Surprise! Another blog bout Jovi

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Jovi’s street anthem Et P8 Koi (So What?) shows the use of Cameroonian language in hip-hop as means of depicting identity in a globalized music industry. Jovi is known to put out “multilingual bangers” with backing tracks from various musical disciplines. The creativity in production is mirrored by his dynamic lyricism that transcends cultural and musical boundaries. He raps in French and English – languages inherited from former colonists – to “bridge the gap that exists between anglophones and francophones” in Cameroon. Note that the French and English in the song don’t entirely mirror that of Europe, but rather include Cameroonian slang and dialects – known as Camfranglais, the mix of French and English native to Cameroon – which makes the music more representative of the Cameroonian identity. Continue reading “Surprise! Another blog bout Jovi”

Show me the light Jovi

This post is another testament to Jovi, and his art that has the power of erasing class and gendered boundaries to solidify the Cameroonian social identity. Check out his music video for Zélé and you’ll see what I am talking about.

Continue reading “Show me the light Jovi”

B.A.S.T.A.R.D by Jovi

While researching rappers in Cameroon, I came across a blog that mentions Cameroon’s Jovi as a pure rapper with undeniable talent. Of course I wanted to see this for myself. The first song I came across that actually sounded like hip hop was his single “B.A.S.T.A.R.D”. Intrigued by the name, I clicked the video and was treated to a cypher style setup. The video transitions from that to Jovi riding with his group, then to them blowing censored substances and then to him along with featuring artist Reniss on a rooftop. The song itself is in pidgin language, an English- Cameroonian slang mix. Jovi raps along with Cameroon’s urban youth about the conditions they face, calling themselves bastards.

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How Jovi makes us bump to the sound of Cameroon

In world where African hip-hop artists are being accused of imitating American culture to produce their art, Cameroonian rapper Jovi represents the amalgamation of the two cultural art forms by producing a unique style that is distinct to his home country, but also carves out his own place in the global hip-hop scene. Jovi himself coined Mboko – a rising genre that merges Native African influences such as Bottle Dance and Makossa with Western electronic and hip-hop influences. In his video for Devil No Di Sleep, he lucidly showcases the influence Western hip-hop has on Cameron’s scene, but continues to represent his home country. Continue reading “How Jovi makes us bump to the sound of Cameroon”

Jovi, proud B.A.S.T.A.R.D from Cameroon

Bastard: informal, an unpleasant or despicable person”. According to the Oxford English dictionary, a Bastard is a contemptible person. Anyone should be ashamed to be called a Bastard. Yet, Jovi, 34 years old Cameroon rapper sings his pride of being a “B.A.S.T.A.R.D” in his 2014 single featuring singer Reniss. In fact, Bastard in Pidgin (dialect of the song) means “cool”, “great” or even “fantastic”. It is in this Cameroonian English-based creole (also known as Kamtok, from “Cameroon-talk”) that the rapper expresses his resistance facing harsh living conditions, as a young urban man, echoing numerous African “Bastards”. Continue reading “Jovi, proud B.A.S.T.A.R.D from Cameroon”