Hip hop music
has been popular in Africa
since the early 1980s due to widespread American
influence. In 1985 hip hop reached Senegal
, a French
-speaking country in West Africa
. Some of the first Senegalese rappers were M.C. Lida, M.C. Solaar
, and Positive Black Soul
, who mixed rap with Mbalax
, a type of West African pop music. An early South African
group was Black Noise
. They began as a graffiti
crew in Cape Town
until they started emceeing in 1989. South Africa's apartheid
government tried to ban rap due to its part in the struggle for the freedom of all races. The government made hip hop legal in 1993 allowing rap music on radio and television.
There also have been groups in Tanzania and other countries that emceed before 1989, although it is not very well known. During the late 1980s-early 1990s rap started to escalate all over Africa. Each region had a new type of style of hip hop. Rap elements are also found in Kwaito, a new genre based on house music which developed in South Africa in the 1990s.
Algerian hip hop music
, as a genre, includes the hip-hop
music of both native Algerians and Algerians abroad. Algerians living abroad have contributed much to this genre, especially in France
, where they are also considered part of the French hip hop
scene. Some of these Algerians have become prominent. Algeria also has a hip hop scene, which, while lesswell-known internationally, is among the most developed in Africa
and the Arab world
Algerian rap began on October 5, 1988, when thousands of schoolchildren and young adults rose up to fight against rising food prices and neglect of the education system. The young insurgents were massacred by the People's Army of Algeria, formerly a symbol of independence. It was at this time that many current artists began writing their raps. Youcef of the group Intik began writing "about the system, the government, because the more that you asked questions, the more you discovered... And as soon as you begin to reflect, you begin to have answers. Algerian rap speaks about the reality of day-to-day life torn by "political injustice, terror, and war," its goal being to give hope to the younger generation.
Rai in Algeria
Raï is a genre of music which developed in Algeria during the 1920s as rural migrants incorporated their native musical styles into the culture of the growing urban centers of western Algeria, especially the port town of Oran. This type of music was invented for distillery workers, peasants who lost their land, and shepherds. Rai was played in nightclubs, taverns, and brothels as a form of resistance music. Raï is rebellious music, because it is so politically charged, the fact that it goes against the hard-line government and a religiously fundamentalist establishment. Unlike traditional music, with its subtlety and flowery language, and innocuous subject matters, raï is notable for its blunt imagery and willingness to tackle subjects such as sex, booze, lust, and drink - all of which the deeply religious establishment frowns upon.
The African nation of Angola
has a lively hip hop music
scene, including popular crews like SSP
, which are the most influential Hip Hop group in the country; Army Squad
, who are based out of Cape Town
, South Africa
, and have begun to work with some South African hip hop
has never had a large popular music
industry, with most of its recorded music coming from South Africa
or further abroad. However, since about 1999, Batswana
hip hop performers have begun to gain mainstream acceptance; the record label
Phat Boy has done a lot to promote Botswana hip hop. The hip hop movement in Botswana has grown over the years as evidenced by the release over the years of albums and songs fromm artists such as Mr Doe, Zuess, Ignition, S.C.A.R
, Awesomore.aka Gaddamit, Nitro,Konkrete, HT, Flex,Dice, 3rd Mind, Kast, Nomadic, and Draztik
to name a few.The release of hip hop albums is slow because of the small market and competition from other genres of mostly dance orientated music. Since 2000, a lot of changes has grazed the Botswana hip hop industry, with rappers like Scar Kast and Third Mind releasing relatively successful albums. In 2006 alone, Scar released his sophomore offering, "Happy Hour". The same year Kast released "Dazzit". S.C.A.R
has since won a Channel O Spirit of Africa Award 2007 for best hiphop.
The hip hop scene of Cameroon
is up and coming. It includes pioneers like Manhitoo
who broke new ground in the early 90's and new stars like Koppo
. All of which are receiving international acclaim as we speek. Other hip hop artists from Cameroon are Les Nubians
- female vocalists with a very personal approach to the genre who now reside in France.
Ivorian hip hop
became a mainstream part of the popular music of Côte d'Ivoire
beginning in the late 1990s, and has been fused with many of the country's native styles, such as zouglou
. Some time later, the scene gained more publicity with the rise of a publicly-feuding pair of crew leaders, Stezo of the Flotte Imperiale
and Almighty of the Ministère Authentik
. There is a kind of gangsta rap
-influenced Ivorian hip hop called rap dogba
, inspired by Angelo & les Dogbas
. Many Ivorian hip hop artists perform or live in France, and French hip hop
has a major influence on the Ivorian scene.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
, has long been a major home for pan-African styles of popular music like rumba
and kwassa kwassa
. Long-time performers on the Kinsasha scene include Profetzion (formerly of Holokaust
, and the rapper Passi
. Promising new Congolese hip hop groups include Lopango yaba Nka
and Ya Kid K
much larger neighbor, Senegal
, is home to a thriving hip hop scene, which has exerted a strong influence on Gambian Hip-Hop
, which is now evolving its own unique style. In 1999, the Gambia Radio & Television Services gave out the first Gambian Rap Award. The first crew to win the award for best new act was Da Fugitvz, who rapped in Wolof
, the national language of Senegal, and thus became popular in both countries. They also later played at Popkomm
Ghanaian hip hop
is the origin of hip life
, a combination of hip hop music
. The Ghanaian music
scene has also produced a number of rappers and DJs with local and international renown. Ghanaian rapping
is mostly in the English language
, but is also sometimes in Twi
, ewe Ga
. Groups include Reggie Rockstone
, Kae Sun
, Sway DaSafo
;and new upcoming acts like eyegbe edem
, tinny, and kwaw kese, tic tac, Castro Destroyer, Mzbel
and many others. Their music is becoming popular everywhere in bars, clubs and even schools talking of schools one emmanuel jackson
of Apam Senior High School in Apam is the best hiphop rapper in high school in Ghana he has hit demos money of the world and bounce baby girl in both Ghana and Great Britain.
is a West African
country, not much known internationally for any variety of popular music
. Nevertheless, there is a local hip hop music
scene, which has produced one crew with an international reputation, Kill Point
, which has toured across West Africa. Many groups use Guinean folk rhythms
and styles in their music. The Guinean Africa Rap Festival is held in Conakry
Hip hop has been around for years in the United States, music has rapidly grown in popularity in Madagascar
in the past decade. The local name of hip hop is called "Haintso Haintso", meaning "H. H." (for hip hop). Malagasy
hip hop, although largely reflective of Western genre standards, has been moving toward incorporation of more Malagasy musical tradition in its style and instrumentation.
Hip hop music originated among African Americans
in New York City
in the 1970s. The style spread to Madagascar
in about 1985 together with breakdancing
. The local rap scene (Rap Gasy
) remained underground until the late nineties, although artists as early as 1994 were attracting attention with their politically provocative lyrics. The earliest performers included the MCM Boys (now known as Da Hopp) and 18,3. Mainstream success came in about 1998; popular modern performers include The Specialists, Paradisa, Oratan and many more.
On June 21, 2007, UNICEF
chose a 15-year-old Malagasy rap star as its first ever Junior Goodwill Ambassador
for Eastern and Southern Africa.1
The young rapper's work continues the genre's tradition of social critique and political commentary, focusing largely on the challenges faced by children in underprivileged communities in Madagascar and voicing the views and concerns of the young, who are routinely omitted from political decision-making processes.
"Rap Nigerien", a style of Nigerien hip hop began to develop in the late 1990s, mostly in Niamey
, and has become one of the dominant popular music forms in Niger. It is a mélange of different languages spoken in Niger
. Sampled music is often mellow, and is mixed with the traditional music, although more aggressive dance styles have been mixed in, reflecting infuences of French, American, and other West African hip hop styles (especially Ivorian hip hop
). Young, dissatisfied Nigeriens have used the form to talk about common social problems. Local recordings are mostly sold on cassette tapes
and compact discs
, as with most forms of contemporary West African
popular music. Hip hop groups began to appear and perform in Niamey
in 1998. In August 2004, UNICEF
opened its "Scene Ouverte Rap", where 45 new groups entered selections among an informal count of 300 existing groups. Shows took place at Niamey's Jean Rouch Centre Culturel Franco – Nigerien
(CCFN) in August 2004. Major groups include, including Tchakey
, Kaidan Gaskya
, Almamy Koye
, and Goro G
. Diara Z
, an Ivorian hip hop artist, was also living in Niamey at the time and was influential in the Niamey rap scene. Other successful groups include Black Daps
, Berey Koy
, Federal Terminus Clan
, Haskey Klan
, Rass Idris
In the 1990s, the record company Payback Tyme Records and groups Plantashun Boyz
, Eedris Abdulkareem
became a part of mainstream Nigerian
music after the collapse of pop trends like Yo-pop
. The availability of computers and cheap music editing software in the late 1990s and the 2000s enabled Nigerian musicians to achieve higher quality recordings which quickly won over the Nigerian audience. As Nigeria's Nollywood
movies have done to Western movies, Nigerian hip hop has begun to displace Western popular music.
The African Beatz magazine, based in Nigeria, is a prominent African hip hop publication. Hip-Hop World and Bubbles magazines are other major Nigerian hip hop publications.
Other notable Nigerian Hip hop artists include Ruggedman, Styl-Plus, Tony Tetuila, 2face Idibia, 9ice, eLDee, African Kings, Blak Jesus, whiteboy Pee, D'banj,Sauce Kid
There are a number of American Hip Hop artists who have included and been influenced by Nigerian music. For example on an episode of the radio show “The Let Out,” there was a “Nigerian Gangsta Remix” of the Jay-Z song “Roc Boyz” which features Fela Kuti, one of the most influential Nigerian musicians of all time.
Hip hop spread to Rwanda
, in the early to mid-1980s. The most prominent figure in the early Rwandan scene was DJ Berry (Nsabimana Abdul Aziz), who was a DJ
for Kigali Night and Cosmos and a presenter for Radio Rwanda
, in addition to being an early rapper
. The Hutu
government of the period did not approve of hip hop, however, and DJ Berry was forced into exile in Goma
, where he continued performing. He later moved on to Germany
and recorded "Hey You", which became a hit on both Rwandan and Ugandan
radio. After returning to Africa in 1990, Berry continued to promote hip hop in Rwanda until his death of AIDS
in 1996. By the mid-1990s, hip hop was growing increasingly popular in Rwanda, due to the introduction of 101 FM Kigali and TVR
in 1995, and American and French rappers like Tupac Shakur
and MC Solaar
The first locally-recorded Rwandan hip hop hit was "Peaced Up" by KP Robinson ft Mc Monday Assoumani and was promoted by Dj Alex of Radio Rwanda from 1997. The song inspired many youths around Kigali to begin recording.
The West African nation of Senegal has one of the most active hip hop scenes on the continent, and has produced well-known international stars like MC Solaar. Hip hop was imported from the United States in the early 1980s, and a few MCs began rapping. During this period, most Senegalese musicians were copying American performers quite closely. One often-cited reason for the prominence of Senegalese hip hop is the ancient musical traditions of that country, which include some practices, like tassou, which are similar to rapping.
It was not until later in the decade that a more distinctive Senegalese sound began evolving, along with the use of Wolof lyrics. The 1990s saw a division in the Senegalese scene, with some artists remaining underground, associated with the American alternative hip hop scene, and others, like Black Mboolo ("Alal"), fused hip hop with a style of Senegalese pop called mbalax (this is called mbalax rap or rap ragga soul), which uses the sabar drums. The most prominent performers from the modern period include Positive Black Soul, Daara J, Gokh-Bi System and Akon. Others include M.C. Solaar, Black Face, Didier Awadi, Wagëblë and Negrissim'.
Although the history of hip-hop in Cape Town can be tracked back to the early 1980s, the cultural exchange between the Black United States, the West Indies, and Black South Africa was widespread since the 1800s. Black South African artists were influenced by minstrelsy
and beyond, which was partly in response to British imperialism. The political history of Africa plays a predominant role in South African music. It all began in the early 1800s when gold was discovered in Johannesburg. People from different tribes began to migrate to Johannesburg. As a result of the rich diversity of various South African tribes, traditional music of South Africa mixed with European music lead to the development of a different sound. As laws were imposed to isolate each tribe, creating an apartheid, music was different in each tribe. However, one particularly interesting genre of music was mbaqanga which later developed into "bubblegum," which is a mix of African-American and traditional mbaqanga beat. This caused the first wave of political oppression music and anti-apartheid
lyrics. As a result, a form of music, named kwaito
, developed first in 1995 which allowed artists to express themselves and talk about the many problems in everyday life.
The musical and social movement
of hip hop in South Africa
has grown exponentially in the last two decades, most notoriously in the form of home-grown Kwaito
, which is actually a distinct musical genre
Much of hip hop
in South Africa is derived from western beats and tunes mixed with localized rhythms and accents.
Lyrically, South African hip-hop is largely reliant on the political landscape from which the country has only recently emerged. If the explicit mention of Apartheid
is not offered, lyrics will often revolve around the residue of the political system; such as the prevalence of HIV
, violence in the major cities, and what it means to be South African.
On the other hand, Kwaito
has been seen as more devoted to "positive imagery," taking listeners away from the harsher realities of township
life, where it originated.
Currently, South African hip hop is beginning to acquire its own musical style. At the same time, individual provinces are developing their own styles of hip hop.
As much as hip hop has grown in South Africa it is still in its infancy in terms of recognition & artists rarely sell well. Differences in styles & approaches to the art have led to the South African market being split into sectors, for example: Cape Town
has long been termed South African hip hops birthground with its more politically-charged & socially conscious artists, however, in recent years Johannesburgs
control of the already small buying market has led to differences between the two areas.
Tracing back to its origins in this country, the youth embraced hip hop and its culture from the United States including its break dancing and graffiti aspects. These styles of expression were the predecessors to the full involvement of music. This was due to the high cost or difficulty in finding music. Economic and political sanctions made finding American music extremely difficult. As one of the major influences on Kwaito, U.S. hip hop albums were seldom imported, but rather sent from relatives outside the country. The embracement of the influence was not all respect however. Many were not happy with the links it had to the "structures the [were] largely responsible for the devastationg conditions in the Third World countries." The young people took hip hop and its anger, passion, and style in order to express themselves. They localized the music to express culture, frustration, and hope in order to tell their own stories. When embraced by the older population, that anger and passion was used not only to pass messages against the occurring apartheid, but also to connect with the youth. The music was perfect for this time because it was able to take the language of the underprivileged, parade it, and make it attractive to the point where people took pride in their "style" of music.
Some South African hip hop artists include; Ben Sharpa
, Prophets of Da City
, Pro Kid
, and RASHID
. Also check out the South African company AFROLUTION
who are one of the pioneers of African Hip Hop online and run African Hip Hop TV and African Hip Hop shop. In addition one of South Africa's oldest hip hop portals AfricasGateway
were instrumental in laying the foundation for South African hip hop culture to grow.
Uganda’s hip hop
scene began in the early to mid-1990s, especially among university students at Makerere University
and elsewhere. The Bataka Squad
, formed in the early 1990s is a pioneer in the Ugandan Hip Hop scene and are the originators of the Lugaflow style, using the native Luganda language. Other formative groups on the Ugandan hip hop scene in the early 90s include Young Vibrations, MC Afrik, DJ Berry, and Kaddo. Club Pulsations in Kampala was a hotspot for Ugandan hip hop in the 90s. In recent years groups such as Klear Kut, Milestone, Chain Thought Reaction and many more have been hitting the scene. In 2002 Klear Kut were nominated for the Kora All Africa Music Awards
in the “Most Promising African Group” and “Revelation of the Year” categories.
In 2003 Geoffrey Ekongot, Saba Saba aka Krazy Native, of the Bataka Squad, Francis Agaba, the late Paul Mwandha of Musicuganda.com, and Xenson formed the Uganda Hip Hop Foundation. In 2003 the Foundation hosted the first Ugandan Hip Hop Summit and concert at Club Sabrina's in Kampala. It was so successful that they have hosted it every year for the past four years. The Summit has featured a lot of upcoming artists and activists. In 2005 the Bavubuka All Starz (www.bavubukaallstarz.com) formed under the leadership of Silas aka Babaluku of the Bataka Squad, with the mission of bringing hip hop music and community together to address social causes. Other notable groups include Bataka Squad and Klear Kut.
Little has been known or said about Zambian Hip Hop. In previous years what has been considered Hip Hop in Zambia, has been 'local rhythms' artists using the local language..i.e nyanja
. In the more recent years a new breed of emcees has risen emulating their American counterparts but with their own style. Some of the popular rappers in Zambia include C.R.I.$.I.$, Conscious and Takondwa Nkonjera
- who happens to be Zambia's representative in Big Brother Africa 3. In 2007 The Hip Hop Foundation of Zambia was formed - This is a registered arts and culture organization. The organization was formed and registered under the Zambia Association of Musicians as a group member. ZAM is registered under the National Arts Council
. The organization was established to provide a platform for hip hop music and culture for its various stakeholders in Zambia, as well as spearhead the development of the industry and address issues of social development and specifically those affecting young people through the use of hip hop. The Hip Hop Foundation has six main areas that it intends to implement in which are Events, Corporate Sponsorship, Artist and Content Development and Distribution, Outreach and Awareness, Strategic Partnership and Organizational Development. Rappers with a lot of influence in the streets have emerged - examples Being ThugChuld, The Holstar, Al Kani, Dope G, J-Rox, 54our, Young Thug and many more. Influential groups include 2wo-1ne, The Zone Fam (Slam Dunk Records),Pitch Black and Diamond Chain.
- Bongo Flava. Swahili Rap from Tanzania (2004) compilation out here records.
- Lagos Stori plenti - urban sounds from Nigeria (2006) compilation out here records.
- African Rebel Music - Roots Reggae & Dancehall (2006) compilation out here records.
- Urban Africa Club - Hiphop, Kwaito and Dancehall (2007) compilation out here records.
"AFRICAHIT.COM- The latest news about african hip hop in french"
Nigeria hiphop star/Roland Jackson
official website / http://rjrols.com
- Tanzanian music lyrics, audio, video, etc (Swahili / English, Tanzanian music)
- BongoFlava.com (Swahili / English, Tanzanian Hip hop Fusion Online)
- SwahiliRemix.com (Swahili / English, A site showcasing Tanzania's Urban Culture Online with a focus on music)
- mzibo.net (Swahili / English)
- Bongo Explosions (Swahili, only large web site on this topic that is operated from out of Tanzania)
- Bongo Radio (Swahili / English, Online Radio Station for Bongo Flava, Ragga, Hip Hop, Zilipendwa etc.)
- JamboVideo.com (Swahili / English, Tanzania’s Video and Audio Output)
- Mahusiano.com (Swahili / English, This is the land of Bongo Flava Music)
Nigeria hiphop star/Roland Jackson
official website / http://rjrols.com