HHAP Episode 45: Phlow, Navigating Hip Hop & Representation in Nigeria

In this episode of The Hip Hop African Podcast, we speak with Nigerian hip hop artist, Phlow. We talk about the impact of Afropop on hip hop culture in Nigeria, and the choices artists often make between hip hop and Afropop. Speaking of Afropop, we also discuss the possible opportunities for Nigerian hip hop in the wake of one of Nigeria’s fastest growing exports: pop music.

Phlow also talks about the struggles with longevity for women in the Nigerian hip hop scene, as well as the term “femcee” and the evolution of attitudes towards the term among women artists. In the conversation Phlow discusses the media’s focus on her ascetics, especially the reference to her as a “babe that can rap” by some media outlets. She discusses the pressure within the music industry that would like her to highlight her looks as a way to market her music. Phlow also points out that it is not only within hip hop that she experiences this type of objectification. She discusses being referred to as a “babe”, or a “beauty” in both hip hop circles and in her 9 to 5 job.

Phlow also tells us about her writing process and the inspirations for her material. Phlow discusses being a member of Str8buttah and the plans she has for her music. She is specifically interested in the question of representation, and allowing her music to speak to who she is. She speaks on incorporating different music styles, as well as the possibility of performing in other languages.

Songs

  1. “Hip Hop” (feat. MC Bravado) – Single
  2. “Fall” – Gloria – EP
  3. “5 Pages” – Gloria – EP

Phlow Online

HHAP Episode 38: Keko on Hip-Hop V. The Politics of Sexuality in Uganda

Keko is a Ugandan MC and filmmaker who became involved in Uganda’s hip hop scene over than 10 years ago. Her career eventually took her to international audiences, in Africa and in Europe, and included a 2012 deal with Sony. In our conversation, Keko discusses some of the challenges she experienced while living in Uganda. Those challenges revolved around her gender, her sexuality, her international recognition, and her 2012 deal with Sony. We discuss the impact of patriarchy and homophobia on her ability to live and to work. Keko is now living in Toronto and is pursuing a career in filmmaking. Keko insists that she is not trying to be an activist, and is definitely not anyone’s “poster child” for gay rights in Uganda. However, Keko’s music, films, and her coming out are her unapologetically living her life. As a Ugandan woman, she is also using her own lens & perspective to contribute her voice as a creative.

Keko is on Twitter at @KEKOTOWN
Her film works can be found on VIMEO at https://vimeo.com/user85283017

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