan mentions how the media depicts young black men as “monsters” & “thugs” although we are as human as anyone else. Also, Chosan mentions how black children are treated like adults, stripping them of their innocence.
About the Artist:
Chosan is an American rapper born in Sierra Leone. He currently lives in New York city. Chosan has worked with Kanye West, specifically on his song, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”. Chosan did the narration at the beginning of the video. Chosan has released two independent albums: “The deeper side of Misery” (2006) and “Diamond in the Dirt” (2008).
Wagëblë is a four man rap group based out of Dakar, Senegal, but they have performed around the world. Their “name connotes the communal meeting place for the people to discuss the issues that affect their lives” and the title track off of their last album, “Message of Hope” (2011), expresses how their music has allowed for a positive discourse about trails facing the Senegalese community, such as the political riots and protests that occurred around the time this song was released.
The song begins with an audio clip from a newscaster praising “a group of young musicians”, Wagëblë, for spreading “a message of hope” for the next generation in a time of hardships and trouble. This media story is sampled throughout the track, which leads me to believe it was the inspiration for the song and album.
Wagëblë raps in French/Wolof, but here are some of the translated lyrics that most express the purpose of this song.
“The story of our lives informs the content of our music and philosophy.”
“Wondering how to remove the pain of the streets, bring renewed hope to my people – realizing my dreams.”
“We rap to express the experiences in our lives. We rap to explain the nightmares in which we live.”
“Witness the desperation of an entire generation.”
“I’ll never stop voicing the pain of the people I represent.”
Wagëblë uses “Message of Hope” to explain why they make music and hint at the importance of it – giving Senegalese people a musical outlet for their struggles.
About Wagëblë: https://www.facebook.com/Wageble/info/?tab=page_info
Originated in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tumi and the Volume is an African hip hop music group. It is compromised of rapper Tumi Molekane, Tiago Correia-Paul (lead guitarist), David Bergman (bass guitarist), and Paulo Chibanga (drummer). This song is in collaboration with Pebbles, who is an actress and musician from Gauteng, South Africa. A lot of the music made by this group has political aspects and empowerment of the community. This particular song, in my interpretation, talks about people who are struggling and being oppressed coming together to create a brighter future. Not only does the artist reference to Malcolm X as a means explaining the depth of his content which is controversial in many cases but they talk about the aspects of poverty. One line in particular stood out to me and it was when the rapper stated
“Political rallies with bullets speed to your fore. Blood sweeps through the floor, red sheets in the morgue”
This really highlights the problems with politics and the violence that occurs when people try to fight for a change. In many political rallies some people become so excited that it can result in controversy. Another line that shined light on a truth was
“But you tighten grips on your suitcase
I let it slide coz I just don’t do hatred
But th very same thing happens after a few paces”
A sad truth that many people go through is always being thought of as a suspect or a danger. This happens in many cases with young men of color because in many societies people are taught that they are a danger.
Overall I found the song to be interesting and enlightening. I played it couple times because the whole message was powerful and the song itself is very catchy.
For the lyrics go here:
For the song go here:
By: Destiney Wilson