In a hip-hop scene as developed and competitive as Senegal’s, the cypher continues to act as a platform by which talented, young rappers make their debut. The fast-paced intensity of a hip-hop cypher is the perfect way for new artists on the scene to prove to their worth to the public. And in a society where women must give it their all to make an impression in the musical community, the cypher allows female MCs to show everyone that they are just as lyrically passionate and complex than their male counterparts— if not more. Continue reading “Dakar’s Female MCs and the Power of the Cyp(her)”
One positive trend is the groups of female emcees in various countries in Africa coming together to release collaborations or cyphers. It gives female emcees the spotlight and a chance to display their skills. It also promotes unity instead of beefs between femcees. Some of these emcees are underground. Some of these emcees perform pop tracks, but have shown off their hip hop lyricism in these collaborations. Some of the more notable collaborations include:
Ghana has two cyphers. The first, “Girls Dorm Cypher”, features Eyirap, Dein, Yayra & Lila http://youtu.be/KpmWol7tuzE
The second, “Gh Female Rappers Cypher”, features Eno, Esbee, Abena Rockstar, Porsche, EyiRap, Xcot, Mila, and Scrach http://youtu.be/ztRX0qbOU4I
These women vary in style and ability, but they show that there are female emcees in Ghana, and that they have something to say. It will be nice to see these women grow as artists. Some of them are doing more pop music, but it would be really dope if Ghana produced a female emcees for the international hip hop scene. Someone who can stand next to Sarkodie, M3nsa, Blitz the Ambassador, Wanlov and other male emcees that represent Ghana.
Nigeria: “I No Send You”, which features Sasha, Muna, Eva, Mo Cheddah, Blaise, and Zee http://youtu.be/PR63wCNhYtM
Some of these artists are already well known, others are newer. Like everything on the Naija music scene, many of these women often release flashy, sexy, pop tracks full time. It was therefore refreshing to see them break from that and produce something more hard hitting, and more hip hop.
Southern African femcees released “No Sleep”, which features Gigi LaMayne (South Africa), Sasa Klaas (Botswana), Devour Ke Lenyora (South Africa), Ru the Rapper (Namibia) & DJ Naida (Zimbabwe) http://youtu.be/jozzzTC83wM
Southern Africa has one of the most diverse scenes as far as female emcees in Africa. This track brings together very diverse styles. Most of these femcees are young and are artists that mix styles and looks. They come together on this well produced track (DJ Naida) and flex their lyrical skills. Some of these femcees have become some of my favorite rappers and I hope to hear a lot more from them in the coming years.
In Senegal femcees have formed a female hip hop collective called GOTAL. The song “UNITY” used the beats from the famous Queen Latifah song to celebrate Senegalese femcees. The song features GOTAL members Toussa, Anta, Lady Zee and Venus http://youtu.be/5sB4AHyye5I
Senegal has had a reputation for having the biggest hip hop scene in Africa, and the most conscious hip hop scene. But for years women’s voices were few. With the exception of a few, like Sister Fa and ALIF, hip hop in Senegal was mostly a man’s game. Today female emcees have come together to form GOTAL, an all female hip hop collective. They honor Senegal’s conscious hip hop roots, and bring more women’s voices to Senegal’s hip hop scene.