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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 and breakdance crew in Cape Town until they started emceeing in 1989.

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.

AlgeriaEdit

Main article: Algerian hip-hop

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 less well-known internationally, is among the most developed in Africa and the Arab world.

Raï is a genre of music which developed in Algeria during the 1920s as rura migrants incorporated their native musical styles into the culture of the growing urban centers of western Algeria.

AngolaEdit

The African nation of Angola has a lively hip hop music scene, including popular and influential crews like SSP; Army Squad, who are based out of Cape Town, South Africa, and have begun to work with some South African hip hop musicians. Angolan hip-hop is characterized by the influence of American hip-hop beats with a special flavor of Portuguese flow mixed with African rhythm and some Caribbean influence. SSP is credited for being the pioneers of the hip-hop in Angola from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.

BotswanaEdit

Botswana 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 from artists such as Mr Doe, Zeus, Touch Motswak Tswak, 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-oriented music. Since 2000 hip-hop has achieved more prominence in Botswana, with rappers like Scar Kast and Third Mind releasing relatively successful albums. In 2006, 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.

CameroonEdit

The hip hop scene of Cameroon includes pioneers like Manhitoo and Negrissim who broke new ground in the early 1990s and new stars like Koppo. Other hip hop artists from Cameroon are Les Nubians and Bams -- female vocalists with a very personal approach to the genre who now reside in France.

Côte d'IvoireEdit

Main article: Ivorian hip-hop

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 CongoEdit

The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa, has long been a major home for pan-African styles of popular music like rumba, soukous 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, Apkass, Kaysha and Ya Kid K.

EthiopiaEdit

Main article: Ethiopian hip-hop

GambiaEdit

Main article: Gambian hip-hop

Gambia's much larger neighbor, Senegal, is home to a thriving hip hop scene, which has exerted a strong influence on Gambian hip hop but Gambian hip-hop 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 in Germany.

GhanaEdit

Ghanaian hip-hop is the origin of hip life, a combination of hip hop music and highlife. The Ghanaian music scene has also produced a number of rappers and DJs who are both locally and internationally renowned. Ghanaian rapping is mostly in the English language, but is also sometimes in Twi, Ewe, Ga or Hausa. Artistes include Reggie Rockstone, Kae Sun, Sway DeSafo, Samini, Okyeame Kwame, Bradez, Buk Bak, D-Black, Sarkodie, Tic Tac, Obrafour, 4x4, Kwaw Kese, VIP, Ayigbe Edem, Tinny, Castro Destroyer, Mzbel and upcoming artists including Lil Shaker, N-Dex, Yaa Pono, Kursa, Loone, and Sarkodie. Though in the recent years there has been an upsurge of true HipHop music on the Ghanaian music scene. Seeing artistes like C-real, J-town, E.L., JaySo and many others take on the genre with grace and finesse that at times challenges the western rappers. Also with the rise of these artistes from the undergrowth of Hip-life comes the awareness that follows. BET, Channel O and MTV Base have all had a taste of the HipHop talent from Ghana and it is without a doubt a growing industry. At times it is often hard to differentiate between artistes from Ghana and artistes from Brooklyn NY. Their skill and lyricism are not to be underrated. C-real hailed from the Gold-Coast as champion of the most recent Sprite Channel O Emcee Africa contest. Winning in his home town and placing second on the continental stage. His predecessor J-town boast an identical achievement as he also won the contest in Ghana and placed second on in the continental stage. Foreign artistes such as Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes have graced the streets of Ghana in recent times.

GuineaEdit

Although Guinea is not much known internationally for any variety of popular music, 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.

KenyaEdit

Main article: Kenyan hip-hop

MadagascarEdit

Hip hop 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 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, Name Six as its first ever Junior Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa. 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.

MalawiEdit

The urban music scene in Malawi is growing at a very fast rate seeing Hip Hop as the most dominant force. Hip Hop culture in Malawi is relatively young with early; notable rappers being Criminal A, Real Elements{Marvel, Q, Stix and Plan B}. Currently, Malawian Hip Hop major players are: Tay Grin, Phyzix, 3rd Eye, Young Kay and Dominant 1.

MoroccoEdit

Main article: Moroccan hip-hop

NamibiaEdit

Hip hop music and culture has a big influence on the Namibian youth, with the late USA rappers, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. being popular. Most of the urban Namibian youth has adopted a hip hop lifestyle, including their dress code. Early Namibian hip hop acts include a group called Dangen Family, which was composed of the newly recreated group The Kalaharians and the popular girl duo Gal Level. Shikololo, Fidel O'del, Pablo, Dore, Kanibal, Catty Catt, Lalu, OmPuff, Zero Degrees, Walvis Bay based Desert Eagles, Swakop City MC's the Naughty Crew and Krazie-D of Otjiwarongo were also among the first hip hop performers. Popular and most successful hip hop artists include Katutura native Jericho, Snazzy, a female MC who got nominated for Kora Awards in 2005, Rizzy, A-51, a group of native Angolans, and Dee Jay, who has lived most of his life between Walvis Bay and Chicago, United States. Windhoek City based Tesh, Saint, G-Ride, Krespo and Contract Killers are some of the newer rappers. Some artists rap in their indigenous languages including, Oshiwambo, Damara-Nama. Namibia now has the talent to compete with the rest of Africa thanks to a flood of new & exciting artists, such as "Lil D", "Kid Nana", "KingRich", "Yungin", "KK", "NKN" & the like.

NigerEdit

Main article: Rap nigerien

"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 influences 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 & WassWong, 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, Kamikaz, Rass Idris, 3STM (Sols, Tataf et Mamoud), PCV (puissance, connaissance et verité) and Metafor.

NigeriaEdit

Main article: Nigerian hip-hop

Nigerian Hip Hop is sometimes called Gbedu or Naija. Afro Hip hop in Nigeria dates back to the late eighties and early nineties. Groups and solo artists during that period include the likes of Junior & Pretty, Daniel 'Danny' Wilson, Plantashun Boyz, Remedies with members Eedris Abdulkareem, Eddy Remedy & Tony Tetuila. The late 90s and the early years of the new millennium saw an outburst of artists and groups like Eldee da Don of Trybesmen, Naeto C of W.F.A, JJC and the 419 squad and P-Square (the duo of Peter & Paul Okoye) 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 first decade of the 21st century enabled Nigerian musicians to achieve higher quality recordings which quickly won over the Nigerian audience. Just as Nigeria's Nollywood movies have done with Western movies, Nigerian hip hop has begun to displace Western popular music.

Hip-Hop World Magazine, based in Nigeria, is a prominent publication that has helped fashion the orientation of hip-hop culture in Nigeria and across the continent. African Beatz, Blast and Bubbles magazines are other similar major Nigerian hip hop publications.

Other notable Nigerian Hip hop artists include Modenine, TySu, Chris Akinyemi, B-One, Terry tha Rapman, O.D, Junkies, Six-Foot Plus, M.I, Naeto C, Ruggedman, Styl-Plus, ELDee, Duncan Mighty, African Kings, Blak Jesus, Whiteboy Pee, Sauce Kid, Nefe Stone, Ikechukwu of W.F.A, Mastaplan (MP), Kraft, Pherousheouz, Freestyle, Ill Bliss, Elajoe, Sasha, B.o.u.q.u.i, Tony Merlot, Jesse Jags, A2 BrothazZ (Afro-Asian BrothazZ). Meanwhile it seems like the coming up underdogg Nigerian/American rapper Tansion P Digga will bring African hippop to the fullness.

More recently the Nigerian hip hop industry has witnessed a wave of new artists which include Weird M.C, Jazzman Olofin, Baba Dee, The Mo' Hits crew, Tannaz Records Family, C TySu, B-one, Faze, 9ice, Young Paperboyz, Blaise, Chemistry, Lord of Ajasa, Skuki, Darey, Mojizzle, Pius (of MC²) & Chocolate City's loopy crew which includes 2009 Hennessy Artistry winner Ice Prince & Jesse Jagz and Soundcity's Best Hiphop video winner Str8Buttah.

Some American Hip hop artists have included and have 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.

Nigeria has grown over the years to become the 'seat' of Hip hop in the African continent. Contributors to this 'success' include the producers ID Cabasa, OJB Jezreel, Paul 'Play' Dairo, Don Jazzy, Ugly Beatz, Y.E.M.I., Puffy T, Cobhams Asuquo, Terry G, Nefe stone Big Lo. Yinka Jolaolu creates hardcore vibe with name GMPY.

RwandaEdit

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 and breakdancer. The Hutu government of the period did not approve of hip hop, however, and DJ Berry was forced into exile in Goma, Zaire, 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 from 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 became popular.

The first locally-recorded Rwandan hip hop hit was "Peaced Up" by KP Robinson ft Mc Monday Assoumani. This was promoted by DJ Alex of Radio Rwanda from 1997. The song inspired many youths around Kigali to begin recording.

SenegalEdit

Main article: Senegalese hip-hop

Senegal has one of the most active hip hop scenes on the continent, and has produced international stars like MC Solaar. US hip hop became popular in Senegal in the early 1980s, and a few MCs began rapping. During this period, many Senegalese rappers were copying American performers quite closely. One often-cited reason for the prominence of Senegalese hip hop is the ancient musical and oral traditions of that country, which include some practices, like griots and 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, while others, like Black Mboolo ("Alal"), fused hip hop with Senegalese mbalax style, (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.

SomaliaEdit

Main article: Somali hip-hop

One of the most internationally renowned Somali rappers is Canada-based K'naan (real name Kanaan Warsame). The award-winning artist is a rapper and a poet with three albums The Dusty Foot Philosopher (on BMG Music), The Dusty Foot on the Road (on Wrasse Records) and Troubadour (on A&M/OctoScope Music)

South AfricaEdit

Although the history of hip hop in Cape Town can be tracked back to the early 1980s, cultural exchange between the Black United States, the West Indies, and Black South Africa was widespread since the 19th century. Black South African artists were influenced by minstrelsy and swing to bebop and beyond, which was partly in response to British imperialism. The political history of Africa plays a predominant role in South African music. In the late 19th century gold was discovered in Johannesburg, and people from different tribes began to migrate to the Johannesburg area. As a result of the rich diversity of various South African tribes, traditional music of South Africa mixed with European music led to the development of a different sound. 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 in itself.

Much of hip hop and Kwaito 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 and AIDS, 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 diverge and acquire its own musical style. As 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 and artists rarely sell well. Differences in styles and 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 and socially conscious artists.

Tracing its origins in South Africa, 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 involvement in the music, due to the high cost and difficulty in finding music. Economic and political sanctions made finding American music extremely difficult. U.S. hip hop albums were seldom imported, but rather sent by relatives outside the country. The audience was not totally approving however. Many were not happy with the links US hip hop had to the "structures that were largely responsible for the devastating 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. The older population used that anger and passion to pass messages against the occurring apartheid, and also to connect with the youth. The music was perfect for the 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;Tuks Senganga, Ben Sharpa, Prophets of Da City, 2 and a Half Secondz, Zola, Pro Kid, Trusenz, Proverb, Cashless Society, Sake Of Skill(S.O.S), Mothipa, Last Days Fam, The Original BackpackerZ and RASHID. Afrolution are one of the pioneers of African Hip hop online and run African Hip Hop TV. One of South Africa's oldest hip hop portals AfricasGateway were instrumental in laying the foundations for South African hip hop culture to grow. Menzi Zama sings hardcore kwaito with more than a million fans across the world.

TanzaniaEdit

Main article: Tanzanian hip hop

TogoEdit

Main article: Togolese hip hop

UgandaEdit

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 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 emerged. 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. In 2005 the [www.bavubukaallstarz.com Bavubuka All Starz] was 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. Keko is currently one of the most promising and talented rappers in Uganda.

ZambiaEdit

In previous years what has been considered hip hop in Zambia, has been 'local rhythms' artists using the local language, .i.e. nyanja and bemba. More recently a new breed of emcees has risen blending US-style hip-hop with their own style. Some of the popular rappers in Zambia include C.R.I.$.I.$, Conscious and Takondwa Nkonjera -- who happened to be Zambia's representative in Big Brother Africa 3.

In 2005, C.R.I.$.I.$ released his debut album 'Officer in Charge' his album debuted at number 13 and peaked at number 8 on the local sales charts in Zambia. Takondwa released his debut album 'Dyonko' in 2006, he is considered one of Zambia's more controversial rappers. Conscious released his debut titled 'A.S.H Risen' (A Soldier Has Risen) in early 2008, a fourteen track set with production from Mind Blowa, Peabody and C.R.I.$.I.$. Other notable MCs and crews include C-4, Mr.Switcher, The Holstar, Diamond Chain, 2we-1ne, Al Kani, Pitch Black, Dope G, Krytic, Thugga, Thugchuld, J-Rox, Abena and Dj Drex.

Also in 2005, another group began releasing music. 2-Raw Entertainment, formed by SyPhon, grouped together artists from Luanshya and Ndola. Toxiq, CKB, J-Pain, and Tony II Toz all have released material and some have had gained some radio play. Toxiq released "Sincerely Yours" in 2007, being the most successful Zambian hip-hop album to date. All albums are produced in-house, by SyPhon.

In 2007 The Hip Hop Foundation of Zambia was formed, 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.

ZimbabweEdit

Main article: Zimbabwean hip-hop

Notable Zimbabwean Hip hop artists are Blaklizt Entertainment, Ammunition Girls, Tags, Mizchif, Maskiri, 25toLyf, Kudakwashe Munyaradzi, Jusa Dementor Karizma


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Hip-Hop
The Four Core Elements Breaking | DJing | Graffiti | MCing
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