This is episode 11 of the podcast, and the third in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode is a conversation with Babaluku and Gilbert from Bavubuka Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. Continue reading “HHAP Episode 11: Bavubuka Foundation and Indigenous Hip Hop in Africa”
Young and Talented African Hip Hop Artists to Keep an Eye Out for in 2017
Each year, a new crop of hip hop artists break out of obscurity and make significant waves in the scene. Some of the qualities that endear these rookie performers to fans are their fresh sound, their distinctive voice, and, of course, their brilliant perspective of music in general.
It’s difficult to predict who will burst from the underground scene and create an impact instantly, however, more often than not, these unbelievably talented musicians sprout up from nowhere. It also helps to have modern technology expediting the process, providing the mainstream with the latest hip hop stars.
A couple of years ago, Hip Hop African’s Msia Kibona Clark wrote a feature on the role of technology in Tanzanian music production. The writer underlined the importance of targeting a specific audience, listeners that rely heavily on social media websites, mobile apps, and other digital pursuits. Gaming Realms, creator and operator of online gaming giants Spin Genie, claims that since consumers have altered their media consumption habits, many technological firms have followed suit. They also pointed out that 80% of their revenues now come from mobile, thus industries like music are now seeking mass promotion on mobile-friendly mediums.
When it comes to the entire African hip hop scene, the majority of upcoming artists utilise technology to either produce music, promote their brand, or both. Thanks to technology, they now have plenty of platforms to share their unique voice to the world. Having said that, here are some of the young and talented hip hop artists to keep an eye out for in 2017.
Frank Casino (South Africa)
There’s no denying: Frank Casino is the face of African hip hop as of this moment. Music Unites Africa even wrote a piece that previews his upcoming LP, Something From Me, and tells readers why he’s the real deal. Frank Casino can even be credited for the growth of the South African hip hop culture.
Courtesy of: youtube
Lorine Chia (Cameroon)
Lorine Chia is a rare talent. She’s one of those exceptional artists who not only has a powerful, soulful, and smooth voice, but can also play a slew of musical instruments. Her unbelievable aptitude in music opened the door for collaborations with famous hip hop artists such as The Game and Chance the Rapper.
Courtesy of: youtube
More than a so-called “YouTube sensation,” Tekno seems to have what it takes to go the distance. His song, Pana, has over 20 million views on YouTube, which gave it a place at the top of the Nigerian music charts. In addition to YouTube hits and chart rankings, Tekno has the looks and the talent that attracted American record label, Columbia Records.
Courtesy of: youtube
Phy made the most of winning the first season of Maisha Superstar, an East African music talent competition similar to The X Factor and The Voice. She has that distinct sultry yet silky voice, making her stand out in a sea of new artists. Her debut album, Phylosophy, garnered praise from the big wigs in the industry, which prompted her to release a seven-track EP featuring covers of classic Kenyan songs a year later.
Courtesy of: youtube
Roden Y (Uganda)
There’s nothing quite like the stage presence of Ugandan artist, Roden Y. He has a certain stage presence that makes his audience stand in awe of him. Roden Y’s most popular single, Number Emu (Kabbako), truly represents his overall image: enigmatic, energetic, and wild.
Courtesy of: youtube
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Always wanted to hear the classic Blahzay Blahzay song “Danger” in a hip-hop track from East Africa. This is a video of images and footage of East African hip hop artists (Tanzania, Uganda, & Kenya) with “Danger” playing in the background.
“How We Do It” by Ugandan female rapper, Keko, had become a breakthrough single for the hip hop artist. This hit single took over MTV Africa and Ugandan charts in 2011. The success of this track landed her an endorsement deal with Pepsi, leading Mountain Dew’s advertising campaign, rapping to the beat of “How We Do It”.
After working for a radio station as a DJ in her college years, she moved on to be the host of a radio show. Keko later left the radio to focus more on her music, then signed with Sony Music Entertainment. She has worked with artists such as Madtraxx, Angela Katatumba, and Pl@y. Keko has been a nominee for nine awards.
In this song, she is rapping about how she does it. She mentions in this song, “Screaming bring it, I brought it / Fans love it” expressing how she is now reaching her fame. From her point of view, she wants everyone to go after what they want. She mentions her fans multiple times in the song, grateful for her newly acclaimed fame thanks to them.
This is a song that can be played on the radio and in clubs. It has a catchy beat to dance to, but also appropriate enough to play on local radio stations. In my opinion, this song is similar to American hip hop, in the sense that a lot of rappers talk about their successes and rise to fame. Keko can relate with anyone who is currently trying to reach success.
Keko’s music shows her talent. One single that showed her talent was a song called “Go Green”. In this song she spoke about one important subject, which is climate awareness. This song proves her talent because of the creativity to chose to use. Instead of rapping about subjects that most people expect all hip hop artist to speak about, she chose to speak about topics that are important for the world to know and relate to. People who rap do not talk about subject matters such as climate awareness, which makes Keko’s music stand out from other hip hop songs and other hip hop artist as well. She is very creative with the topics she chooses to talk about in her music.
Her music became successful in a short amount of time. Keko’s music was so successful that she was asked to perform in a couple of shows in South Africa. Her music is overall diverse and unique. She brings in new ideas to the hip hop culture, and that is was gets her audience’s attention and what makes her music so great. Many people enjoy her music because it is relatable and they enjoy her lyrics. Other topics that she discusses in her music is about domestic violence, everyday struggles that people face, triumph, and most importantly success. She is a positive role model for her fan base and for anyone that chooses to listen to her music. In all, her music is very consistent. Her lyrics and performance are great as well. She is a talented artist, who delivers great music.
Keko’s full name is Jocelyne Tracey Keko. She was born on June 3, 1987 in Tororo, Uganda. Her parents were from Japadhola. Keko is a famous Ugandan rapper. She was very influential as a hip hop artist in Africa in 2011. She first began to get noticed when she released a single named “Fallen Heroes”. In this song artist like Don Mc, Sp, Davis, and a Mwanba children choir were featured. After that single came out, people were impressed with her delivery and most of all her lyrics. She later got on MTV Africa when her song “How We Do It” became well known on the Ugandan charts. After that she became famous in East Africa. This song was a success in Keko’s music career. Because of this song eventually even Pepsi wanted her to endorse their brand. She also led the Mountain Dew advertising campaign in East Africa.
Once her music career began to rapidly evolve, she was asked to perform at the annual selam festival. This festival took place in Ethiopia. She is a performer by nature. In every event she would perform at people would be impressed. When she performed at the festival it helped open other doors to new opportunities for Keko. Then she was invited to perform with other African artist at the “Big Brother Africa 6”. The “Big Brother Africa” is a show in South Africa. After that her next single named “Alwoo” which means cry for help, also became very successful. Overall she has had many successes in her life and she continues to get new opportunities. She is a talented woman that has been able to be a positive influence for people. Also she is inspirational to women because there are not that many African women who rap. She happens to be one hip hop artist that has proved to be successful among male hip hop artist.
Keko (born Jocelyne Tracey Keko) is a Ugandan rapper who has taken over the music scene in Africa during 2011. Her music, which focuses predominantly on the youth, is groovy, yet has some deep underlying message that gives you a glimpse of who Keko is. It also brings out different issues that people around the globe can identify with. Her rise to fame began in 2010 with the release of “Fallen Heroes”, where she appeared alongside other established Ugandan artists like Don MC, SP, DAVIS and the Mwanba children choir. After delivering what was arguably the best verse on the track, Keko began to turn heads with her lyrics, delivery style and sheer presence on tracks. Her breakthrough single ‘How We Do It’ took the Ugandan charts by storm, making her an instant household name in East Africa. The success of the track led to a 2011 Channel O video music Award for most gifted East African Video, and more recently a synch with Supersport Africa. Uganda’s hip hop sensation
“I don’t think Africa has had a female rapper that is as versatile and able to paint vivid pictures with words the way I do in my music. I am a rapper, singer, song writer and I like to believe I am the whole package. My inspirations range from my environment to Afrigo band (Uganda), Lauryn Hill, Tupac Shakur and Kanye West. My target group is predominantly the youth, that is, the teenagers and young adults who understand the music; I wouldn’t, however, want to close myself in because the album shows a mature side of Keko that even the older generation will appreciate.” (Keko – Repping Uganda)
This past September 2012, Sony Music Entertainment Africa announced the signing of this multi-award winning Ugandan rapper. The deal is the first of its kind that sees an artist from Uganda signed to a multi-album and full management deal with a major record company. “Multi-Award Winning East African Rap Star Makes Ugandan History signing Major International Recording and Management Deal“
To learn more and get the last news about Keko, follow her at www.twitter.com/kekotown.
This winter California State University, Los Angeles is holding an African Hip Hop Film Series. The films feature hip hop scenes from all over Africa, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. All films are free and open to the public. For more information contact Msia Clark @ firstname.lastname@example.org.