Mali: BBG feat. Gali Pandit – “Chicago”
We start with the rising stars of financial rap. The BBG group, short for Bandz Boys Gang, has been talked about all over Bamako for just over a year. Last July, the trio filled up the Palace of Culture and set it on fire. Their latest track “Chicago”, taken from the songtape Bands 2, especially our ears. The title refers to the birthplace of the rehearsals, the kind in which the group excels as evidenced by the first two clips of the song, but it’s also the name of a nightclub in the financial capital. In the third clip, BBG invited Gali Pandit, who is also one of the most prominent rappers at the moment. His concert in July at the Place du Cinquantenaire, in the Quartier du Fleuve, was also one of the events of the summer season in Bamako. We recommend listening to “Santana Gang”, his latest hit.
Egypt: FL EX – “Logan”
The 21-year-old rapper FL EX is simply one of the biggest reveal of the year in Egypt. He has made himself known thanks to his features with artists from the very good Maadi Town Mafia label of which he is a member: first of all “Shayateen” with Hussain and then “Khamsa” with Wingii. Egypt has taken dirt music to a stratospheric level, making it deeper and more uplifting than anywhere else, thanks to producers like Molotov and rappers like Marwan Pablo and Wiggs. Track “Logan”, from the excellent EP I hear you From FL EX, he explains that history repeats itself with exercise. Rally’s beat maker composed a dark, heavy, and haunting track, with huge bass and a traditional flute that makes the whole thing all the more epic. The same frightening atmosphere in the black and white clip. FL EX travels through Cairo with his band for hours until a chilling discovery of a corpse lies on the sidewalk.
Rwanda: Ariel Wise feat. Sagamba, Child Soldier, Bruce I and Kevumpi King – “Demo”
Young Rwandan artist Ariel Wise knows how to do everything, and this year she showed it. She sings wonderfully to the sounds that mix afrobeats, afropop and r’n’b like “good luck”. In the same vein, the title “Bad” has nothing to envy the Nigerian production and makes the perfect soundtrack for a night ride on the luminous hills of Kigali. But she is also an excellent rapper, as evidenced by the track “Demo”, in which she invited four rappers of the new generation. Among them is King Kifubi, who paints the last verse. He is easily recognizable by his elegant traditional hairstyle, Asonzo. He is the Prince of Kigali. He can rival WizKid with his sweet voice, sense of melody (“Nakumena Amaso”), and rap on the trap (“Ntacyo Nzaba”). Meanwhile, Bruce the First is one of the first rappers to star in the practice record in 2020 in Rwanda with the song “Tugende” (featuring Ish Kevin). This collaborative piece also allows us to discover two new Rwandan talents: Sagamba and Soldier Kid.
Ivory Coast: DRE-A – “Skinny” ft. Tryba two embryos
In Abidjan, Didi B is still sitting on the throne of ivory rap and that’s not about to change given the success of his recent release (“En haut”). Therefore, we decided to highlight a young rapper that we noticed a little over a year ago thanks to a beautiful series of singles (“Behavior even”, “Focus” and
“We can do it” in collaboration with Apocahuero); It is the pride of the city of Bouake. The character who still divides her life between her studies and her music makes a place in the hearts of Ivorians thanks to the freshness of her tone and her ability to work with words with a sense of humor. Pending the upcoming release of her first project, Dre-A released “Skinny” in July featuring Babi’s coolest rapper, Tripa Gninnin. It will be a good year for the young artist who benefited from the launch of his project Bomboclate At the end of 2021 to continue up the ladder. In the artistic direction of the clip, we find as usual the talented young Nouchi who immersed Dre-A and Tripa in a very pop-pink world that fits perfectly in the light tone of the piece.
Togo: Sethlo feat. Conii Gangster, Lomerica Gang and Mic Flammez “Woèkpô”
Lomi has been dancing in recent months to amabiano tunes, which are particularly well represented at the local level thanks to artists Chief One and Talakaka. Drill is also particularly powerful and popular in the country thanks to a whole new generation of artists. The special sounds of the Mina language blend perfectly with the rhythm of this new music. Barely recovering from the ‘Molédjafor’ craze by the Lomerica Gang group, we were once again smacked with ‘Woèkpô’ for Sithlow, who is no longer a newcomer after nearly ten years of his career. What makes the Ghanaian and Togolese rehearsals special is the way they are sung and the decisions made, alternating between the soloist and the chorus. The melody that Sitlow sings here on the chorus is simply irresistible. For “Woèkpô,” he invited Lomerica Gang and Conii Gangsterr, who is also part of this new dig scene. The song ends with a verse written by Mic Flammez, a rapper like Sethlo.
Senegal: Bilou XIV feat. Zo flame – “Fatal ma fofou”
The influence of the mbalaxy, wolof sounds and rhythm as well as the long use of traditional instruments in the production make Senegalese hip-hop the hip-hop out of sight. In recent years, rapper Samba Peuzzi has pushed the degree of experimentation away from these characteristics (“Lou Yaka Yawa”, “Tama” or
“Ndongo”). Rapper Bilou XIV went even further with his innovative “Fatal ma fofou”, which was a huge hit in the summer in Dakar. The instrument he produced himself consisted only of drums and percussion elements. A process he actually used for his first single “Touch du Bois”. The only tangible melody comes from tama, a tense variable armpit drum often heard in seated rap music. Zo Flame, who was invited to this song, became known a year ago thanks to “SNK # 3”. We can only strongly advise you to listen to “Wreew” released in July as “Fatal ma fofou”.
Tunisia: Mouka – “Karaka” ft. my heels
In the mid-2010s, Afrotrap MHD created simulators in Spain and formed an entire scene with artists like Afrojuice 195. Over the past two years, the very distinctive style of French rapper Jul’s instruments has been hugely taken up in Spain and especially in Barcelona. Murat is the most popular Spanish rapper for this voice, adding of course his personal touch (“Pelele,” ¿Cómo Están?”). He even collaborates regularly with Jul. He has been Spain’s most popular rapper for two years and proudly represents the Moroccan diaspora. Through him, Jules’ voice is in the process of spreading in turn to the Maghreb. In the song “El Karaka” by young Tunisian rapper Moka, we feel very strongly the influence of Jules and Mourad. Furthermore, the beatmaker who produced the track, Martin Roots, is from Barcelona like Mourad and has signed the Spanish song that hit the beginning of this year “Vida Luca” directed by Ayman Junior and Omar Montes. Last May, Mouka released the hit single “Mala Ena”, which was the biggest hit so far. The song “Karaka” is a collaboration with rapper Ka3bi who he had collaborated with a year ago for “Vroom”.
Morocco and Italy: Baby Gang – “Come te”
We were just talking about Spanish rapper Mourad and the way he represents the voice of young North African immigrants. In Italy, his equivalent is rapper Baby Gang, who is also of Moroccan origin. Besides, the rapper met in 2021 on the track “Casablanca”. Baby Gang often emphasizes her Moroccan identity in her scripts (“Marocchino”) or through collaborations with Moroccan rappers such as ElGrandeToto (“Come Va”). In the clip “Come to me” he once again pays homage to his city, Casablanca.
Nigeria: Erigga – “Vawulence”
Erigga is a legend of rap music in Nigeria. Since starting his career in 2009, he’s been the king of Pidgin Rap, an uncompromising English rap made for Nigerians, not Westerners. You might think that only Lagos and Port Harcourt matter to the music scene, but Iriga has put Warri, in Delta State, on the Nigerian hip-hop map, and is often the scene of his scripts.
(“Welcome to the war”). ‘Vawulence’, which showcases how Nigerians pronounce the English word ‘violence’, is the first single from his new project. The Lost Boy album Released in early September. In the clip, Erigga appears as a gang leader who is part of a group of prisoners who will be bussed to another prison but on the way to being freed by the commandos. The main sequence of the video was filmed in front of the Book Shop House Tower, one of the oldest skyscrapers in Lagos, on the island of Lagos.
South Africa: Fakaloice – “Ooh Aah” with Riky Rick and Cassper Nyovest
We end with “Ooh Ah” by Fakaloice, a title that became an instant classic of South African hip-hop once it was released. Fakaloice is a young rapper from Verulam, a town north of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, so he represents the North Coast under the Ambitiouz Entertainment brand. He confuses English with isiZulu and defines his style as “zunglish trap”. He’s heavily influenced by Canadian rapper Tori Lenz and can be heard in “Ooh Ah,” which he produced himself, in the way he alters the recording and the octave between rap and song. In the first clip that matches his hair, Vacalois is seen as a village chief. We learn about traditional houses, costumes, armor and spears in Zulus. A sequence reminiscent of Ghanaian digger Jay Pahid’s “Y3 Y3 Dom” published in 2021 in which we saw Ashanti warriors preparing for war. The second segment of the track is for Ricky Rick, the South African rap legend, who sadly passed away last February. The artist ended his life after a long period of depression. This verse was recorded in the year 2020. In the clip, this sequence is announced with a message written on the back of a T-shirt: “We do not die, we multiply.” These are the words of Ricky Rick from the remix of rapper Costa Teach’s song “Nakalakatha,” which came out in 2019. Street strangers and his friends are blowing his hair here and giving him a great collective tribute. The third verse was criticized by the legend of legends, Casper Neuvist. South African rap fans have been waiting for years to be able to find Ricky Rick and Casper Neuvist on the same track. Cassper Nyovest takes his time to get into the rhythm before he is completely devoured. He came to mark the i and cross the t. He shoots red balls in the music industry and in other rappers. He remembers that he has survived all fashions (House music, gqom) and that he has inspired everyone including Focalistic, one of the most prominent rappers of recent years. In the video, he appears as the supreme guide of hip-hop music and the leader of armies. After this duo, who could argue with that?
A selection can be found in this Pan African Rap playlist.
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