HHAP Ep. 81: M.anifest: From Madina to the Mecca

M.anifest and Milen Mehari (a doctoral student in the department of African Studies at Howard University

On the 15th of February, 2023, M.anifest visited Howard University, also known as The Mecca, for a historical conversation around the importance of his music and Hip Hop culture as we celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop. M.anifest is one of the most prolific MCs of his generation and came for a conversation at one of the world’s most historic Black institutions of higher education. Of M.anifest, the media has called him…

“the foremost rapper on the continent.”

– The Guardian (2012)

M.anifest’s first two albums were released while he was in the U.S., where he was part of a generation of African MCs influencing the “underground” hip-hop scene at the time. In the mid-2000s, M.anifest, along with artists like Blitz (the Ambassador) Bazawule and K’Naan, marked the first time that so many African MCs would make an impact on the underground hip hop scene in the U.S., paving the way for the entry into the mainstream of afrobeats artists a decade later.

“is widely considered an icon”

– Wonderland Magazine (2021)

Since M.anifest’s return to Ghana in 2012, he has become an important voice in West African music. He has released several projects and earned recognition at the Ghana Music Awards and the Channel O Music Awards. His collaborations have included songs with artists as diverse as Erykah Badu, Burna Boy, and Vic Mensa. He was recently among the handful of artists that headlined the January 2023 Black Star Line Festival in Ghana hosted by Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa.

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