Winamp Logo
Hip Hop African Podcast Cover
Hip Hop African Podcast Profile

Hip Hop African Podcast

English, Hip-Hop Rap, 1 season, 111 episodes, 3 days, 6 hours, 29 minutes
The podcast is the longest-running podcast on African Hip Hop culture. It features discussions on African Hip Hop music & culture from around the continent and the Diaspora. The podcast is produced in the Department of African Studies at Howard University. You can access the podcast at and on all major podcast platforms.
Episode Artwork

HHAP 99: ZuluMecca, Finding Truth in Creative Expression

South Africa's ZuluMecca recently released her new EP "Seams", which showcases her powerful lyrics and unique style. A versatile artist, ZuluMecca is a talented lyricist and actress and in this episode, she discusses her journey in Hip Hop, the balance between authenticity and industry demands, and the influence of spirituality on her music.
7/7/202441 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 98: Hip Hop’s Golden Ticket?

Go to the announcements page for information on events and albums discussed in the episode. In this episode, I break down the road to breakdancing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. I also have a solo debate about the topic of appropriation, referencing Ada Enechi’s 2023 article: Are Black People Being Pushed out of Hip Hop?Read More »
6/24/202430 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 97: Graffiti and Streetology w/S. Africa’s Breeze Yoko

In this episode, Breeze Yoko provides an overview of the graffiti scene in S. Africa, highlighting its unique history and evolution. Breeze also shares his experiences traveling across Africa and talks about graffiti laws and ongoing struggles against government regulations in S. Africa. Breeze Yoko also discusses experiences with intellectual property theft in creative industries.
6/4/202441 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 96: Hip Hop Anniversaries and Events

This episode we discuss a wide range of hip hop-related news and events, including political protests, dance competitions, and recognition in prestigious institutions like The Grammys and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We also discuss the upcoming 30th anniversary of Prophets of da City's performance at Nelson Mandela's inauguration, along with upcoming events in various locations.
5/9/202439 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Camenigerica Podcast

In this episode, Munyang, Vicky, and SaVai explore transforming gender identity challenges into moving art. They interview graffiti pioneer James Top and MC Jupiter from Brooklyn, who they spoke to while attending the Trinity International Hip Hop festival.
4/25/202426 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

Schooled in Social Change: Graffiti in Senegal and DJing in South Africa

In this episode, the hosts discuss Set-Setal and Grafitti Movements in Senegal and Bridges for Music Langa (South Africa). They discuss graffiti culture in Dakar, Senegal and DJ culture in Cape Town, South Africa. They also interview South African DJ, DJ Blackish.
4/25/202419 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

Rhythms of Identity: A Conversation With Cameroonian Artist and Student Astrid Mafogang

A conversation featuring Cameroonian artist Astrid Mafogang explored her experience as part of the African diaspora in the music industry. They delved into identity, representation, and her incorporation of Cameroonian identity into her music despite being based in London.
4/24/202424 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Battling Censorship and Appealing to Authoritarianism

Africa's hip hop challenges censorship and colonial legacies, advocating for social change and confronting oppressive governments. This podcast talks about how artists mobilize people for change despite risks. They talk about hip hop and politics in Senegal, Zimbabwe, Cameron, Mozambique, and Togo.
4/24/202427 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

Broadening Rap to New Horizons: A Conversation with Rapper SixSaidIt

“All of these different cultures are a part of me. I didn’t want to limit myself to one sound.” -Six SixSaidIt is a multifaceted artist who seamlessly flows across the borders between hip-hop’s hottest subgenres to create a sound that is uniquely her own. In this wide-ranging conversation, I had the opportunity to speak toRead More »
4/23/202427 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 95: South African Hip-Hop Pioneer Emile YX?

This year, our Spring Series covers South Africa. In this episode, we have a conversation with South African Hip-Hop pioneer Emile YX?. Emile is part of the pioneering Hip Hop group Black Noise, one of the earliest Hip Hop groups in South Africa. He later co-founded the Hip Hop NGO Heal the Hood, which isRead More »
3/18/202459 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 94: Hip Hop’s Political Footprints

Political protest in Senegal and South Africa, Unkut Awards, events in Cali & South Africa, and new releases from Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Find links to the events and albums in our “Announcements“ The beat for the podcast intro is by Modenine If you have any questions, let us know. [email protected] FollowRead More »
2/18/202422 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 93: Magui Diop: A New Generation of Hip Hop Women in Senegal 

This episode features a conversation with Senegalese hip hop artist Magui Diop. Magui Diop is an upcoming emcee representing another generation of Senegalese hip hop artists and Senegalese hip hop women. She is a product of one of the world’s largest and most respected hip hop scenes and has been influenced by Senegal’s tradition ofRead More »
2/7/202425 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 92: Lots of Awards and New Releases from Nigeria

News & Events Submissions for the 2024 Ghana Music Awards To qualify for nomination, songs entered must have been released between 1 January and 31 December 2023. The deadline for filing nominations is 31 January. Trinity International Hip Hop Festival The 18th annual Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival will take place April 5-7, 2024 at TrinityRead More »
1/15/202416 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 91: Hip Hop in Africa and the African Diaspora with Toni Blackman

This episode is a sit-down conversation with Toni Blackman. Toni is an artist, hip-hop activist, writer, and cultural ambassador. She holds the distinction of being the first hip-hop ambassador to the U.S. State Department, and her work has had a significant impact on the global perception of hip-hop. She has decades of experience in the […]
1/1/202443 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 90: News, Events, and Rap Joint Lagos

Apple Music’s Hip Hop DNA | The Sound of Freedom: The Evolution of SA Hip-Hop Apple Music is celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with the “Hip Hop DNA” series. One episode is focused on South Africa. The Hip Hop DNA series shows the diversity of hip-hop sounds, histories, and communities worldwide through radio episodes, […]
12/6/202339 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 89: Hip Hop Conferences & New Releases

Links and information discussed in the episode A Huis Clos, a play by French rapper Kerry James. 15 November – 3 December at Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris France A new play by French rap legend, Kery James and French director and writer Marc Lainé. In À huis clos, Kery James plays Soulaymaan, a lawyer whose brotherRead More »
11/6/202324 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP 88: October 2023 Hip Hop African News, Events, and Updates

The World Breaking Championship 2023 took place in Leuven, Belgium on September 23-24. The WBC featured 115 b-boys and 92 b-girls from 62 countries, including Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia. Victor Montalvo (USA) won the men’s competition, Philip Kim, “B-Boy Phil Wizard,” (Canada) came in second place, andRead More »
10/9/202312 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 87: The Indigenization of Breakdance Aesthetics in Uganda

Alfdaniels Mabingo (2022) Re-Contextualising Breakdance Aesthetics: Performance, Performativity, and Re-Enaction of Breakdancing in Uganda, Journal of African Cultural Studies, 34:4, 404-421, DOI: 10.1080/13696815.2022.2132473 In this episode, we speak with Dr. Alfdaniels Mabingo who wrote a fascinating article on breakdance in Uganda for the Journal of African Cultural Studies. Uganda has one of the largest breakdance scenes in the world, and Mabingo examines how the youth have reconfigured, localized, and re-interpreted breakdance aesthetics in that country. He argues that as breakdance spread, and youth innovated the art form, breakdance became part of Ugandan culture. In this sense, breakdance is no longer just a Western import, but Ugandans have evolved a breakdance into a Ugandan art form. The central thesis of Mabingo's article is to show how Ugandans have been able to localize breakdance and make it their own. He also talks about his research methods and his interest in what he refers to as “the jua cali theory”, which is about taking the imported and the local and repurposing them to create something new.
9/18/202335 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 86: Hip Hop Events, Updates, News, & the Burna Boy/Khaligraph Jones Conversations

Events discussed in episode: August – December 2023 | Culture Curators: Hip Hop 50 | National Museum of Accra (Ghana) September 28 & 29, 2023 – Archiving Hip Hop: 50 years in the making – Milton Keynes, UK / online May 16-19, 2024 | European Hip Hop Studies Conference | Cork, Ireland In the article Pride Month: Embracing The LGBTIQA+ Community In African Hip Hop - Hiphop Africa, these are some of the artists featured in the article: ZuluMecca | K.Keed | Dope Saint Jude | Mx Blouse| Keko | Noti Flow | Documentaries: The Eternal Spirit of Hip-Hop in Algeria (Documentary) Hiphop as a Vessel for Black Consciousness: Digging into the artistry of Pure Akan and Elom 20ce. Credits Theme music: DJ Teck Zilla Intro: "Good Gods Freestyle" by ZuluMecca (2022) Outro: "Culture" by ZuluMecca (2022)
9/5/202328 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 85: Police Brutality in France, Democracy in Dakar, and Hip-Hop’s 50th 

Events discussed in the episode August 10 & 11 | Hip-Hop 50: Past, Present & Future | Howard University Join us for a dynamic fusion of academic discourse and cultural celebration. Engage with renowned scholars, influential artists, and passionate enthusiasts as we explore the multifaceted dimensions of Hip Hop’s impact on society, music, fashion, and activism. Delve into thought-provoking panel discussions, captivating performances, and interactive workshops. Uncover the intricate narratives that shape the genre’s past, present, and future. From breakdancing to lyricism, graffiti to social justice, this conference is a platform for understanding Hip Hop culture like never before. Don’t miss out on this exhilarating opportunity at Howard University! August 11, 2023 | Hip-Hop 50 Live | Bronx, New York “Co-produced by Live Nation, Mass Appeal and Yankee Stadium, Hip-Hop 50 Live will celebrate the genre’s 50th birthday in The Bronx this August.” August 11, 2023 | The Block Party for Hip Hop 50 | Nairobi, Kenya August 11th 1973 is a historic date in the Hip Hop community & as 2023 marks 50 years of this global cultural phenomenon, tuko na form! On August 11th, UnKut Africa presents The Block Party (Hip Hop 50 Edition). August 12, 2023 | NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party | Washington, DC “The Hip-Hop Block Party returns to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023, celebrating the culture and music that has been originated and shaped by Black America for decades. This year’s celebration will honor 50 years of hip-hop’s artistry, innovation, and global transcendence.   The 2023 Hip-Hop Block Party will feature multi-generational performances by some of hip-hop’s most influential DJs, artists, and cultural influencers. Attendees will also be able to participate in interactive activities, such as graffiti art, breakdancing and more. There will also be hip-hop-focused tours of NMAAHC’s renowned galleries, revealing the genre’s connection to centuries-old improvisation and social-consciousness traditions.” October 8-14 | Chattanooga Hip Hop Week | Chattanooga, TN The fourth annual Chattanooga Hip-Hop Summit is a conference that celebrates Chattanooga Hip-Hop culture through an entrepreneurial lens and is primarily a Black-led initiative serving majority Black communities in Chattanooga and the Southeastern United States. Our aim is to: (1) bring in industry experts to help educate local and regional artists and those in the hip-hop industry, (2) highlight the talents of our local artists, and (3) bring hip-hop to the forefront of our community as a legitimate industry or career path. October 14-17, 2023 | Freestyle Lab: NYC | New York Freestyle Lab by WorldStrides is a weekend of workshops and rehearsals with featured artists in the hip-hop industry. You will then perform on two of the most famous stages in the world—The Apollo Theatre and Carnegie Hall! This experience goes beyond the beat to immerse you in this American art form with a story as powerful as its sound. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop in its birthplace, New York City, with hands-on, icon-led instruction that culminates in a legendary performance onstage at Carnegie Hall exploring the evolution of hip-hop. November 8-10th | Global Conference on Hip-Hop Education | Los Angeles, CA The 2023 Global Conference on Hip Hop Education will expand upon our previous theme, which focused on the foundation of the culture and explore how this culture both migrated out of New York to states like California (i.e. the Golden State), and into popular culture and academia in the late 1970s to mid-1980s. Our conference theme “From the Golden Era to the Golden State,” will guide us as we explore the foundation of this culture, understand what brought about an increase in cultural diffusion, and how lessons learned from the golden era can inform current pedagogies, interventions, research, scholarship, and practices.
7/11/202319 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 84: A Conversation with M.I. Abaga on Integrity and Longevity in Hip Hop

Understanding the World of HipHop and Afrobeats with legendary Nigerian Hip Hop artist M.I. Abaga Jude Lemfani Abaga, also known as M.I. Abaga He is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter, and music producer. He was born originally in Jos, Northern Nigeria, and released his debut album in 2008. He was the CEO of the label Chocolate City from 2015 to 2019 and then started his label in 2020 with incredible music. Before getting into the music industry, he studied in the U.S. for a while, then came back to Nigeria and got his music career launched in 2003. “Hip-hop, as an art form, requires integrity for you to be respected.” - M.I. Abaga He has received several music awards, including the MTV Africa Music Awards and BET Awards. He is also involved in different initiatives to bring about social and political change in Nigeria; he was declared the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador against the smuggling of migrants in 2012. In his role, he was charged with speaking out on and drawing attention to the smuggling issue in Nigeria’s most recent election; his organization TASCK, a creative agency in the last general elections launched a campaign encouraging people to vote. Having been in the industry for over two decades, M.I. has nuggets of wisdom to share with people in or who are eyeing the music industry. He believes that all upcoming artists should not limit themselves to one genre of music but should instead try different things to find out what they are most comfortable with. “Every artist has to pick their point, be true to it, and make a case.” - M.I. Abaga In this episode, M.I. takes us through his music career journey. From how he got into the industry, the challenges he has encountered, how he is mentoring young talents, his experience working with other artists, to his relationship with Afrobeats. He will also enlighten us on the tension between success and integrity for artists. Where do they draw the line? M.I. is on a mission to solve a big problem in Africa. He is working towards ensuring that creatives starting their careers don’t have to go through traumatic experiences. Through his agency, he is offering them support and infrastructure to help them build sustainable businesses for them from the onset. Listen to learn more from MI. “The goal is not to attempt to be perfect. The goal is to attempt to create with integrity, trust and know, and when you get feedback that doesn’t agree, learn, and grow.” - M.I. Abaga M.I.’s Socials Key Talking Points of the Episode: [05:48] MI’s career trajectory [07:58] The power of being a veteran artist [12:41] The undeniable shift in the music industry [13:23] Introspection through experience and loss [18:27] M.I.’s first album [25:25] Why is it important for M.I. to help other artists? [38:22] M.I.’s relationship with Afrobeats as a genre [43:46] The tension between success and integrity as artists [50:20] What is M.I. working on currently?
6/1/202354 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 83: Nigeria’s Dhoro Styles on Graffiti as a Medium of Communication

Peter King Ubiebor also known as Dhoro Styles is a Nigerian street and graffiti artist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Benin in Edo state, Nigeria. Dhoro Styles has a strong focus on drawing, painting, graffiti writing, and creating murals with spray paints and paintbrush techniques. In our conversation with him, Dhoro Styles told us that his interest for drawing started at the age of 4, and continued throughout secondary school. He added that it was in secondary school that he did his first graffiti writing with spray paint. Dhoro Styles states that he draws inspiration from contemporary urban cultures, street arts, Chicago murals, and graffiti from the 1980’s and 1990’s. As well as from Uprising, the well-known graffiti artist from Nigeria, and Eminem, the American-based rapper. Graffiti, according to Dhoro Styles, is a medium of communication. He adds that apart from graffiti addressing social issues, “when we express ourselves on the walls we are living.” This means that graffiti is a culture and a style of a people. Dhoro Styles indicated that he does his graffiti writing and painting on bridges in Lagos, the home of graffiti in Nigeria.  Dhoro Styles on social media: IG: @dhoro_styles FB: dorostyles
5/5/202331 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 82: Nigeria’s Loudbase AF Promoting Hip-Hop in Africa

This is the first episode in our Spring Series, which focuses on Nigeria this year. In this episode, we talked to Victor Uwakwe Izuchukwu, the founder of Loudbase AF Entertainment, a hip-hop community organization formed in Nigeria in 2018. Loudbase is a platform “for creatives in the hip-hop community to nurture and groom skills.” They hold a yearly Hip-Hop conference, most recently in November 2022. The conference brings together hip hop heard from around the world, especially Africa, to celebrate all aspects of hip hop culture. They not only focus on music, but also hip hop dance, DJing, graffiti, and knowledge. You can find Loudbase on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram
4/2/202333 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 81: M.anifest: From Madina to the Mecca

On the 15th of February, 2023, M.anifest visited Howard University, aka The Mecca, for a historical conversation around the importance of his music and Hip Hop culture as we celebrate 50 years of Hip Hop. M.anifest is one of the most prolific MCs of his generation and came for a conversation at one of the world’s most historic Black institutions of higher education. Of M.anifest, the media has called him… “the foremost rapper on the continent.” – The Guardian (2012) M.anifest’s first two albums were released while he was in the U.S., where he was part of a generation of African MCs influencing the “underground” hip-hop scene at the time. In the mid-2000s, M.anifest, along with artists like Blitz (the Ambassador) Bazawule and K’Naan, marked the first time that so many African MCs would make an impact on the underground hip hop scene in the U.S., paving the way for the entry into the mainstream of afrobeats artists a decade later. Since M.anifest’s return to Ghana in 2012, he has become an important voice in West African music. He has released several projects and earned recognition at the Ghana Music Awards and the Channel O Music Awards. His collaborations have included songs with artists as diverse as Erykah Badu, Burna Boy, and Vic Mensa. He was recently among the handful of artists that headlined the January 2023 Black Star Line Festival in Ghana hosted by Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa.
3/3/202341 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 80: Introducting our New Assistant Producer & more Announcements

In this short episode, we introduce you to our student assistant producer, Miranda, who will be working with us this semester. We also discuss plans for the show, plans to propose a new Hip-Hop Studies minor at Howard University, and an upcoming visit by Ghanaian hip-hop artist M.anifest. The episode starts with the song “Too Bad” from M.anifest’s latest album From Madina to the Universe. This year’s spring series will focus on Nigeria and we will be interviewing hip hop artists and activists to understand what is happening with the hip hop scene in Nigeria. Toward the end of the show, Miranda introduced us to Sudanese American hip hop artist Oddisee, who is based in Washington, DC.
2/14/202314 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 79.5: Announcements and Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop

This is a short episode we recorded to send out a couple of announcements and to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.
2/13/20236 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 79: Hip-Hop culture as a space where Black identities are negotiated and presented

The first episode of 2023 is a special episode on hip-hop as a cultural space where Black identities can be negotiated and presented. The research project was part of a larger seminar project with the University of Maryland College Park on African/Black Diaspora Studies. The larger project was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The overall project focused on: “the dynamics of race, ethnicity, gender, and interactions between and among first and second-generation African diaspora immigrants and native-born African Americans in the U.S.” My project explores representations of Black identities and shared experiences by African hip-hop artists in the US. The initial objective was to examine the music of 2nd generation African artists in America to understand how they Represent Black identities Discuss shared experiences Represent Africa This was done via a content analysis of their songs & interviews. The artists could be classified as Millennials and Generation Z artists. The music of these artists differed from the music produced by 1st generation African hip-hop artists. The early 2000s saw a small group of hip-hop artists who had all migrated to the US around the same time, usually for college, and would find varying degrees of success. Some of these artists stayed in the U.S., and others migrated home. Their presence was followed by an increase in African music on mainstream platforms, & collaborations between artists of 1st or 2gen African ancestry and artists of multi-generation African ancestry (African Americans). Hip-hop’s structure as a genre that is largely autobiographical lends itself to being a conduit for meaningful conversations around race, gender, sexuality, & politics. These artists were nuanced in their coverage of topics of immediate concern to other African & diaspora communities. We saw the articulation of African American & African connections among several African hip-hop artists who came to the U.S. in the early 2000s. Interestingly, many of those artists were Ghanaian. Artists like Blitz (the Ambassador) Bazawule, Wanlov the Kubolor, M3nsa, Minista of Agrikulcha, & M.anifest all arrived from a country whose place in Pan-African history had been well established. “In our simplicity we are elegant/so to us your coat and tie are irrelevant/give up my culture for your religion?, I can’t” Wanlov the Kubolor, “Gentleman” Other artists like, K’naan (Somalia), Krukid/Ruyonga (Uganda), and Shad (Kenya) also would speak to those connections. These artists may have impacted the growth of African music in the US. This growth led to the emergence of afrobeats artists like Davido, Burna Boy, Shatta Wale, & others. In looking at 2nd generation African artists, I identified 583 songs by 10 Millenial and Generation Z artists. Again, I wanted to find representations of Black identities, African identities, and shared experiences between Africans and African Americans. The artists were: Nipsey Hussle (1985): Los Angeles/African American and Eritrean parents Lola Monroe (1986): Washington, DC/Ethiopia Bas (1987): New York/Paris/Sudan Maxo Kream (1990): Houston/Nigeria Wale (1984): Washington, DC/Nigeria Amine (1994): Portland/Eritrea & Ethiopia Chika (1997): Montgomery (Alabama)/Nigeria Doja Cat (1995): Los Angeles/American and South African parents Earl Sweatshirt (1994): Chicago & Los Angeles/African American and South African parents Thutmose (1995): New York/Nigeria In the review of over 500 songs, very few had any references to African identities or shared experiences. Notable exceptions include Wale’s “My Sweetie” and Amine’s “Roots” During the research, it became clear that there needed to be a more global consideration of what African hip-hop artists are saying. There are artists in other parts of the Diaspora, especially in England, France, and Australia and they complicate Black identities even further. A more global perspective on Black identities helps us to fully understand hip hop’s role in shifting conversations around identity. Some of the European artists studied include. Sefyu (1981) France/Senegal Shay (1990) Belgium/Congo Bree Runway (1992) UK/Ghana Stormzy (1993) UK/Ghana Niska (1994) France/Congo Enny (1994) UK/Nigeria Little Simz (1994) UK/Nigeria Shaybo (1996) UK/Nigeria J Hus (1996) UK/The Gambia The songs played in this episode are “My Sweetie” by Wale “Roots” by Amine “I Want” by Enny “Woman” by Little Simz “En noir et blanc” by Sefyu “Gentleman” by M.anifest and Wanlov the Kubolor “Dollar & a Dream” by Blitz the Ambassador
1/7/202336 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep78: Eavesdrop on Cultivating Spaces for Authenticity in Hip-Hop

Eavesdrop is a multi-hyphenate artist who is an MC, a producer, a director, and an actor. She has been active in Cape Town’s Hip-Hop scene for almost 2 decades and as a lyricist she often produces meaningful lyrics, expressing ideas that have depth. In this interview, we had an important conversation with Eavesdrop about the importance of representation and authenticity. We talked honestly about sometimes feeling conflicted on how best to support younger artists, especially women. Strength and confidence are a prerequisite for being a Hip-Hop artist, and we reflect on how to support other women while encouraging them to rely on their own strength and confidence to excel. “If you need me to hold this door open for you, how are you going to learn the weight of this door?” Eavesdrop We also discuss South Africa’s political history and how that influences the presence and participation of women in Hip-Hop. Eavesdrop introduces us to the concept of “imbokodo” (“rock” in Zulu”), which emerged during the anti-apartheid movement. A common chant during the movement was “Wathint’abafazi, wathint’imbokodo!” (“You strike women, you strike a rock!”). “As an MC you’re seen as imbokodo, you’re seen as that rock, you’re seen as that pillar, and you are somehow helping to preserve that legacy that your country is known for … for its strong women” Eavesdrop We also talk about the cost of authenticity. Eavesdrop says that being authentic to yourself as an artist is freedom. It often does not mean wealth, but it does mean freedom. In an industry where some equate talent and success with material things, placing higher importance on wealth than on the actual art or the message, Eavesdrop reflects on the importance of being her authentic self “When you live in the ghetto, your TV is never off… It’s just constantly running a program on you.. we have a lot of work to do in terms of rewriting that code” Eavesdrop
10/3/202240 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep77: DJ Azuhl on Hip-Hop & DJing Culture in South Africa

DJ Azuhl ( is a prominent South African DJ with Beat Bangaz (, a DJ collective in Cape Town. He was born and raised in Cape Town and has been involved in the Hip-Hop community in Cape Town since the 1980s. DJ Azuhl started out breakdancing with the legendary Breaking crew Brasse Vannie Kaap (BVK). He’s a co-founder of the Beat Bangaz DJ Academy and Beat Bangaz Radio. He also works with Hip Hop Education South Africa. In this interview, DJ Azuhl talks about the early years of Hip-Hop in Cape Town, especially during the years that South Africa was under apartheid rule. DJ Azuhl also shares his perspective on DJing and Hip-Hop culture in South Africa, and the art form of the Hip-Hop DJ. Cape Town’s old-school artists are often heavily involved in mentoring young Hip-Hop heads, and DJ Azuhl talks about the importance of reaching back and giving back to the culture.
9/5/202237 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep76: FOKN Bois on Satire and Music as Social Commentary

Ghanaian hip hop duo FOKN Bois use satire to convey important social commentary on religion, politics, and sexuality. In this episode, they share their experiences and the thoughts that have gone into music and the messages they deliver. The duo talks about their decision to rap and write in Pidgin English, which they say stems from needing to “express more of self” to reach their own people. For them, rapping and writing in Pidgin English “brought a new sense of freedom and originality”. Wanlov and M3nsa also discuss their reputations for being rebellious and the need to incorporate humor into their conscious rhymes; and how they sneak “difficult conversations” into their comedic rhyme schemes to reduce resistance to the message that they come to deliver to their people. As Wanlov the Kubolor exclaims: “It’s extremely cathartic to be able to turn your problems into laughter”. Additionally, in responding to student questions, FOKN Bois share with the students their creative process and influences, and the things that keep them going. FOKN Bois are online on Twitter and Soundcloud @foknbois
4/5/202251 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 75: Skilled Rhymes and the Bordertowns on the Volta: Ghana’s Keeny Ice

In this episode of The Hip-Hop in Africa Podcast, we interview Ghanaian Hip-Hop artist Keeny Ice, from the bordertown of Aflao in the Volta Region of Ghana. Keeny Ice, whose lyrics are fast-paced, and rhymes complex, mixes languages, but primarily raps in Ewe. The talented lyricist joins us for part of our special spring podcast series with Words Beats & Life. Keeny Ice is online at: SoundCloud: @keenyice FB: @KeenyIceGH/ IG: @keenyice The episode was produced by Kilimanjaro Studios in Beltsville, MD
3/8/202240 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 74: Fid Q on Hip Hop, Language, & Culture in Tanzania

In this episode of Hip-Hop in Africa Podcast, have a long-awaited interview with Tanzanian artist, Fid Q. The conversation begins with a discussion of Fid Q’s legacy in Tanzanian Hip-Hop and his impact on the genre. We discuss his connection to Tanzanian youth and his impact on his music as he relates to his listeners on a deeper level. The conversation continues to discuss his previous projects that have been influential to his career and how he plans to move forward with similar Hip-Hop projects. We also discuss the future of Tanzanian Hip-Hop, his collaborations, and his thought process behind collaborating with the various artists he worked with. Fid Q also touches on how he pays homage to legendary MCs in the pioneering Hip-Hop group Kwanza Unit. He explains his perspective on the differences between the older generation of MCs versus the younger generation. The discussion continues onto the controversy surrounding languages used in the Tanzanian music industry. This moves the interview to speak on globalization and how it has changed Tanzania to speak English and other languages. Fid Q does mention that it is imperative to be proud of tradition as well, regardless of the choice of language used in an artist’s music. While globalization has caused controversy regarding language, we touch on how music is able to travel beyond borders to reach wider audiences, even mentioning how Fid Q’s music has become international. Fid Q mentions how his music is listened to and his struggle with streaming. The interview ends with questions around Tanzanian Hip-Hop artists being invited to perform in the U.S. Fid Q is on Twitter @FidQ & Instagram @therealfidq Part of the interview was recorded at Kilimanjaro Studios.
12/8/202142 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 73: A Discussion on Race and Identity in South African Hip Hop

In part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Sipho Sithole, he discusses the regional differences in South African hip hop. He talks about the hip hop scenes in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. He also discusses the linguistic differences in South African hip hop and the role ethnic identity plays in the styles and languages artists utilize. He also looks at the evolution of pop music in South Africa, from kwaito, to gqom, to amapiano. Sipho also discusses the dynamics within Coloured communities in South Africa, and the relationships between Black and Coloured South Africans. He provides history of the origins of Coloured South Africans among the Khoi & San (first nation) communities, and their forming close-knit communities. The hip hop that came out of those communities, largely based in Cape Town, addressed the social ills happening in the Coloured townships. In looking at the divisions between Black and Coloured South Africans, we compare it to the relationships between African Americans and African immigrants in the U.S. There are not many discussions around Black & Coloured relations in South African hip hop, so it was important to get a perspective on the history of those relationships. Intro song: “Yesterday” with Zakwe, Zuluboy, & Zola Dr. Sipho Sithole (@DrSiphoSithole) is a Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (University of Johannesburg) and holds a PhD in Anthropology, a B.Sc in Political Science and International Relations, and an M. Sc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Dr. Sithole’s research revolves around language identity, culture, migration, and integration. Sithole has a long career in hip hop & is the founder and owner of an important and multi-award-winning music production house, Native Rhythms Productions, & Native Rhythms Records.
11/12/202134 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 72: A Conversation on South African Popular Music with Sipho Sithole, p. 1

Dr. Sipho Sithole is a Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (University of Johannesburg) and holds a PhD in Anthropology, a B.Sc in Political Science and International Relations, and an M. Sc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Dr. Sithole’s research revolves around language identity, culture, migration, and integration. Sithole has a long career in hip hop & is the founder and owner of an important and multi-award-winning music production house, Native Rhythms Productions, & Native Rhythms Records. Sithole has is credited for helping mainstream hip-hop in South Africa when he signed Skwatta Kamp in 2003, the first group to achieve platinum sales. He held what he says is the 1st African hip hop summit in 2005 He is also a producer, winning awards for his production work on Thandiswa Mazwai’s debut album, Zabalaza (2004). In this interview, he talks about his involvement in the growing hip hop scene in South Africa in the early 2000s. It was a time when kwaito’s mainstream popularity was declining, and Sipho Sithole talks about the decision to begin working with hip hop artists. He also talks about the role of the township in producing and shaping the South African hip hop scene, as well as social consciousness. In part 2 of this interview, we delve into a discussion of race and identity in South African hip hop, and the spaces within hip hop that Black and Coloured South Africans occupy.
10/4/202154 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP 71: Multiple Diaspora Cultural Experiences Influencing the Creativity of Sampa the Great

Born in Zambia, Sampa the Great lived in the United States, Australia, and Botswana. With multiple African and Diaspora experiences, her music and style are very Pan African. Her work is Pan African in a very organic way. It does not claim to be conscious or preach about Pan Africanism, it just is. Because of this, as a listener, there is joy in listening to music that speaks to our multicultural Black identities. In this interview, she talks about existing as a Black person in different cultural spaces and her interactions across the continent and in the Diaspora. Sampa the Great also talks about her experiences with racism and self-identification while studying in the US in the early 2010s, and later after she moved to Australia. She also talks about the differences between racism in the US and racism in Australia. She delves into the differences in the social unity of Black people in the US and in Australia, where in the US there is a division between Black immigrants and multi-generation-US-born Blacks and in Australia there is an understanding of the importance of Black unity in the face of living in societies that are held up by institutional racism. As an artist, Sampa the Great released her first mixtape in 2015 while living in Australia. Several singles, EPs, and mixtapes later, she released her debut solo album, The Return, in 2019. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Australian music charts. She went on to win Best Hip Hop Release at the 2019 and 2020 ARIA Music Awards, Australia’s top music award. In 2020, she also won the ARIA award for Best Female Artist and Best Independent Release. Sampa the Great has been very outspoken about racism in Australia through her music and performances. She has also been outspoken about the role of women in hip hop and the importance of representation as an African artist on an international stage. Sampa the Great in Instagram and Twitter as @Sampa_The_Great This episode is the last of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live-streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.
8/4/202154 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep 70: Xidus Pain on the UK rap scene and being a hip hop educator

Xidus Pain is a Zimbabwean artist who grew up in the UK. He’s based in London MC who has been involved and influenced by the UK hip hop scene since he was a young kid. He currently works in schools, universities, communities centers, and prisons as a hip-hop educator. He's been doing this for over ten years. As an artist, he has worked with musicians from around the world from members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to Rap Legend Special Ed.  Xidus Pain is also a Director at Beat This, a community-based organization that works with young people in London, and a manager with Generation HipHop UK, a global empowerment and development program. He connected with The Hip Hop Africa via Hip Hop Loves, a hip-hop NGO that works with hip-hop artists and activists globally. In this episode, we have a great conversation with Xidus Pain about the history and growth of hip hop in England. He talks about the development of the various hip hop elements in the UK, as well as the drill and grime music scene. Grime is a genre created by Black artists in England that comes out of UK hip hop culture. Xidus Pain also talks about the influence of religion on his music and his decision to not use profanity in his lyrics, his lyric writing process, and what influences him. He also talks about the impact of Brexit on the hip hop scene in the UK. Xidus Pain is on Instagram: and Twitter: This episode is part of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live-streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.
7/1/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 69: Industry Vet Buddha Blaze on the nature of the music industry in Kenya and Beyond

Buddha Blaze is a Kenyan blogger, podcaster, and music industry insider with over 20 years of experience. He has worked throughout the continent and the diaspora with artists and producers from around the world. He was a major part of the British Council’s WaPi (Words & Pictures) initiative, which showcased hip hop, poetry, fashion breakdance, and graffiti culture in Nairobi. He has also consulted numerous artists in the business and worked on several projects with international artists and producers. A major figure in the Kenyan hip hop scene, he was recently seen on the Nairobi-based What’s Good Africa?, the only show on P. Diddy’s RevoltTV to focus on hip hop culture in Africa and one of the only shows airing on a US network to focus on hip hop culture in Africa. In this conversation, Buddha Blaze talks a lot about the changes he’s seen in the industry over the years and some of the skills artists need to navigate the industry today. He also talks about his involvement in the growth of the cultural scene in Nairobi, which has grown to become the largest music, film, and contemporary art scene in East Africa. Buddha Blaze is Twitter @ItsBuddhaBlaze and Instagram @buddhablazeworld Intro and outro beat by Nigerian producer @teckzilla108 This episode is part of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.
6/5/202151 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 68: Edem, On Navigating the Music Industry in Ghana

In this episode, Ghanaian hip hop & hiplife artist Edem talks about the music industry in Ghana and the popularity of Afrobeats. Edem also talks about the presence of Ghanaian and Nigerian artists in shaping Black popular music globally, especially in the US and the UK. He also talks about how Ghanians have always done music according to their own rules, creating genres and trends like highlife, hiplife, and azonto; and innovating hip hop and Afrobeats. We also talk about being Ewe and why language and identity are important in his work. Coming from Ghana's Volta region, he's one of the first hip hop artist to begin rapping in Ewe. Edem's music is a mix of hip hop, hiplife, and dancehall. He released his 1st album, Volta Regime in 2009, followed by 2 more albums and the recent EP Mood Swings released last year. Throughout his career he's collaborated with several international artists, and has won and/or been been nominated for several music awards, including the Black Canadian Awards, the Ghana Music Awards, and the 4syte (for-sight) TV Music Video Awards. Edem is on Twitter at @iamedem and Instagram at @iamedemgh and YouTube at @iamEdem This episode is part of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.
5/11/202145 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 67: Yugen Blakrok on Spirituality & the Spectrums of Human Experience Found in Her Music

Yugen Blakrok doesn't incorporate hip hop's boom-bap style, she has no interest in being the Queen of SA rap, she does not do trap, and she is not interested in being boxed into someone's idea of a conscious MC. Her music has been described as “a mix of sci-fi soundscapes & meditative melodies”. It's definitely introspective and speaks to you on several levels. It blends references to places, times, & themes both inside and outside of South Africa and contains spiritual references that borrow from diverse spiritual systems. Yugen Blakrok was born in the Eastern Cape and later moved to Johannesburg, the heart of South Africa’s music industry. She released her 1st album Return of the Astro-Goth in 2013 and her second album, Anima Mysterium, which contains a cameo by Kool Keith in 2019. In 2018, she featured on the track “Opps” with Vince Staples & Kendrick Lamar on the Black Panther soundtrack. In this interview, she engages in thought-provoking dialogue with our students who really connected with her music, which transcends a lot of boundaries. Yugen's music does not just belong to South Africa but has universal messages that connect on human levels. Additionally, she spoke to us about being a socially conscious artist without the need to declare it, but being socially conscious by being it, not necessarily saying it. The conversation is moderated by Mikal Amin of Words Beats & Life. We're joined at the very end by Phiwokuhle Mnyandu, who teaches Zulu at Howard University. Yugen Blakrok is online at Twitter @YugenBlakrok Instagram @YugenBlakrok Bandcamp
4/23/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 66: Kanyi Mavi, and the cultural & Political significance of Doing Hip Hop in Xhosa

Kanyi Mavi is a Cape Town-based lyricist who is well respected for her creative use of Xhosa to create powerful hip-hop verses. She sometimes raps and vocalizes over Xhosa instrumentals, introducing hip hop to Xhosa culture in a way the really raises the bar. Her music also speaks to important social issues like sexual harassment, domestic violence, and drug abuse. She released her first album, Iintombi-Zifikile, in 2012, and in 2020 she released both an EP, Khon’ba, and a full album, Igubu Lam. In this interview, she talks to the students about her music and the importance of bringing her culture into hip hop. She also talks about the use of Xhosa in the film Black Panther! She also talks about hip hop culture in South Africa, and the linguistic diversity in the various hip hop scenes across South Africa, as well as the impact of the industry on artistic creativity. As one of the most well-known Xhosa rappers in South Africa, she takes the messages in her music very seriously. She talks about her views on campaigns around violence against women, in which she speaks to women and offers some very real ideas on keeping women safe, and alive. We also re-visit a discussion on feminism that we had during our first interview. She expresses her criticism of these movements and discusses the role men play in the fight for gender equality. Kanyi Mavi also addresses national and global politics, and how in her music, her goal is to voice what is going on in the community, with her people. She also looks at the history of South Africa since the end of apartheid and reflects on South Africa's relationship with the rest of Africa. Connect with Kanyi Mavi's work at Kanyi Mavi is on Twitter and Instagram as @Kanyi_Mavi.
4/10/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 65: Sugar Emcee on the History and Dynamics of Kenya’s Hip Hop Industry

Sugar joins the conversations with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class from her home in Nairobi. She was born in Nairobi and grew up in Kiambu, just outside of Nairobi. After signing a deal with Phoenix Records in 2007, she would release three albums. While not new to the hip hop scene in Kenya, she is an underground artist who talks about navigating Kenya's entertainment industry. Nairobi has been praised for going through what some call a cultural renaissance as the music and arts scenes are gaining international attention. Sugar talks about being in the midst of that scene and navigating that scene as a woman. Instagram: Soundcloud: YouTube: Linktree:
3/20/202145 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 64: Minista of Agrikulcha (MOA) on the African presence in U.S. hip hop

This episode features a conversation with Ghana's Minista of Agrikulcha (MOA). The multilingual, transnational MOA was born in Ghana, but lived in the Ivory Coast for several years. In the Ivory Coast he was part of that country's hip hop scene in the 1980s and 1990s. He moved to the US for college in the early 2000s, where he got involved in the undergraduate rap scene. He released his first album, Travelwyze in 2004, as a member of the rap duo Ambassadoz with fellow member Akan. In this interview, we talked about his experience in the U.S., especially in the early 2000s when there were several Ghanaian MCs in the US at the same time. We talked about his experience in the industry and his work with Nomadic Wax and his past appearances at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. We also spoke about the importance of language and incorporating different languages in his lyrics. We also touched out the influence of African MCs in US hip hop. MOA is on IG at The video version of this and other episodes are on our YouTube Channel
3/5/202151 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EP. 63: Gigi Lamayne on Representation & Dismantling Respectability Politics

This is the first in a special series of episodes being recorded lives with African Studies students at Howard University and George Washington University. The series is co-hosted with Words Beas & Life, who is also live-streaming the episodes on their Facebook page ( on Wednesday nights at 5pm EST. The schedule is on our website at A part of the “born free” generation, Gigi Lamayne grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa after the fall of apartheid. She graduated from Wits University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Anthropology in the midst of the #FeesMustFall movement. Rapping since high school, she released the powerful track “Fees Will Fall” just months after graduation. Considered one of South Africa’s best lyricists, her music addresses topics like Black pride, gender-based violence, feminism, sexism, and the shadiness within the music industry. We first interviewed Gigi Lamayne in 2017. She has continued to find mainstream success while addressing serious topics in some of her songs. In the conversation, she talks about her career, her views on the resilience and activism of South African women, race in South Africa, the relationships between women in the industry, and the stigmas and views around mental health in Africa. The video version of this and other episodes are on our YouTube Channel: Links
2/18/202151 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 62: Sensai T8 and The HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights Podcast

HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights was a radio show first produced on the campus of Rhodes University in South Africa in 1999, and made available on podcasting platforms in 2006. The podcast ran for about three years, releasing more than 20 episodes, some of which can still be heard on Podomatic. HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights was the first regularly produced podcast on African hip hop. The show was the only place to get a variety of music from MCs across Africa, featuring early music from artists like Blitz the Ambassador, HHP, K’Naan, M.anifest, Modenine, and Yugen Blakrok. The show was also pioneering in that it played hip hop from all over Africa, from major hip hop scenes like South Africa to lesser-known hip hop scenes like Equatorial Guinea. The show was on podcasting platforms before most hip hop artists in Africa had a solid social media presence, and before podcasting became part of hip hop culture. While today there are streaming services, like Planet Earth Planet Rap (PEPR) Radio, there is still a void in terms of podcasts one can download to hear what’s happening with hip hop across Africa. In this episode I talk to Sensai T8, one of the founders of HIPHOCALYPSE Fort-Knights, about the show’s start and its evolution into a podcast. We discuss some of the artists that appeared on the show’s playlist, and the show’s legacy in documenting African hip hop during that period in time. Sensai T8 can be found on Instagram at @Sensaitate The podcast can be found at
2/1/202133 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Ep. 61: An African Hip Hop Palaver

In this palaver, we have a lively chat with Ghanaian hip hop/hiplife scholar Dr. Nii Kotei Nikoi. We talked about the hiplife and hip hop music industry in Ghana, especially one of the country's most popular artist's Sarkodie. Nii discusses the structure of Ghana's music industry, the way artists construct their images, and the role of class (and language) in Ghana's popular music scene. We also get into an interesting conversation around collaborations between African and Diaspora artists in Beyonce’s Black is King project and the depictions of Africa in the Black Panther film. Nii Kotei Nikoi is an assistant professor of Global Media and Digital Studies at The College of Wooster in Ohio. He studies African popular culture, and has a special focus on how popular culture reinforces and challenges existing ideas around race, gender, and sexuality. His work is influenced by his background in graphic design and documentary photography. Currently, his research examines development discourse in Ghanaian popular culture. Check out his latest article, "Hiplife Music in Ghana: Postcolonial Performances of the Good Life." in the International Journal of Communication  14 (2020): 19. He also hosts the podcast Our Culture. Season 1 of the podcast includes on several reflections on a range of topics. EPISODE CONTENTS 1:50 The performance of material success in popular music in Ghana 8:08 The popular use of Ghanaian languages and clothing in the Ghanaian music scene 15:00 An analysis of the class divides and language choices in the beef between Sarkodie and M.anifest 26:20 The participation of women in hiplife 33:17 African scholars doing (hip hop) research at home 48:03 I try to get Nii to take the bait and engage in the discussion on Nigerians “borrowing” music from Ghana 52:52 Beyonce & the collaboration with African artists on the Black is King project 1:03:03 Black Panther & the homogenization of Africa, and the presence of Africa film industry in general
12/10/20201 hour, 26 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 60: The Dope Saint Jude Episode

Dope Saint Jude is a South African hip hop artist who was born and raised Cape Town. A former Political Science student at the University of Cape Town, she started her hip hop career in 2011 as a drag king. Her drag king persona was Saint Dude, and resembled rapper Lil Wayne. After releasing several singles, Dope Saint Jude’s first EP, Reimagine, was released in 2016, Her second project, Resilient, was released in 2018. It included the song "Grrrl Like”, which opens this episode and has been one of her biggest hits. The song was also featured in the teaser for the Netflix original series Blood & Water Dope Saint Jude has also performed at Afropunk, been featured in Vogue & Marie Claire, and been part of major advertising campaigns. In this conversation we discuss the social relevance of her music. Well versed in the politics of intersectionality, Dope Saint Jude is very intentional in what she does. In her music she weaves intersecting identities into lyrics that challenge listeners to reconsider their ideas about who they think Black, Coloured, queer South African hip hop women should be. You can find Dope Saint Jude's music on streaming platforms. She is also online at,,, and For more scholarship on Dope Saint Jude's work: Chapters 24 "Queering Hip Hop, queering the city: Dope Saint Jude’s transformative politics" by Adam Haupt and 29 "Building an international profile as an artist" by Dope Saint Jude, Blaq Pearl, Black Athena, Jean-Pierre, Lyrical Deezy with Emile YX? in Haupt, Adam, Williams, Quentin, Alim, Samy H., Jansen, Emile. (2019).  Clark, Msia Kibona. (2018). Feminisms in African hip hop. Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 17 (2), 383-400.
10/1/202045 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EPISODE 59: Moonaya on Dakar’s hip hop collectives, hip hop Pan Africanism, & Western imperialism in Africa.

Moonaya is an extremely talented MC in one of the strongest hip hop scenes in the world. A Pan Africanist, her background represents her political views. Moonaya is originally from Benin, but she grew up in Senegal. While her father is Senegalese, her mother is Togolese, and one of her grandmothers was Nigerian. She grew up in a musical home where she heard a range of African music, as well as music from across the Diaspora. While she went to school to study law, she’s been writing hip hop music for almost 20 years. Her debut album, A Fleur 2 Mo was released in 2009. Her more recent project, the EP Petit Oiseau, was released in 2019. In 2017, she became the 1st Senegalese artist to sign with Sony. Over the years, her music has dealt with a range of topics. In “J’déprim” (I’m Depressed) she discusses the impacts of depression, in "Il est temps” (It’s Time) she talks about Pan Africanism and Black liberation, and in the song “Qui” (Who?) she samples Malcolm X’s speech and talks about self hatred and Black peoples. Moonaya also spoke a lot about European, American, and even Chinese imperialism in Africa. She spoke about the exploitation of Africa’s resources, European hands in African conflicts, and the continued colonial relationship between France and francophone Africa. She also spoke about the struggles being faced by Black people all over the world. "We are the richest continent, but we are the poorest people, and this is not normal!" Moonaya In this interview we also discussed the hip hop scene in Senegal. Senegal has a few women’s hip hop collectives, which have served as a resource for artists willing to work to build their careers. Moonaya talked about her experiences with these collectives as well as how helpful they have been to other artists. We also discussed the influences on her work, especially the growth of her own social and political consciousness. We also discussed the role of Western researchers in Senegal. Senegal has one of the most researched hip hop scenes, outside of the United States. Most of these researchers are White, and come from Europe and the US. A lot of the research that is produced on Senegalese hip hop is problematic. There are some American researchers, like Catherine Appert and Colleen Neff, who have done extensive work on hip-hop in Senegal, and have also pointed out the problematic ways that other Western researchers have written about hip hop in Senegal. Often because of language, Black scholars often choose to go to anglophone countries, and few do work in Senegal. Moonaya and I talked about the fact that more Black scholars need to go to Senegal, and we discussed some of the ways to overcome the language barriers: Hire a translator! While there is tons of scholarship on Senegalese hip hop, there is a need for scholarship on hip hop’s Pan African connections in Senegal. On how through hip hop culture, the Senegalese are in conversation with the African Diaspora. To hear more of Moonaya’s music, she is on social media in all of the usual places:
9/1/202059 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hip Hop African Podcast Episode 58: The Tanzanian and Diaspora Artists Behind The Lounge Tanzania Mixtape

The Lounge Tanzania Mixtape Volume 1 is a project that brings together Tanzanian and Diaspora singers, rappers, and poets. The project features artists that are internationally known, as well as artists just starting their careers. In this conversation with seven of the artists, we talk about the evolution of the project and how the project reflects hip hop and popular culture in Tanzania. We also discussed the message the project sends to the music industry in Tanzania, which has tended to only promote one style of music. We talked about the collaboration between English and Swahili performing artists, the lack of East Africa representation in recent projects like Black Panther and the Lion King, and how this project shows East Africa's engagement in Pan African projects as well. The seven artists interviewed in this episode are Mike Tareto/IG: @miketareto Joe Legendary/IG: @joelegendary Shamsa/IG: @vikombeviwilivyakahawa Fete Jen/IG: fete_jen Ronny aka Ty Charls/IG: @ronnycharlz Mex Cortez/IG: FG Tony/IG: @fg__tony The episode begins with "Tougher" by Lo SayAloha Ski and Mex Cortez and "Wale Wale" by Zenji Boy. The episode ends with "No Time For Trash" by Mex Cortez. The video version of this episode can be found on our YouTube Channel The mixtape can currently be streamed on the following platform: The artists on the project are Mex Cortez Frankie Maston Joe Legendary Chi Lufu Mike Tareto V.I.C. Zamdazitta Lo SayAloha Ski Zenji Boy Sima FG_Tony Ty Charlz Mteganda H Shamsa
8/13/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 57: Octopizzo on Hip Hop, Refugees, and POlice Brutality in Kenya

An MC, activist, and actor, Octopizzo was born in Nairobi, in the notorious Kibera slums, one of the largest slums in the world. His mixtape and album releases include: The Come Up V 1 (2008; Mixtape), El Classico (2014; Mixtape), Chocolate City (2014; album), LDPC (2015; album), Refugeenius (2016, album), and Next Year (2018; album). He addresses a lot of social issues, including poverty, ethnic tensions, corruption, and the legalization of marijuana. He is also one of the few MCs to seriously and consistently address the issues around refugees. Kenya is home to a lot of refugees from surrounding conflicts, including people fleeing violence in the Congo, Sudan and Somalia. On the album Refugeenius he collaborated with 20 Refugees from Kakuma & Dadaab Refugee camps in Kenya. Octopizzo is the founder of the youth group Y.G.B. (Young, Gifted, and Black), which is a collective of MCs, poets, graffiti artists, graphic artists, and dancers. He founded his not-for-profit Octopizzo Foundation in 2015 and through the Foundation, he tries to use culture and sports to reach the youth. More recently he has joined other activists addressing police brutality in Kenya, and drawing parallels between police violence in Kenya & the US. Recently he was involved in protests in front of the US embassy in Nairobi, holding up a sign of people killed and injured by the police. Recently, there have ben reports of over a dozen deaths at the hands of the Kenyan police supposedly trying to enforce a dusk to dawn curfew put in place to slow the spread of Corona. The songs featured in the episode are “Nu Afrika” in the opening and “Another Day” in the closing. Octopizzo can be found at: | @OCTOPIZZO on Twitter & Instagram The video version of this episode is on our YouTube channel:
6/15/202055 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 56: Lord Ekomy Ndong on Gabonese Hip-Hop & French Politics

Lord Ekomy Ndong, has been a leading voice in the African hip hop scene since 1990, when he founded the Gabonese group Movaizhaleine. Movaizhaleine's 1999 debut album was Mission Mbeng. He released his 1st solo album, L’Afrikain, in 2003. It is considered by many to be a hip-hop classic. Over his career, he has done collaborations with several artists, and released numerous studio albums. Around the time of the 2009 elections in Gabon, Lord Ekomy Ndong released the singles “300”, “809” and “Engongol” (What a Shame). The songs were critical of both corruption in Africa, and of France’s controversial presence in Africa. In 2011, with his 11th studio album, Ibogaine, he once again took shots at France. In the song “Questoins Noires” (Black Questions), he talks directly to French President Nicholas Sarkozy about France’s military presence in Africa. His 2017 album, La Théorie Des Cordes (A Theory of Cords), he reflects on the global protests that took place in the Gabonese diaspora around the 2016 election in the song “Sur mon Drapeau” (By My Flag). In this interview, we spoke about his career and hip-hop culture in Gabon. We also spoke about France’s occupation of Africa, and the implications of that occupation. We also talked about his outspokenness, and the price paid by musicians who speak out against corruption and politics. This past May, he released the album Petit Mutant Dans son Coin which can be found on online streaming platforms. Facebook: @LORDEKOMYNDONG Instagram/Twitter/SoundCloud: @Ekomy The video of this interview can be found on The Hip Hop African YouTube channel.
5/25/202041 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mixtape: In the Pocket: South Africa’s Spittas

South Africa is almost indisputably leading the pack right now in terms of quality hip-hop music produced on the continent. South African rappers, more so than any other African rappers I’ve researched, have that distinct level of lyrical ability and production quality which makes hip-hop great. In an article highlighting some of the top African Hip-hop artists, Joey Akan says that “the power of hip-hop lies in the South of the continent, as rappers from South Africa continue to drive the pulse of the culture. Much of the hip-hop in South Africa is derived from Western beats and samples mixed with localized rhythms and accents and drives the urban culture of the continent.” As I dove into the discography of different South African artists, I could almost immediately identify an American hip-hop song that I felt it paralleled. Some artists rapped over more mainstream style beats, whether it’s upbeat with African drums or bouncy r&b vibes. Most artists in this mix rap in their native languages- including Zulu, Swahili, and Xhosa. They mix in AAVE fluently. Sometimes verses will be all English. There are different factors that determine what language an artist speaks. Most of the time, it is just what depends on how they are most comfortable delivering the message. In the case of more mainstream artists, they will rap/sing in English to reach larger audiences. In All of the songs I selected for this mixtape, I felt the artists were right “in the pocket” in their verses. Being “in the pocket” in both music and dance means to be rhythmically in sync and fluid. Each of these songs I felt had complex cadences, fluid transitions, and essential elements of quality hip hop. Speeka- “Party ya Mapantsula” The first song on this mix of very talented South African artists is “Party ya Mapantsula” by Speeka featuring Noks Matchbox, Sfilikwane, Mthizo & Jef. Speeka is a well-known producer in South Africa who collabs with many rappers. Rappers are eager to hop on his beats. Most of the song is in Zulu and what sounds like some Xhosa- both are South African languages. Mapantsula is a Zulu slang term meaning petty gangsta. So the song title means Party with petty gangstas or Party of petty gangstas. The vibe of the songs parallels group songs by American artists like- “Mercy” which features Big Sean, Pusha T, 2chainz, and Kanye Wet, or “Down Bad” which features JID, J cole, Bas, and Nudy. “Party ya Mapantsula” takes on the general braggadocio style rap, where rappers talk their shit- explaining their come-up, lifestyle, and origins for 16 plus bars. Sfilikwane- “Vandal” Next in the mix is Sfilikwane’s “Vandal’”. I selected this song purely because of the sonics. Most of the song is in Zulu, and does not have a translation online. However, Sfilikwane’s delivery and flow throughout the song is masterful. It stood out to me because I felt the execution was equal if not superior to that of American artists. The instrumental has an old school boom-bap vibe, but the lyric cadences are complex enough to make it sound modern. In other words, Sfilikwane was right in the pocket on this record. Many of the comments on this video read something including “uyakhafula” which means “You spittin”. Sho Madjozi- “John Cena” Sho Madjozi represents for the ladies on this mix with her song- “John Cena”. This song embodies that upbeat braggadocio style of rap, but with more of an identifiably African style beat. The song is mostly rapped in English. The hook goes, “ Some wanna act rough like John Cena, Some wanna get buck like John Cena! He use to be cool when I use to come through now you wanna act tough like John Cena!” She performed this song on the popular American internet music show- Colors. The performance got her mainstream recognition from artists like Missy Elliot and Pharell. It also got reposted by John Cena himself. Sho Madjozi sits in that braggadocio pocket very well. Her lyrical ability also made me include her in this mix with her very talented peers. Gigi Lamayne- “Stoners Prayer” South African artist Gigi Lamayne joins the many artists who have made songs that are odes to marijuana. Gigi’s “Stoners Prayer” is her own take on this common theme in hip-hop. The lyrics go, “ Dear Lord, thank you for the herbs you grew, Dear Lord, thank you for the munchies too.” The theme of the song immediately made me think of Jhene Aiko’s “Sativa” – where she sings and raps about Sativa strains of weed and their effects. I also thought of Wiz Khalifa’s “Young Wild and Freee” where the lyrics repeat- “So what we get drunk, so what we smoke weed, we’re just having fun, we don’t care who sees.” Gigi mostly performs in English and makes music with more mainstream themes. Nonetheless, she is just as skilled her more conscious or lyrical peers. AKA & Anatii – “10 Fingers” Last on the mix I’d thought I’d end it out with a banger. “10 Fingers” is a collaboration between internationally recognized artist- AKA and Anatii, both from South Africa. 10 fingers is the typically “ I’m getting money, I’m living the life” type of hip-hop record. Anatii adds some R&B flavor to the song. From just the song, you couldn’t really tell that the artists are South African. They speak all English and fluently use AAVE in their lyrics. Their sound is very attractive to mainstream radio stations. There is low profanity, upbeat tempos, and, of course, catchy hooks. All in All, the songs on this list fit into that effortless braggadocio style of rap. The cadences and delivery in these songs are on point, and truly embody what I believe is the essence of hip hop. All of the artists featured in the mix are also very technically skilled rappers, and it was possible to determine that just based off sonics for those songs performed in African languages.
4/26/20205 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hip Hop and Chill with Ife, Fatima and Itohan

This is an episode of Hip Hop & Chill with Ife, Fatima and Itohan. In this episode, we discuss Falz The Bad Guy's latest album, Moral Instruction (2019). We will discussing three songs from the album, and giving our opinion on this wonderful album.
4/23/202023 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hip Hop Hour: Review of God Decides by Tellaman

This is an episode of Hip Hop Hour with Teg and Liam. In this episode they review the album God Decides by South African artist Tellaman. Tellaman’s music can be found at: Spotify:…omSo-cmzle5excPw Apple Music: Youtube:…pDrh8fAxf2eLJGzxU
4/23/202016 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork


This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. It is a collaboration between the HHA Podcast and the Global Hip Hop Exchange (GHHE), which is an online network/community of hip hop creatives who are primarily from, or based in, Africa. This is our second hip-hop palaver, with hip-hop creatives from around the continent. This time we continued the reflection on the COVID19 from the perspective of parenting. We also discussed hip-hop collaborations. Some that we had been a part of, and some that we are currently working on. The discussion included members of the Global Hip Hop Exchange, all of whom have been involved in hip hop culture in their respective countries for several years: 2. Hustlajay Mau Mau/@Jay_maumau| Hustlajay MauMau is a socially conscious MC from Mombasa, Kenya. He raps mostly in Swahili, and has made a name for himself by not only rapping about social issues, but also getting involved in social and political issues in Kenya. He is currently based in Austria. The opening and closing song, Sign of Hope, is one of his new releases. | YouTube Channel 2. Fete Jen/@Fete_Jen | hip hop organizer & founder of The Lounge (open mic event) and producer of the upcoming mixtape | from the U.S., previously based in Tanzania, currently based in Pretoria. 3. Mikko of Planet Earth Planet Rap/@PEPRRadio | Mikko is one of the founders of Planet Earth Planet Rap, which is a segment on Chuck D’s #AndYouDontStop radio show. They play, talk about and celebrate international Hip-Hop from all continents. | PEPR can be accessed 24/7 at 4. Msia/@Kibona | HHA host & hip hop professor, photographer, & author | from Tanzania, based in the Washington, DC area | Website:
4/17/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP: Episode 54: A conversation with MC Jahi from Enemy Radio

The HHAP's conversation with Jahi from Enemy Radio. This episode features MC Jahi, who is a member of Enemy Radio with Chuck D, DJ Lord & S1W's. He is also an MC, a DJ and an educator. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jahi launched his professional career in 1999 as the opening artist for a show that was headlined by Public Enemy at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Soon after, he connected with Chuck D and has since worked with him on several projects. Jahi is also an educator, who has worked in K-12, university, and community classroom settings. In this interview we spoke about his life leading up to his 1999 performance, and the work he has done since then, including his recent album Forward Future. He recently traveled to Ghana, and is planning to expand his collaborations in Africa. As an artist whose perspective is grounded in hip hop as a Pan African expression, as a platform for Pan African dialogue, we wanted to expand the conversations we typically have on this podcast. There is definitely a desire to highlight and support further connections between African and Diaspora artists. For more information about his music, please check out his link tree. Jahi is also on Instagram and Twitter
4/6/202056 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EPISODE 53: Hip Hop Palaver, v.1

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. It is a collaboration between the HHA Podcast and the Global Hip Hop Exchange (GHHE), which is an online network/community of hip hop creatives who are primarily from, or based in, Africa. In the first discussion, or palaver, several hip hop creatives from around the continent came together to talk about the impacts of the Corona virus on our lives, personally and creatively. The discussion also centered on income security for artists, how artists are finding ways to get through these difficult times, and how folks are feeding their creativity. The discussion included members of the GHHE, all of whom have been involved in hip hop culture in their respective countries for several years. The roster of this, the first of what will hopefully be several, palaver is: Dumi Right/@DumiRight | MC & Member of the veteran rap group Zimbabwe Legit | from Zimbabwe, based in the Washington, DC area | Bandcamp: Fete Jen/@Fete_Jen | hip hop organizer & founder of The Lounge (open mic event) and producer of the upcoming mixtape | from the U.S., previously based in Tanzania, currently based in Pretoria. Lebo Mochudi/@LeboMochudi | MC, singer, & producer | from South Africa, based in Johannesburg | YouTube: Msia/@Kibona | HHA host & hip hop professor, photographer, & author | from Tanzania, based in the Washington, DC area | Website: Synik/@SynikZim | MC & producer | from Zimbabwe, based in Lisbon | Bandcamp: Teck-Zilla/@TeckZilla108| DJ, Producer, & Member of hip hop crew Str8 Buttah | from Nigeria, previously based on Montreal, currently based in Lagos | Bandcamp:
3/30/202049 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 52: Medusa, Navigating Hip Hop in Tunisia & France

Medusa is a Tunisian artist who emerged as an MC in Tunisia’s hip hop community around the time of the Arab Spring of the 2010s. Her career as an MC has followed an interesting path, as she often found herself in the role of “conscious MC”, being one of the few women in the Tunisian hip hop community and speaking out on important social issues. In this interview she talks about hip hop under the Arab Spring. While many talk about the role of artists in the Arab Spring, Medusa talks about the impacts of the Arab Spring on hip hop culture. She says the Arab Spring encouraged youth engagement, and that post revolution, many youth have moved into more commercial rap sounds. She has since moved to France, where she talks about her experience in the Parisian hip hop scene and her work with a new team of creatives. We met up with Medusa during a 2019 self-funded trip to the U.S. Medusa made to promote her work and establish contacts.  During her trip, she visited the class of American University professor and hip hop scholar, Dr. Kendra Salois. Our interview took place after her guest lecture in Dr. Salois’ class. Medusa is on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, BandCamp, and SoundCloud.
3/18/202050 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 51: Roma Mkatoliki, Challenging Hip Hop Activism in Tanzania

In this episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast, we interview Tanzanian hip hop artist and activist Roma Mkatoliki about his more than a decade long career as a hip hop activist. Roma Mkatoliki has always been known for producing music that addresses social and political issues, beginning with his first single "Tanzania", which he released in 2007. The song was highlighted in the 2012 scholarly article Hip Hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam. In April 2017, Roma and some of his colleagues disappeared for 3 days. This incident has put Roma at direct odds with the government. More recently, in November 2019, Roma released the single “Anaitwa Roma”, which was a direct criticism of government policies. Roma has been a source of division in Tanzania's hip hop community. There have been a lot of debates about who Roma is, and why he continues to be so vocal. His actions have shined a bright light on other artists who have also identified as being socially conscious. Many have chosen to criticize, or distance themselves from Roma. Some of this may be to avoid scrutiny over why they themselves have not been more vocal or active. Some artists may disagree with Roma's views, and have criticized his methods and intentions. And, some artists may support Roma, but may not have been publicly vocal in that support. Roma Mkatoliki's talk with students from Howard University and George Washington University in our Hip Hop in Africa class In this interview, however, it was clear that Roma Mkatoliki believes that he is doing the right thing. Our decision to interview Roma is not an endorsement of any one side. And, we are not able independently verify all of the information Roma provides during this interview. But, we feel it is important to have these conversations on diverse platforms. As a hip hop artists who is engaged in social and political commentary, it is important that Roma's voice be heard on this platform. The interview is done in both Swahili and English. I have attempted to summarize Roma’s responses in English, though he switches between Swahili and English in his responses. The song that opens and closes the episode is Mkombozi, which was released in January 2020. This link takes you to the version of the song with the English subtitles. Roma's social media profiles are on YoutubeInstagramTwitter
2/13/202038 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 50: The Mixtape Episode P. 2

This episode is our second mixtape episode. The episode features the most recent works of 23 of Africa's fiercest lyricists. All of songs featured on this episode were released in 2018 and 2019, and features women from across Africa, and African women who reside in the Diaspora. Some of the artists are fairly well known to followers of African hip hop scenes, while others are more up & coming. Some of the artists, like Burni Aman, EJ von Lyrik, and Jean Grae have been active for two decades. Others are new to the game, and quickly making a name for themselves. They also are diverse in their styles and the languages they rap in. The artists also differ in terms of content, some of the songs offer social commentary, some are displays of braggadicio, and some are simply about having a great time. The common thread is that they all represent some of the best lyricists out today. It was important that all of the artists and songs in this episode be submitted and voted on by serious hip hop heads, people who are active in hip hop communities. So, thank you to the hip hop heads and experts who contributed to making this mixtape possible: Mikko from Planet Earth Planet Rap Ikenna aka Bionic from Rap Radio Africa Seth Markle, Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College in the United States Nimoh from Sauti Za Mabinti Buddha Blaze, podcaster & talent manager Xuman, Senegalese hip hop legend, pioneer, and avtivist Elom 20ce, Togolese hip hop artists and activist and founder of Arctivism Track List Sampa The Great “Final Form” from The Return (2019) (Australia/Zambia) EJ von Lyrik (with Roufaida) “Ego” (2019) (South Africa & The Netherlands /Morocco) Burni Aman & Jean Grae “Masters of the Humanverse” (2019) (Switzerland/South Africa & U.S./South Africa) Little Simz “101 FM” from Grey Area (2018) (UK/Nigeria) Isatta Sheriff “Beat Therapy Freestyle” (2019) (UK/Sierra Leone) Blaise “Hennessy Cypher” (2019) (Nigeria) L-Ness "Freestyle 'Peers w/Bars'” (Kenya) Rouge "Rouge Freestyle on Sway" (2019) (South Africa/DRC) Xtatic “Reignition” from Tatu EP (2019) (Kenya) Abena Rockstar “Politically Incorrect” from Harvest Season (2019) (Ghana) Eva Alordiah “Solo Life” (2019) (Nigeria) Phlow “Hiphop” (2019) (Nigeria) Lauretta Yemoja “Inferno” (2019) (Nigeria) Moonaya “Il est temps” (2018) (Senegal) Mina la Voilée “Girl Power” (2019) (Senegal) Sista LB “Ji gën – Ladieme” (2019) (Senegal) OMG “Lu Ci Sa Yoon” (2019) (Senegal) Flash Marley (with Vicky R) “La Madre” (2019) (Togo) Assessa “Izangoma” from Ugogo Ep (2018) (South Africa) Kanyi Mavi “Umsindo” (2019) (South Africa) Gigi Lamayne “Winnie” from Job Woods (2019) (South Africa) Yugen Blakrok “Carbon Form” (2018) (South Africa)
1/1/202042 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EPISODE 49: Mikko, on Being a Hip Hop Journalist and Curator of The Planet’s Rap

In this episode we spoke with Mikko from Planet Earth Planet Rap. Mikko has years of knowledge & experience with hip hop culture and the music industry, and it was great to get his impressions of hip hop around the world, and where some of the strongest hip hop scenes are, and who some of the artists he listens to are. He has listened to hip hop music from artists in every corner of the globe, and his experience and love of the culture has given him some great insights. Mikko talks about the emergence of Planet Earth Planet Rap (PEPR) and their work of curating hip hop music from across the globe. He also talks about his work in South Africa with Bush Radio, a legendary hip hop station out of Cape Town, and PEPR’s current relationship with Chuck D’s And You Don’t Stop radio network. We talk about the power of NGO funding in African hip hop. Specifically, the role NGOs play in the direction and production of socially conscious hip hop music in Africa. This led to candid talk about race and privilege, and how Mikko, as a Finish hip hop head, has navigated his position to make a space available for hip hop from around to be heard, without artists having to deal with payola and the egos of radio & TV station tastemakers. You can find PEPR at Twitter: Instagram: The intro and outro song is “Quu Saa” by South African hip hop group, Driemanskap. The group was part of the “spaza” rap scene and perform mostly in isiXhosa:
12/20/201947 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 48: Elom 20ce on The Role of Hip Hop in the Struggle for Pan Africanism

Togolese hip hop artist Elom 20ce is a multitalented artist, activist, and Pan Africanist. He brings Pan African ideals to his music and his art, and this episode Elom discusses studying international politics and working with the United Nations, and how his studies and experiences influenced his music. After witnessing the hypocrisy around international development and politics, he felt compelled to speak on it in his music. In his music he talks about the importance of Pan Africanism and the current state of neocolonialism that many African people find themselves living in. He stressed that neocolonialism is not just about what Europeans are doing, but it is also about our lack of unity. In the interview we also discuss hip hop in Francophone Africa, and how it differs from hip hop in Anglophone Africa. Elom explains that a lot has to do with Francophone Africa’s colonial history. The French had a system of direct rule, meaning that they were much more involved in not only economic control, but also influencing and transforming the culture of their colonies. The French maintained control over their colonies, even after independence. Elom believes that as a result, Francophone Africans are still struggling for their independence. Elom 20ce also talks about his “Arctivism" project, and the importance of activism and hip hop. He talks about being introduced to the works of George Jackson, Frantz Fanon, and Cheikh Anta Diop, and others through hip hop. Through Arctivism, he hosts programs and workshops that facilitate dialogues around freedom of speech, development, and Pan Africanism.  Elom 20ce is online at Website: http://elom20ce.comTwitter: https://elom20ce.bandcamp.comYouTube:
12/10/201955 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 47: Lola Monroe, Representing Ethiopia in Mainstream American Hip Hop

Model, video vixen, MC, BET Awards nominee, & reality TV star: Lola Monroe is an Ethiopian artist who has found success in the mainstream music industry in the United States. Going by many names, including Queen Roe, Lola Monroe was born Born in Ethiopia & raised in Washington, DC. She started her career in entertainment as a model & “video vixen”, and later moved to music. In 2011, she was nominated for BET's Best Female Hip Hop Artist, and she also became the first woman to join Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang label. Throughout her career, she’s worked with hip hop artists such as Wiz Khalifa, King Los, Trina, and others. She has also appeared in films & on TV, including the reality show, The Platinum Life on the E! network. In this interview we spoke about growing up rooted in both Ethiopian and African American communities, and representations of Ethiopians in the entertainment industry in America. She also discuses her decision to go vegan, and choices she has made regarding her health and diet. She also discusses her experiences in the music industry, and the relations between women MCs in the industry. The episode starts with her single “Blah Blah”, and ends with her song “Grime". Lola Monroe can be found on all social media & streaming platforms. Instagram: @Iam_QueenRoe Soundcloud: Iam_QueenRoe Twitter: Thee_LoLaMonroe
12/1/201928 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 46: Rwandan-Canadian MC, Shad, on the Evolution of Hip Hop

Shad is a Kenyan born, Rwandan hip hop artist, who hails from in London, Ontario, in Canada. With an eclectic sound, that blends musical influences, and a unique lyrical style, Shad made a name for himself in the Canadian hip hop scene, winning a Juno in 2010 for his 3rd album, TSOL. In addition to being an MC, Shad also hosted three seasons of the hip hop documentary series, Hip Hop Evolution, which can be seen on HBO Canada and Netflix. The series delves into the history, and evolution, of hip hop culture in the United States. In this interview we talk about Shad’s experience growing up as a Rwandan-Canadian hip hop head and MC. He talks about his career, beginning with his 1st album When This is Over (2005), to his more recent projects. He talks about the different cultural landscapes in Canada, which ultimately influences Canadian hip hop. Shad also talks about the influence of hip hop artists like Drake and K’naan on the international reach of Canadian hip hop. Both very different artists, but both have influenced the visibility of hip hop in Canada in different ways. Shad also talks about hosting Hip Hop Evolution, the artists he’s interviewed, and some of the insight into hip hop culture that he gained in working on that project. He also talks about his approach to music, as well as the influences of his background and experiences in his music. The intro song in the podcast is "FamJam”, the closing songs are “Magic” and “The Fool Part 2 from his most recent album, A Short Story About A War. Shad is on social media at https://www.shadk.comInstagramTwitter
11/13/201939 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 45: Phlow, Navigating Hip Hop & Representation in Nigeria

In this episode of The Hip Hop African Podcast, we speak with Nigerian hip hop artist, Phlow. We talk about the impact of Afropop on hip hop culture in Nigeria, and the choices artists often make between hip hop and Afropop. Speaking of Afropop, we also discuss the possible opportunities for Nigerian hip hop in the wake of one of Nigeria’s fastest growing exports: pop music. Phlow also talks about the struggles with longevity for women in the Nigerian hip hop scene, as well as the term “femcee” and the evolution of attitudes towards the term among women artists. In the conversation Phlow discusses the media’s focus on her ascetics, especially the reference to her as a “babe that can rap” by some media outlets. She discusses the pressure within the music industry that would like her to highlight her looks as a way to market her music. Phlow also points out that it is not only within hip hop that she experiences this type of objectification. She discusses being referred to as a “babe”, or a “beauty” in both hip hop circles and in her 9 to 5 job. Phlow also tells us about her writing process and the inspirations for her material. Phlow discusses being a member of Str8buttah and the plans she has for her music. She is specifically interested in the question of representation, and allowing her music to speak to who she is. She speaks on incorporating different music styles, as well as the possibility of performing in other languages. Songs "Hip Hop" (feat. MC Bravado) - Single"Fall" - Gloria - EP"5 Pages" - Gloria - EP Phlow Online
10/1/201944 minutes, 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 44: From Gabon to the US: Ya Minko on his Experiences in American Hip Hop Culture

Gabonese artist Ya Minko came by campus for a conversation about his experiences in hip hop communities in Gabon and the United States. We had a long discussion on hip hop culture and the business of hip hop. Every artist has to decide how to market themselves, how to speak to their audience, and how to navigate the politics of the music industry. Ya Minko spoke to us days before his presentation at the Apple Carnegie store in downtown Washington, DC. Where he performed his song “Tired” during a workshop on hip hop lyricism. Ya Minko can be found on social media Twitter: Instagram: YouTube: SoundCloud:
9/2/201952 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 43: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 2

This is part 2 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.   In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa's history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”. The opening song is "Persevere" by Monishia Schoeman, Emile Jansen, Adam Haupt with additional vocals by Razeen Haupt, and the closing song is "Trickle Down" by Emile Jansen, Stefan Benting, Agape Dirtypro Tadana, Shameema Williams, and Adam Haupt. Both are on the album In The Key Of B
8/21/201943 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 42: Hip Hop and Activism in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Part 1

This is part 1 of a 2 part conversation with hip hop scholar and University of Cape Town Professor Adam Haupt and hip hop artist Bradley Lodewyk (aka b-boy King Voue) from the group Brasse Vannie Kaap, or BVK. We met up at the University of Cape Town while they were working on their book project, Neva Again: Hip Hop Art, Activism, and Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and EP In the Key of B. The book and EP can be accessed at The book was edited by Adam Haupt, Quentin Williams, H Samy Alim & Emile Jansen. The #IntheKeyofB EP was produced by Adam and Bradley and features Cape Flats MCs and vocalists, such as Nadine Matthews-Nunes, Naftali Solomons, Eavesdrop, Shameema Williams (ex Godessa), Natasha C. Tafari, Emile YX? (Black Noise, Heal the Hood), Amy Brown, Imie Vannie Delf, Dirtypro Agape Tadana, Stefan Benting, Razeen Haupt, Nathan Lodewyk, Zama Jimba and Jerome Rex.   In this episode, Bradley talks about his work with BVK and the involvement of the group in politics. BVK members were from the Cape Flats area in Cape Town,  and rapped in Kaaps, a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans. They released their first album in the late-1990s. The conversation in this episode looks at hip hop under apartheid, and the influence of apartheid of the development of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also discuss South Africa's history of protest and activism. Adam and Bradley discuss the failures of the post-apartheid government to live up to the promises of the movement, and their adoption of a neoliberal economic system, which “reinforced the racialized class divide”. Within this, Adam and Bradley say hip hop became, and still is, a vehicle to expose youth to progressive ideas The topics In the Key of B EP covers include  gang violence, toxic masculinity, the failures of the state, and gentrification Adam and Bradley also discuss bringing the various contributors together for this project, and their use of social media, especially WhatsApp, to communicate. In this project WhatsApp was a space for them to engage with social and political issues happening in South Africa, which would in turn, influence their work on the project. According to Adam, “It was also a way of demystifying the academic writing about the issues”.
8/13/201942 minutes, 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 41: Teck-Zilla Talks Hip Hop, Str8buttah & Afropop Breakbeats

The DJ, producer, or beat maker is an important element in hip hop. The beat is the first thing we hear when a song starts, and it is the first clue that our favorite song is about to come on. Hip hop producers usually work with several artists, and some of the more well known producers have their signature styles. In Nigeria, one of those producers is Teck-Zilla, as well as other producers in the Str8buttah camp. Teck-Zilla is a hip hop producer and co-founder of Str8buttah, a hip hop collective that consists of several producers and MCs. In this episode Teck-Zilla talks with us about his own career & influences, the beginnings of Str8buttah, and his approach to beat production. Teck-Zilla has a distinct style. Listen to his beats on his BandCamp page and you will hear his diverse musical influences, from soul and R&B, to Afrobeat, to hip hop. After DJing a breakdance battle in Nigeria, Teck-Zilla produced an entire mixtape of break beats, B-Boy Zilla (A B-Boy Breaks EP) in 2017. In the EP Teck-Zilla turns Afropop tracks into break beats! His BandCamp page also includes remixes and tributes dedicated to artists like Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, and Nigerian music legends Fela Kuti and Sade. In addition to beats and remix EPs, Teck-Zilla’s work includes production projects with several established and upcoming hip hop artists. Teck-Zilla moves between Nigeria, Canada, & the UK regularly. We were able to catch him while he’s in Lagos working on some new projects. We start the episode with his beat “Dear Summer”, then “Skelewu B-Boys” from the B-Boy Zilla EP. We end the episode with his beat “Summer Zilla” from his EP of the same name. Teck-Zilla also teamed up with Modenine for the recently release album Esoteric Mellow. All of these are available on his BandCamp page: Teck-Zilla is also on social media SoundCloud Facebook Twitter Instagram
7/17/201932 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EPISODE 40: Modenine Shares His Views on Hip-Hop Culture and Industry in Nigeria

The second episode of our month of Nigerian hip hop is a conversation with hip hop legend, Modenine. Modenine’s hip hop career began in the 1990s, and he has produced over 10 albums and mixtapes. Currently based in England, he talks about the early days of hip hop in Nigeria, as well as the experiences that influenced his entry into hip hop culture. Modenine discusses the history of hip hop in Nigeria and the diversity you find across Nigeria. He also has strong views on the direction that hip hop is going in, as well as the music industry in Nigeria. This includes an interesting discussion on how Nigerian artists are treated compared to U.S. artists, and how some U.S. and Nigerian artists have handled that unequal treatment. Modenine also retells his experience in Nigeria with WaPi (Words and Pictures), a program through the British Council that promoted hip hop culture through the British Council in several countries. He also explains grime music! Grime a genre of music related to hip hop, which emerged among African and Caribbean migrants in England. Grime music is very similar to hip hop, and many grime artists are also hip hop lyricists. You can find the new album, Esoteric Mellow, by Modenine and producer Teck-Zilla on iTunes music, Amazon music, and Bandcamp ( Modenine is on social media at Facebook: Twitter @modenine Instagram @modenine_polimaf Nigeria has the largest Black population in the world, and has the 7th largest population in the world. The country’s music and film industries are two of the largest in the world. In the series of episodes on Nigerian hip hop, we get several different perspectives on hip hop in one of Africa’s powerhouses.
7/12/201938 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP EPISODE 39: Rap Radio’s Bionic on Hip-Hop in Nigeria

The first episode of our month of Nigerian hip hop focuses on the Lagos-based internet radio station, Rap Radio Africa with Ikenna Mbah aka Bionic. Rap Radio Africa is one of the first hip hop, African internet radio stations. The station is dedicated to playing all hip hop, all the time. Most of the hip hop they play comes from across the continent. The conversation covers several topics, including the history of Rap Radio Africa and Bionic’s experiences in the Nigerian hip hop scene. Bionic discusses the programming on Rap Radio Africa, and how that came about, especially via connections with U.S. based artists like Chuck D from Public Enemy. Rap Radio Africa has partnerships with other internet-based hip hop programs, which helps diversify their content and gets their content heard on other platforms. Bionic also discusses the differences between hip hop and the pop music industry in Nigeria. Nigerian pop music (Davido, Wizkid, P Square, etc..) is often labeled hip hop, which can be confusing when you’re trying to hear what’s happening in the Nigerian hip hop community. Bionic addresses those challenges and how those misconceptions are impacting Nigerian hip hop. Bionic also discusses the future direction of Rap Radio Africa, and some of the things that are being planned. We also discuss some of the fundraising efforts that they are undertaking to help sustain and expand Rap Radio Africa. You can find Rap Radio Africa on their website: They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @RapRadioAfrica *Intro beat by Duke Tachez:
7/1/201922 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 38: Keko on Hip-Hop V. The Politics of Sexuality in Uganda

Keko is a Ugandan MC and filmmaker who became involved in Uganda’s hip hop scene over than 10 years ago. Her career eventually took her to international audiences, in Africa and in Europe, and included a 2012 deal with Sony. In our conversation, Keko discusses some of the challenges she experienced while living in Uganda. Those challenges revolved around her gender, her sexuality, her international recognition, and her 2012 deal with Sony. We discuss the impact of patriarchy and homophobia on her ability to live and to work. Keko is now living in Toronto and is pursuing a career in filmmaking. Keko insists that she is not trying to be an activist, and is definitely not anyone’s “poster child” for gay rights in Uganda. However, Keko’s music, films, and her coming out are her unapologetically living her life. As a Ugandan woman, she is also using her own lens & perspective to contribute her voice as a creative. Keko is on Twitter at @KEKOTOWN Her film works can be found on VIMEO at
6/3/201924 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 37: Mohamed Benloulou on hip-hop, politics, & (Black) liberation in Algeria

Mohamed Amine Benloulou is an Algerian hip hop scholar & beat maker based in Algiers. This interview took place in April, in the midst of protests in Algeria calling for the stepping down of the president and his government. Mohamed spoke about the history of hip hop in Algeria, historical connection between Algeria and Black liberation movements in the US, the influence of hip hop in historical and contemporary social movements in Algeria, and the role of racial and ethnic identities in Algerian hip hop. Mohamed also discusses research on the connection between the Battle of Algiers film and hip hop, as well as cultural diplomacy and hip hop, as well as challenges around hip hop studies in Algeria. Mohamed’s Soundcloud page: Facebook: The episode features the song “Allo le Système!” by Algerian emcee Raja Meziane. (w/English subtitles). Facebook:
5/9/201933 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 36: Blitz the Ambassador on His Art, Purpose, & Representation

It’s been 15 years since Blitz the Ambassador released his first record, Soul Rebel. Since then he has gone on to produce 7 additional albums, start his own independent label (Embassy MVMT), produce 2 short films, and produced the feature film The Burial of Kojo, which was released on Netflix on the 31st of March, with Ava DuVernay and ARRAY. 
This interview took place after he screened his film at the New African Film Festival this past March in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was great to sit down again with Blitz, 12 years after I first interviewed him for in May 2007. Then, he was among the first generation of African MCs making their presence known on the underground scene in the US. In that interview we spoke about how Pan African his music was, and how lyrically, he blended elements of African and the Diaspora. His music has evolved into a showcase of African and Diaspora influences, including collaborations with artists from across Africa and the Diaspora. 
In this interview we again spoke about the Pan African perspectives and sounds that continue to be present in his music. Blitz attributes much of his outlook to his upbringing, the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah’s ideologies, and his experiences in the Pan African Studies Department at Kent State University. 
Blitz the Ambassador also talks about his experiences with the entertainment industry in the U.S., and how he has managed to maintain creative control over his music and film projects. In this sense, Blitz the Ambassador is vigilant about the integrity of his work, acknowledging the importance of representation, and of creating your own narratives. 
The two songs featured in the episode, “Hello Africa” and “Internationally Known”, as well as all of Blitz the Ambassador’s music, can be purchased here: 
Blitz on social media 
4/1/201932 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 35: From Queens to Dar: Fete Jen on Hip Hop & Lyricist Lounge Tanzania

This was a fun conversation with hip hop organizer Fete Jen, a Queens, NY native who has traveled throughout Africa and is connected to multiple hip hop artists and scenes around the world. She started Lyricist Lounge Tanzania (LLT) in 2014, helping to provide a platform for poets, spoken word artists, and MCs in Dar es Salaam. LLT was distinct for several reasons, most notably, it brought together a diverse crowd of Tanzanians, African American & Caribbean expats living in Tanzania, and expats from other African countries living in Tanzania. A lot of this diversity was due to the diverse team that have organized the LL events. LLT is celebrating its fifth anniversary on the 23rdof March, in Dar es Salaam. The organizers have established a fundraiser to help with the costs of putting on the event and bringing in artists to perform. Through her networks with hip hop communities in the Diaspora and throughout Africa, Fete Jen has been involved in or helped to establish several hip hop based projects. In this call we talk about her experiences with the Tanzanian hip hop scene and starting Lyricist Lounge, her views profanity and the use of the N-word in hip hop, the increase in Blacks from the Diaspora moving to Africa, and relations on the continent between Africans and Blacks from the Diaspora. You can find Fete Jen on Facebook ( or Instagram ( *Intro beat by Duke Tachez:
3/1/201931 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 34: Reggie Rockstone on the Pan African connections with Ghanaian Hiplife & Hip Hop Culture

Reggie Rockstone is one of the pioneers of hiplife in Ghana. In this conversation, he discusses how as a Pan Africanist, his perspective influenced his participation in hip hop culture in Ghana. He talks about the importance of popularizing the use of African languages through music, and how he helped to popularize the use of Twi in Ghanaian hiplife and hip hop. He discusses the importance of African languages in reaffirming pride, breaking colonial mentalities, and bridging class divides. Reggie Rockstone also talks about his own Pan Africanist upbringing, and the impact of his Diaspora experiences, as well as those of his father and African American mother.  The episode begins with Reggie Rockstone’s song “Proactive” and ends with his song “Woso”, both on his 2010 album Reggiestration, which is available on iTunes Reggie Rockstone can be found on Instagram @reggierockstone711 and Twitter @ReggieRockstone
2/2/201937 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 33: The Evolution of M.anifest, from “Immigrant Chronicles” to “God MC”

In this interview M.anifest  talks about his return to Ghana and his experiences in both the US and Ghana. As an artist whose music reflects Ghanaian, African, and Diaspora experiences and cultures, M.anifest brings an important level of intellectual complexity to hip hop culture. When I point these things out in the interview, M.anifest says that he does not want to “be an alternative to the mainstream, but to be an alternative in the mainstream”.
In the interview M.anifest talks about how his return (& his experiences in both the US and Ghana) has been reflected in his music. He discusses the music industries & creative scenes in the US and in Ghana, African MCs in the US hip hop scene, his impact on the hip hop & music scene in Ghana, and his collaborations with other artists, including the late South African hip hop artist, Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP). 
In this episode we begin with a look back, musically, at Manifest’s career. We begin with the song “Africa Represent” from his 2007 album Manifestations, then “Motion Picture” from the 2011 album Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America, and his 2016 single “God MC”. We will end the show with the song “Hand Dey Go, Hand Dey Come” from his 2016 album Nowhere Cool.  
1/1/201936 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 32: Wakazi Bringing Bilingual & Bicultural Elements to Tanzanian Hip-Hop Culture

Wakazi is a bilingual Tanzanian hip hop artist. He grew up in Dar es Salaam, but spent several years in the United States, where he was active in the Chicago hip hop scene. Like many MCs who spend several years abroad, when he returned to Tanzania he had to prove himself on the local scene. He was able to craft his brand, largely by harnessing the power of social media. In this interview, Wakazi talks about his experiences in Chicago, with the local hip hop scene and how his experiences there have impacted his career. He discusses his return to Tanzania, the reception he faced on his return, and how has managed to build his career. Wakazi, who is fluent in English and Swahili, also talks about multilingualism, and the use of other Tanzanian languages in hip hop. Wakazi also reflects on some of the struggles within the hip hop community, some of which he feels is largely due to a lack of mentorship by the first generation of Tanzanian hip hop artists. He also discusses perceptions & understandings of African American culture in Tanzania. Wakazi’s music can be purchased on iTunes at Nomadic Wax Super MC: Wakazi is online at Twitter @Wakazi: Facebook @wakazimusic: Instagram @wakazimusic: Youtube @wakazimusic:
12/20/201848 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 31: Wachata Crew on Graffiti & Hip Hop Culture in Tanzania

Wachata Crew is the biggest, and oldest graffiti crew in Tanzania. With more than a decade of experience, the members of Wachata Crew are established and respected members of the hip hop scene in Tanzania. The members of Wachata are Local Fanatics, Kala Singa, Medi, and Mejah. We met up at their studios at Nafasi Art Space ( in Dar es Salaam and talked about graffiti culture in Tanzania. We discussed the origins of Wachata Crew with WAPI (Words and Pictures) at the British Council in Dar es Salaam back in 2007. Wachata Crew sheds light on how many Tanzanians see graffiti culture in Tanzania and the connections between graffiti and hip-hop culture in Tanzania. Graffiti culture differs all over the world, the members of Wachata Crew talk about the cost and qualities of spray paint cans in Tanzania, v. other places. The artists also discuss their connections with graffiti beyond Tanzania, and the participation of women in graffiti culture in Tanzania. You can find Wachata Crew on Instagram @wachata07 and each member at @muabaka, @kalasinga24, @mejahmbuya, @localfanatics
12/10/201835 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 30: Hip Hop Producer Duke on Boombap & Hip Hop Production in Tanzania

This is an interview with Tanzanian hip hop producer Duke, founder of M Lab records, Tamaduni Muzik, and the Hip Hop Kilinge (cypher). The interview is mostly in SWAHILI, but we switch back & forth a lot. The Hip Hop African podcast celebrates the various elements of hip hop, but this is our first interview with a hip hop producer. Duke talks about how he became involved in hip hop in Tanzania, his involvement with the founding of Tamaduni Muzik and the Hip Hop Kilinge (cyphers) they used to host. These cyphers used to bring hundreds of youth from around Dar es Salaam to listen to the DJs, hear MC rhyme, participate in cyphers, buy hip hop fashion made by local artists. Duke also talks about issue of copyright and the art of sampling and the role of the producer in hip hop. We also discuss sounds, the role of the boom bap sound, as well as chopping up other sounds to create a unique sound that represents Tanzanian hip hop. He also talks about the top five artists outside of Tanzania that he would love to work with, as well the directions he sees hip hop in Tanzania going today. Haya ni mahojiano na Duke, prodyuza wa muziki wa hip hop Tanzania, mwanzilishi wa M Lab Records, Tamaduni Muzik, na Hip Hop Kilinge (cypher). Mahojiano yako zaidi katika SWAHILI, lakini tumechanganya na English kidogo. The Hip Hop African Podast inawakilisha nguzo mbalimbali za hip hop, lakini haya ni mahojiano yetu ya kwanza na prodyuza wa hip hop. Duke anazungumzia jinsi alivyohusika katika hip hop nchini Tanzania, kushiriki kwake na kuanzishwa kwa Tamaduni Muzik na Hip Hop Kilinge. Kwenye Kilinge, vijana vyengi kutoka Dar es Salaam walikuja kusikiliza muziki uliochezwa na DJs, kusikia sauti ya MC, kushiriki katika cyphers, kununua bidhaa za mitindo ya hip hop. Duke pia anazungumzia suala la hakimiliki na sanaa ya sampling na jukumu la prodyuza katika hip hop. Tulizungumzia pia sauti ya boom bap, na pia kuchop sauti nyingine ili kutengeneza sauti ya kipekee ambayo inawakilisha hip hop ya Tanzania. Pia anazungumzia kuhusu MCs watano wa nje ya Tanzania ambao angependa kufanya kazi nao. Pia tulizungumzia muelekeo wa Hiphop ya Tanzania katika nyakati hizi.
12/1/201822 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 29: Ghanaian Hip Hop Scholar Joseph Ewoodzie on Hip Hop in the South Bronx

Ghana born, Bronx raised hip hop scholar Joseph Ewoodzie has published the book Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop's Early Years, a book that uncovers details of hip hop’s early years in the South Bronx. Ewoodzie’s book provides rich details of hip hop’s history in the South Bronx. In this interview he discusses his decision to write the book and touches on some of the major themes the book addresses. For example, Ewoodzie talks about the social economic environment in the South Bronx that gave rise to hip hop, environments that mirrored the environments that gave rise to hip hop in Africa. In the interview we also cover the book’s Discussion of the link between gang culture and hip hop The controversies around Afrika Bambaataa The rise and decline of the visibility of the DJ in mainstream hip hop The connection between hip hop culture and Africa’s oral tradition The connections between music in Africa and the Diaspora South Bronx Ghanaian immigrants in the development of hip hop The origins of the masculinization of hip hop The book can be purchased at: Joseph Ewoodzie can be followed on Twitter at
11/3/20181 hour, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 28: Politics & Hip Hop from the Children of Sundiata

This episode is a conversation with Malian hip hop artist and activist Amkoullel L’enfant Peulh on hip hop and politics in Mali. Amkoullel has been involved in hip hop culture in Mali for many years, and he's been vocal about politics inside and outside of the country. Having lived in France and the United States, Amkoullel is back in Mali where he remains involved in the hip hop community. He is also involved in mentoring artists and working in TV and radio production and distribution in Mali. A strong voice in Malian hip hop, in this conversation we discuss the political nature of Francophone rap in West Africa, specifically in Mali, Senegal, and Burkina Faso. Amkoullel traces how hip hop artists in Mali developed their own lyrical identity, based in large part on their own oral traditions and cultural identities.  In discussing the past and current political events in Mali, Amkoullel talks about the roles of artists in social change and the importance of artists  representing the voice of the people when they use their platform on the international stage. Amkoullel also discusses the impacts of the media's misconceptions of Mali within the country, as well as the impact of political events in Mali on Malian hip hop. We begin the episode with one of Amkoullel's early songs, "Farafina", which was released in 2010.  The next song is "Maliko", which was recorded by several Malian musicians, including Amkoullel. The song is a call for peace and an end to violence against women. Amkoullel is on Instagram: 
10/5/201836 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 27: Laura Lora on the Politics of Gender & a Ghanaian American Identity

In this episode we speak with Ghanian-born, U.S. based artist Laura Lora. In the interview, Laura Lora talks about her experiences an artist, navigating between Ghana and the United States. Growing up in Los Angeles has definitely influenced her music and style, as she talks about being Ghanian and American. Laura Lora, who majored in Black Studies in college, also talks about her experiences in the African American community, and with the divide between Africans and Africans Americans in the United States.  Her music and work has also placed her in conversations around gender and sexuality, where she chooses to confront ideas on how African, or Ghanian women should dress and behave. In this interview she also addresses ideas of beauty and femininity, which she has also chosen to challenge.  Laura Lora is very conscious and intentional about her music, and the messages she wants to send. She is very intentional about her confrontations with gender and identity. Her most recent video for the song "Rebel" blends hip hop, femininity, Ghanian ascetics, and American sounds and visuals. The colorful video is clear in its expression of all of these identities. You can find Laura lora on: SoundCloud @lauraloramusic Facebook @Lauraloramusic Instagram @Mslauraloa Twitter @akaDeviantLady 
9/2/201842 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 26: Hip Hop Studies at Black Universities in the U.S.

This episode is an African Studies palaver on teaching hip hop related courses at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The discussion focused on approaching hip hop studies from African centered perspectives, as well the impact of those courses being taught at HBCUs on their structure and content. Leading the discussion are hip hop professors/activists who are teaching hip hop related courses and participating in important dialogues within hip hop studies. Greg Carr @AfricanaCarr‏ Howard University Tewodross Melchishua Williams Bowie State University Jared Ball @IMIXWHATILIKE  Morgan State University Moderator: Msia Kibona Clark @kibona Howard University The event was held at Howard University and was sponsored by the Department of African Studies and the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center. Music by Sa-Roc: | @sarocthemc |
8/1/20181 hour, 13 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 25: Klein Fortuin on Hip Hop in Mitchells Plain & Rock the Mic

This conversation with Rock the Mic winner, and Cape Town MC Klein Fortuin took place at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in April 2018. Klein Fortuin won the Rock the Mic competition held by Heal the Hood, a Cape Town based hip hop community organization.  In the conversation Klein Fortuin talks about his career and hip hop in the Mitchells Plain township in Cape Town, South Africa, which is home to a legendary hip hop scene and the birthplace of South African hip hop. Klein Fortuin talks about what makes that township such an epicenter for hip hop culture in South Africa. Klein Fortuin also talks about his win in Heal the Hood’s Rock the Mic competition and commercial and underground rap scenes in South Africa. Klein Fortuin is on SoundCloud ( and Facebook (
7/1/201831 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Special Episode: Hip-Hop in Africa Book Talk

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. This episode is a conversation between Dr. Msia Kibona Clark, the author of Hip-Hop in Africa, and moderator Dr. James Pope. Dr. Pope is a professor at Winston Salem State University and an organizer with the Africa World Now Project. The conversation took place at the legendary Sankofa Video Book and Cafe in Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by the following organizations Africa World Now Project | Africans Rising for Justice, Peace, & Dignity | Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) | Sankofa Books   If you are listing to the podcast on a platform other than the blogsite, you can access some of the images from the evening's event on our blogsite:
6/23/201855 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 24: Free Speech, Censorship, and Protest in China and South Africa

This podcast is the panel discussion titled "Free Speech, Censorship and Protest”, that was held at the 13th annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. The discussion addressed issues of censorship and free speech in hip hop, in both China and South Africa. The artists discussed their own careers in hip hop, and hip hop culture in their countries. The panel featured  MC Puos, a Chinese artist based in Shanghai. He is a co-founder of Bang, China's 1st hip hop magazine, and a founding member of the hip hop collective DDM. He also launched a startup education technology company to promote hip hop culture in China, and recently released a documentary on hip hop in China. Dana Burton (@DetroitShowtyme), an American artist based in Shanghai. After leaving Detroit for China, he became involved in the hip hop scene in China and created Iron Mike, a national rap battle that takes place in China. Emile YX (@EmileYX), a South African artist based in Cape Town. He is a member of the pioneering hip hop group Black Noise, and is the founder of the hip hop based community organization Heal the Hood. The panel was moderated by Dr. Msia Kibona Clark (@kibona), from Howard University
6/1/201849 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 23: Uganda’s Ruyonga on African/African American Relations, Black Panther, Politics, and Christianity

This interview with Ugandan artist Ruyonga, formerly known as Krukid, is an in-depth discussion on the artist’s perspective on the Black experience, relations between African Americans and Africans in America, his issues with the Black Panther film, being a Christian MC, and his perspective on laws and politics in Uganda. Ruyonga studied in the U.S. in the early 2000s. He began rapping in Uganda before coming to the States, and he established an underground career in the U.S. and became known for his distinct sound and strong lyrical ability. After almost a decade in the US, Ruyonga returned to Uganda. He changed his name to Ruyonga and built his career as a Christian rapper. After a long stay Ruyonga has an interesting perspective on being an African immigrant in America, and the tensions between African and African American communities. He talks about those tensions from an African immigrant perspective, and comments on the diverse racial and ethnic dynamics he saw in different parts of the United States. The conversation turns towards pop culture and race and Ruyonga has strong feelings about the Black Panther and the representations of Africans in the film, and Hollywood’s presentation of the Black experience. Ruyonga also opens up about his views on race, Black pride, and feminism, as well as his views on the ways different groups of people have been pitted against each other. Part of the conversation includes the artist’s views on some of Uganda’s more controversial laws regarding women and sexuality, especially the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Still a strong lyricist, Ruyonga now uses Christianity as the vehicle with which to express his lyricism. His latest release is Voice Of My Father, and follows an impressive body of work that spans over 10 years. Ruyonga is on BandCamp at iTunes: Twitter: @ruyongamusic Episode Breakdown 7:30 “African American, American African” 9:30 “Pearl City Anthem” 11:45 “Hand of God” 12:40 Background and move to the US 14:00 The Black Experience 15:15 African & African American relations 23:42 The Black Panther movie & Hollywood 29:33 Black pride, feminism 32:00 The return to Uganda 35:45 Language 37:18 Christianity & politics
5/1/201854 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 22: Thiat of Keur Gui on Hip Hop and Activism Beyond Senegal

In a time when hip hop culture has been under heavy criticism for the lack of political content in commercial hip hop, Keur Gui reminds us of what hip hop culture is capable of, in terms of both social commentary and political action. As founding members of the social and political movement Y’en A Marre (Enough is Enough), Keur Gui has provided heavy social commentary in their music for over 20 years. Coming out of Senegal, which is perhaps one of the most political hip hop scenes in the world, Keur Gui has used hip hop culture to engage with their audiences and to confront the state. Y’en A Marre is one of the only social movements deeply rooted in hip hop culture to effect political change. In Senegal, Y’en A Marre was involvement in mass mobilization campaigns, helped register voters, engaged in social protest, and promoted an ideology known as New Type of Senegalese (NTS). The idea behind NTS is that calls for social change go beyond requests for government action, but also rests in responsible citizenship. While the people may call for government-led development, the people also need to take responsibility for their contributions to environmental and social problems.Y’en A Marre is an ongoing movement, which has focused on Senegalese helping Senegalese. One of the projects Keur Gui is currently working on is a fundraiser to build a recording studio in their hometown Kaolack. The fundraiser can be found at
Follow Up with Keur Gui
Facebook: /KEUR-GUI-53925096450/
SoundCloud: /keurguicrewofficiel
Keur Gui on iTunes: /keur-gui/275586170
In this interview we speak with Thiat, one of the MCs in Keur Gui. Thiat discusses Keur Gui’s involvement in Y’en A Marre, the spread of the movement outside of Senegal, revised perspectives on Pan Africanism, the role of MCs in civil society, and more.
Episode Breakdown
6:33: “Nothing to Prove”, f/Kokayi (
9:50: History of Keur Gui & their involvement in politics
20:49: Hip hop in Senegal
23:46: The rise of Y’en a Marre
27:57: New Type of Senegalese (NTS)
31:10: The spread of activism outside of Senegal
36:28: A new type of Pan Africanism
41:22: Hip Hop in East Africa
43:33: MCs as politicians and MCs as part of civil society
45:13: Upcoming music projects
47:28: Their fundraiser for the Kaolack studio
49:43: “Marginaux”
Scholarship on Y’en A Marre and Keur Gui
Berktay, Aligul. (2014). Pikine’s Hip Hop Youth Say “Enough is Enough” and Pave the Way for Continuous Social Change. Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati.
Fredericks, Rosalind. (2014). “The old man is dead”: hip hop and the arts of citizenship of Senegalese youth. Antipode, 46(1), 130-148.
Gueye, Marame. (2013). Urban guerrilla poetry: The movement Y’en a Marre and the socio-political influences of hip hop in Senegal. Journal of Pan African Studies, 8 (3), 22-42.
Lo, Sheba. (2014). Building our nation: Hip hop artists as agents of social and political change. Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati.
Prause, Lousia. (2013). Mit Rap zur Revolte: Die Bewegung Y’en a marre. Prokla, 43(1), 23-41.
Senghor, Fatou Kande. (2015). Wala Bok: Une histoire orale du hip hop au Senegal. Amalion Publishing.
4/2/201852 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 21: Yugen Blakrok on Hip Hop Lyricism & the Black Panther Project

This month we speak with Johannesburg-based MC, Yugen Blakrok. Yugen Black is a South African MC, who was recently featured on the Black Panther soundtrack. Her style is distinctive and blends several different elements together in a strong lyrical flow. Her music do not contain many of the topics often found in hip hop that is heavy with braggadocio, or sexuality. In Yugen Blakrok’s music you mind find references to her Xhosa identity, Asian martial arts (ala Wu Tang), or to Black consciousness ideas and figures. Her flows sound like layered streams of consciousness, and do not fit neatly into one adjective. In this episode we speak with her about her music career, her unique style, her 2013 album Return of the Astro-Goth, her most recent work on the Black Panther soundtrack, and her upcoming projects.  Yugen Blakrok's first album was Return of the Astro-Goth: The Black Panther Soundtrack: Yugen Blakrok on Twitter: @YugenBlakrok | Facebook:  | Instagram:
3/2/201854 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 20: Nazlee Saif on Hip Hop, Sexuality, Race, & Protest in Cape Town

Our conversation with Cape Town based hip hop and spoken word artist Nazlee Saif centers on discussions of race, gender, religion, sexuality, and activism. This conversation centers on the use of hip hop as a cultural space within which to engage several different social issues, and to deconstruct social taboos that continue to exist within hip hop culture. Nazlee Saif is a spoken word and hip hop artist originally from Durban, who moved to Cape Town and attended the University of Cape Town (UCT) during the height of the #RhodesMustFall movement. Nazlee, who was already a socially conscious artist, was an activist and organizer in the movement on the UCT campus. Nazlee, as a queer identified, Muslim, MC, also brings those intersecting identities into the hip hop, a culture that has historically been very patriarchal, very misogynistic, and hostile to queer voices. In the conversation Nazlee Saif talks about several topic, including the #RhodesMustFall movement at UCT, intersectionality, being Black & Coloured, queer identities, being a Muslim & queer MC, Steve Biko and Black consciousness, the term “Hoteps”, and feminism. Nazlee Saif's presence in hip hop challenges hip hop's masculine, heteronormative culture. Nazlee Saif expresses strong stances on topics of race, sexuality, and religion. The artist's discussion of a level of frustration with Black Consciousness, as well as the term "Hoteps", may put Nazlee Saif at odds with some Pan Africanists. Nazlee on YouTube: Nazlee on Twitter: @NazleeArbee Readings Clark, Msia Kibona. 2014. “Gendered Representations among Tanzanian Female Emcees”. In Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa, edited by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Koster. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press. Haupt, Adam. 2016. Queering Hip-Hop, Queering the City: Dope Saint Jude’s Transformative Politics. M/C Journal, 19(4). Smith, Marquita R., 2014. “Or a Real, Real Bad Lesbian”: Nicki Minaj and the Acknowledgement of Queer Desire in Hip-Hop Culture. Popular Music and Society, 37(3), pp.360-370.
2/1/201847 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 19: Quentin Williams on Multilingualism & Hip Hop in South Africa

This episode, South African hip hop scholar and sociolinguist Dr. Quentin Williams discusses his new book Remix Multilingualism: Hip Hop, Ethnography and Performing Marginalized Voice (Bloomsbury Press).  Dr. Williams is a Senior Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at the University of Western Cape. He has published papers and book chapters on the performance of multilingualism, popular cultural practices (specifically Hip Hop), agency and voice in urban multilingual spaces. In addition to the book we’ll be discussing today, he is also currently editing the book Kaapse Styles: Hip Hop Art & Activism in Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Williams has been writing on language and hip hop in South Africa for several years, and has extensive credibility within South Africa's well established hip hop community. Dr. Williams' research and work has also made valuable contributions to the field of linguistics.   In this interview we discuss the book, Dr. Williams research on South African hip hop, and ultimately his place as a Coloured man from the Cape Flats in one of the oldest and largest hip hop scenes in Africa.  Episode Breakdown 6:24 - Being a hip hop sociolinguist & self reflection in the book. 7:50 - The arena of freestyle rap battles 11:35 - His work with the group Suburban Menace 16:05 - Hip hop research and scholarship, & the responsibility to the subjects of the research 22:43 - His experiences in the Cape Flats township of Bishop Lavis during hip hop's days of hip hop, during the last years of the anti-apartheid struggle 29:10 - Relationships between Black & Coloured hip hop heads 38:05 - Different hip hop language varieties in South Africa 39:40 - Braggadocio, and its place and purpose in hip hop 45:00 - Masculinity & toughness in hip hop 49:24 - Dr. Williams concept of “Body Rap”, respectability politics, the pornification of hip hop culture, & rape culture within hip hop culture* 58:12 - Women navigating masculine hip hop spaces 1:07:44 - The diverse audiences that this book speaks to *Dr. Williams defines Body Rap as “a sub-genre of local rap, where the overarching theme in the lyrics is the sexualization and often the denigration of women’s bodies, performed for the pleasure of men”.
1/1/20181 hour, 12 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 18: Meyniak On Hip Hop, Poetry, & Politics in Zimbabwe

This month we’re releasing a bonus episode. We interviewed Zimbabwean hip hop and spoken word artist Meyniak. He’s a young artist based in Harare and has a unique style and unconventional musical path that led him to hip hop. In this short interview, we spoke about his music, his poetry, hip hop in Zimbabwe, and the relationship between hip hop artists and the state. Episode Breakdown 5:10 I Peasant  7:43 Past you 10:30 Interview 30:58 Ma Nna SoundCloud: Facebook: Twitter:
12/19/201734 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 17: Abena Rockstar on Hip Hop and the Music Industry in Ghana

Abena Rockstar is a Ghanaian hip hop artist who is known for writing hard hitting, raw hip hop lyrics. She performs mostly in Twi, and is among a small group of female artists in Ghana who’s style focuses on strong hip hop lyricism. Many female artists in Ghana choose to enter into other genres, whether it be Hiplife or gospel music. The idea that women are not supposed to be hardcore hip hop lyricists is a perspective we see throughout hip hop globally. In this interview, we sat down at a local restaurant near Abena’s home in Tema, outside of Accra and talked about a lot of different topics. Abena Rockstar discusses the visibility of women in Ghanaian hip hop, the pressure to sing instead of rap, ideas of how women should behave, and her views on the category of “female rapper”. She also talks about her views on Hiplife, her participation in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher” project, and the music industry in Ghana. In 2014, Abena Rockstar released the EP “Only Few Can Relate” and in 2017 she released the EP “MAFIA”. The songs featured in this podcast include the singles “I’m Ready”, “Abena”, and “Broke Nyass Brodas” is a commentary on male and female relationships. We have included links to her music, website, and social media profiles. Abena Rockstar was among several artists featured in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher”. Other artists featured on the project were Eno, Esbee, Porsche, EyiRap, Xcot, Mila, and Scrach. The track can be heard at Abena Rockstar's website: Twitter: @AbenaRockstar Facebook: AbenaRockstar Episode Playlist :28 "Abena" 3:30 Episode intro 10:35 "Broke Nyass Brodas" 13:25 "I'm Ready" 16:17 Interview with Abena Rockstar 47:22 "Now u Know" *This episode was produced and mixed by Howard University student @Yashua7Rashad
12/2/201750 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 16: Wanlov the Kubolor

This month we're featuring a conversation with Ghanaian artist Wanlov the Kubolor. In the interview we talk about Wanlov the Kubolor's experiences, his music, the controversies, and his evolution into Wanlov the Kubolor, the African Gypsy. Wanlov the Kubolor is a smart, introspective artist who is very much aware of the social relevance of his music. He often makes social commentary, whether via his music or social media, and infuses that social commentary with humor. Wanlov's humor (and he's genuinely funny) often has fans laughing before realizing that there is a message in the madness. Wanlov has detractors, people who take issue with his music or behavior. But, agree or disagree with his views, Wanlov the Kubolor is not afraid of expressing himself in unconventional ways. Wanlov' the Kubolor's music reflects his diverse background and experiences. It is difficult to put Wanlov the Kubolor into one category of music. He is an MC, but he also blends several different sounds and styles in his music. He's a versatile artists who has crafted a career as a successful, internationally known artist. His solo albums are Green Card, Yellow Card, Brown Card: African Gypsy, and Orange Card: Fruitopian Raps Wanlov is also one half of the group Fokn Bois (his partner is M3nsa), which has released two films film Coz ov Moni and Coz ov Moni 2. They also released the soundtracks to Coz ov Moni and Coz ov Moni 2. The groups also released FOKN Wit Ewe and FOKN Ode to Ghana. Wanlov has also released several EPs. Wanlov the Kubolor's music can be found on iTunes: He's also on social media Twitter: @wanlov‏ and Facebook: Wanlov the Kubolor Episode Playlist :40 "In Ghana" 2:53 Episode Intro 6:48 "Sometimes" 8:00 "Brkn Lngwjz" 10:00 "Mek We Rap" 11:58 "Trotro Blues" 13:25 "No Borders" 14:58 Interview with Wanlov the Kubolor
11/1/201751 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 15: Kanyi Mavi on Hip Hop, Xhosa, & Rap Culture in South Africa

In this episode I sit down with Kanyi Mavi, an MC out of Cape Town, South Africa. She was recently in New York City and I was able to catch up with her at the famous Red Rooster soul food restaurant in Harlem. In the interview we spoke at length about being a Xhosa-speaking hip hop artist in South Africa, as well as the politics of hip hop culture in South Africa. We also spoke about the dynamics of gender & hip hop in South Africa. Tracklist Ungalibali Rise (featuring Driemanskap) Ngqangqa (prod. T.Krotkiewski) For more information about Kanyi Mavi check her out on Facebook: Twitter: Soundcloud: iTunes:
10/1/201742 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 14: African (Women) MCs & Hip Hop Lyricists

This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists' social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided. Track List Moona (Senegal) “Revolution” | | OMG & Mamy Victory (Senegal) “OK” | | Eve Crazy (Senegal) “Alandouti Freestyle” | | Abena Rockstar (Ghana) “Abena” |  | | | EyiRap (Ghana) “Beast in the City” | | Pryse (Nigeria) “Na Still Woman” | |  | Stosh (Tanzania) “Supa Madini” | | Tifa (Tanzania) “Emergency” | | Xtatic (Kenya) and Devour Ke Lenyora (South Africa) “BIGH” |  & | Enigma (Botswana) “Hard on Flow” | | | DJ Naida (Zimbabwe) “Zvakasara” | | | Gigi Lamayne (South Africa) “Gigi the Great” | | | Yugen Blakrok (South Africa) “Beastleague”| | | Kanyi Mavi (South Africa) “Ingoma” | | |
9/1/201749 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 13: Tanzanian Hip Hop Artists on English Rap in Tanzania

We sat down with 2 groups of young hip hop artists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first interview includes Mukimala, Salma, & Catalyst. The second interview includes HIM, Victor the Traveler (who is a producer), & Sima. Both groups have completely different styles and approaches to hip hop culture. But both groups are among a new generation of Tanzanian MC’s rapping in English, instead of Swahili. The goal of the interviews was to have a conversation about language an hip hop in Tanzania. There are so many views on the language debate, but hip hop artists in Africa have been debating it since hip hop first began being performed in Africa. Tanzania has been known for its Swahili hip hop, but there is an increasing number of young artists who feel better equipped to perform primarily in English. The conversations also touched on a few interesting topics, including consciousness in hip hop, self censorship, gender, the use of the N word, and thoughts on the African Diaspora. There are two warnings for listeners: 1. There is some profanity in both the interviews and artists’ songs. In addition, There are some sound issues in the second interview. We’re trying out new equipment so bear with us. Podcast time stamps 00:00 Episode intro 10:00 Muki & Salma “How You Feel?” 11:50 Catalyst “Drowning” 12:31 Interview with Salma, Muki, & Catalyst 37:30 Interview conclusion and introduction of the next interview 40:05 Brian Simba “Mambo Mbezi” 41:52 HIM “Soul Truthful” 43:53 Sima “Pawn Dreams” 46:06 interview with HIM, Sima, & Victor 1:06:07 Interview conclusion and episode outro message 1:08:32 Mukimala& Sima “Inspiration” Artist information @TemaYaiNation (the collective of English speaking artists) on Twitter and SoundCloud Salma is @naitwasalma on Twitter and SoundCloud Muki Mukimala is on SoundCloud Catalyst is on SoundCloud H.I.M. in on SoundCloud Victor the Traveler is on Twitter as @VictorZtraveler Sima is on SoundCloud Brian Simba is on SoundCloud (on the SoundCloud page there is information on how to download his mixtape Masaki Theory).
8/1/20171 hour, 10 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 12: Burkinabe Rap Dialogue

This is episode 12 of the podcast, and the fourth and last in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode features a conversation with Mathurin Soubéiga, who does booking and promotion at Shrine World Music Venue in New York. He is also the former Coordinator of the Waga Hip Hop Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Soubéiga also runs the Burkina Rap Connection blog The Waga Hip Hop Festival has a history of being an epicenter of West African, especially Francophone, hip hop. The festival had a strong reputation for promoting serious hip hop. In this conversation we discuss hip hop and Burkina Faso and the legacy of the Waga Festival. In Ouagadougou, where the festival began and was held, the hip hop community has produced some serious & conscious hip hop artists. Smockey, one of the activists in the Le Balai Citoyen (Citizen’s Broom) movement that helped to overthrow Burkina Faso’s previous president, is also a pioneer in Burkinabe rap. The intro and outdo song is "Insoumission" by Burkina emcee Smockey:  In 2011, Nomadic Wax released a 17 minute documentary titled Hip Hop Burkinabé, and it can be found on YouTube [youtube] In 2016, Aj Jazeera published an article on the involvement of the artists in the Le Balai Citoyen movement titled "The soundtrack to Burkina Faso's revolution" Text on hip hop in Burkina Faso include: Marie-Soleil Frère and Pierre Englebert. "Briefing: Burkina Faso—the Fall of Blaise Compaoré" in African Affairs (2015). Daniel Künzler and U Reuster-Jahn. "Mr. President": musical open letters as political commentary in Africa" in Africa Today (2012). Daniel Künzler. "Rapping Against the Lack of Change: Rap music in Mali and Burkina Faso" in the book Native Tongues: An African Hip-Hop Reader (2011) edited by P. Khalil. Saucier.
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 11: Bavubuka Foundation and Indigenous Hip Hop in Africa

This is episode 11 of the podcast, and the third in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode is a conversation with Babaluku and Gilbert from Bavubuka Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. Babaluku is a founding member of the Uganda hip hop group Bataka Squad, and has been involved in the hip hop community in Uganda since the early years. Gilbert, the hip hop archivist, is a photographer who has been archiving hip hop culture in Africa for several years. Through the Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku and Gilbert, have built a large hip hop network and community in Uganda and east & central Africa. Their yearly B-Global Indigenous Hip Hop Gathering* happens at the end of December and brings in Macs from all over East and Central Africa *The name of the gathering is quoted wrongly in the podcast To get in touch with Bavubuka on Facebook: Contents 4:51 Bavubuka’s work with the youth 19:52 Minutes in impact of Invisible Children and other NGOs on their work & distortions of African stories. 30:08 African linkages 35:17 Gilbert 38:45 indigenous hip hop 50:15 Get in touch 56:02 “Traveling Man” by Babaluku
6/1/201759 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 10: Hip Hop and the State in Cuba

This is episode 10 of the podcast, and the first in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode was a panel titled “Independent and Political Hip Hop in Cuba” with Pedro Vidal of the Cuban Soul Foundation in Miami, Florida and hip hop artists David D Omni and Escuadron Patriota, who live in Cuba. The panel was an interesting discussion on hip hop and the state in Cuba. This is a link to the video for the song Decadencia, played at the end of the episode. The video has English subtitles. David D Omni on Facebook and Twitter @domnibus Escuadron Patriota has a Twitter account @s4dronpatriota, but he has not posted in awhile. Here is a link to the Cuban Soul Foundation:
5/1/201744 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Artist Profile: Graffiti Writer Behulum

Artist Profile: Graffiti Writer Behulum (Ethiopia) at the 12th Annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. This is a special podcast episode recorded at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, by guest host Seth Markle and guest producer by Kalalea
4/26/20174 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 9: A Discussion with Edem on Hip Hop and Language in Ghana

This episode is a conversation with Ghanaian hip hop, hiplife, and reggae artist Edem. Edem is one of the first hip hop artists to rap in Ewe. Many other Ghanaian hip hop artists perform in Twi or Pidgin English. In this conversation, we discuss hip hop and hiplife in Ghana. When it comes to hiop hop, Ghana follows its own rules. The relationship between hip hop and Hiplife in Ghana is an ongoing debate. This conversation with Edem covers that, as he explains how he uses different sounds and different languages in his music. Edem, like many artists in Ghana, has moved between genres, sometimes mixing genres in the same song. As one of the few artists to rap in Ewe, Edem also discusses the importance of language and culture in his music. As an artist, his music reflects his African, Ghanaian, and Ewe identities, something that Edem feels has been important in establishing himself as an artist. Episode Outline: Introduction "The Legacy" (7:20) "Angels and Demons" (11:20) Conversation (13:45) Outro with "Gbevu" (50:52) You can find Edem online on several platforms: Edem’s music can bought on iTunes | on Facebook | on Twitter @iamedem
4/3/201753 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 8: Hip Hop in the Academy, in Conversation With Seth Markle

Dr. Seth Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Seth received his PhD in History from New York University. At Trinity College he teaches the courses Global Hip Hop Cultures and Introduction to Hip Hop. Much of his academic work has centered around Diaspora communities in Tanzania. His new book A Motorcycle on Hell Run: Tanzania, Black Power and the Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964-1974 is scheduled to be released this year with Michigan State University Press. His work in hip hop has been global. He has been very active in the hip hop scene in Tanzania, where is known as DJ Pemba. He has also traveled to several countries and worked with hip hop communities from Costa Rica to Russia. He is currently the faculty advisor for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, which happens every year on the campus of Trinity College and features artists, activists, and scholars from all over the world. In this conversation we discuss the festival, it's background and mission, as well as how people can get involved. We also discuss his work in Tanzania, his research, and being a hip hop academic.
3/5/20171 hour, 23 minutes
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 7: Gigi Lamayne on Feminism & Politics in South Africa

Gigi Lamayne is part of a recent growth of female MCs in South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, her strong vocal presence and lyrical style are unmistakably hip hop. She also presents a strong, confident feminist energy in hip hop's hypermasucline culture. A member of South Africa's "born free" generation, Gigi Lamayne started MCing as a teenager. There has been a noticeable growth in her lyrics over the years, and Gigi Lamayne is now one of the most well known female MCs in South Africa. Confrontations of sexism, patriarchy, domestic violence, and post-apartheid politics are themes throughout her music. In this conversation Gigi Lamayne talks about her music and influences, and her decision to address controversial, sensitive topics. Her most recent release, Ground Zero, can be found on iTunes and other online outlets. Table of Contents Intro to themes in her music, including clips from some of her songs: 1:03 Interview: 13:17 Feminism: 19:45 Miss Nthabi & collaborations with other MCs 23:44 (Miss Nthabi is an earlier South African MC who offers words of advice on being a female MC in the intro to Gigi Lamayne's Ground Zero) Emotional domestic violence 29:49 Fees Will Fall: 33:29 Language: 40:28 Find Gigi Lamayne Online Facebook | Instagram: gigi_lamayne | SoundCloud | YouTube | Twitter: gigi_lamayne Articles Okay Africa: Women In South African Hip-Hop LiveMag: 10 notable South African female rappers of all time GQ South Africa: 5 of SA’s hottest female rappers
2/6/201744 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 6: Kwanza Unit, Hip Hop, and Pan Africanism in Tanzania

This episode features a conversation with two hip hop pioneers from Tanzania, KBC & Zavara (aka Rhymson) from the group Kwanza Unit. The conversation discusses the early days of hip hop in Tanzania, the influence of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania's 1st President) on the social consciousness in Tanzanian hip hop, language and Kwanza Unit’s decision to begin performing in Swahili, the current state of hip hop in Tanzania, the relationship between artists and the national arts council and their policies around copyright and royalties. Parts of the conversation are in Swahili. Non-Swahili speakers will be able to follow the conversation and attempts are made to summarize the Swahili portions into English. Table of Contents Podcast intro - :40 “Put Ya head Up” – 11:21 “Msafiri” – 14:40 Interview – 18:26 “Run Tings” – 1:37:35 “Check Navyo Flow” – 1:41:32 “So Why” – 1:45:35 Resources Perullo, Alex. (2005). Hooligans and heroes: Youth identity and hip hop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Africa Today, 5 (4), 74-101. Perullo, Alex. (2011). Live from Dar es Salaam: Popular Music and Tanzania's Music Economy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Perullo, Alex. (2012). Imitation and innovation in the music, dress, and camps of Tanzanian youth. In Eric Charry (Ed), Hip Hop Africa: New Music in a Globalizing World (pp. 187-209). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Ntarangwi, Mwenda. (2009). East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization. University of Illinois Press. Lemelle, Sidney J. “‘Ni wapi Tunakwenda’: Hip Hop Culture and the Children of Arusha”. In Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, (Eds). The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture (pp. 230-54). London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Pres Casco, J. A. (2012). From Music to Politics: Hip Hop in Africa as a political option for the youth: the case of Tanzania. Youth and the city: expressive cultures, public space appropriation, and alternative political participation (pp. 1-18). Madrid: 8º Congreso Ibérico de Estudios Africanos. Reuster-Jahn, Uta. (2014). Antivirus: The revolt of bongo flava artists against a media-and-entertainment empire in Tanzania. In Matthias Krings and Uta Reuster-Jahn (Eds), Bongo Media Worlds: Producing and Consuming Popular Culture in Dar es Salaam (43-78). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe. Clark, Msia Kibona (2012). Hip hop as social commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam. African Studies Quarterly, 13 (3), 23 – 36. Clark, Msia Kibona (2013). The struggle for authenticity and against commercialization in Tanzania. Journal of Pan African Studies, 6 (3), 5-21. Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). The role of new and social media in Tanzanian hip hop production. Les Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, 216 (4), 1115-1136. Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). Gendered representations among Tanzanian female emcees. In Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster (Eds), Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.
12/29/20161 hour, 49 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 5: Black Activism in the US & South Africa

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. This episode is an airing of an event we sponsored: #BlackLivesMatter and #FeesMustFall: A Panel Discussion on Black Activism in the US and South Africa held on the 29th of November at Howard University in Washington, DC. The event brought together activists for a discussion on two pivotal movements for Black lives in the U.S. and South Africa: Black Lives Matter in the U.S. and #FeesMustFall/#RhodesMustFall in South Africa. Both movements are changing dialogues around race, gender, class, violence, and oppression. The panelists were: Dr. Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University Los Angeles and national organizer with #BlackLivesMatter. Kealeboga Mase Ramaru, an organizer with #RhodesMustFall at the University of Cape Town and the Deputy Head for the Western Cape office at Equal Education. Nana Afua Y. Brantuo, a 2016 fellow with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and a mindfulness coach for Black Girl Brilliance. Song List "Must Fall" by Java, Emile YX?, Linkris The Genius, Black Athena, Daddy Spencer, Crosby, and Khusta "Fees Will Fall" by Gigi Lamayne Article "Songs of Black Lives Matter: 22 New Protest Anthems" in Rolling Stone Magazine
12/17/20162 hours, 37 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 4: Hustlajay Mau Mau and Conscious Hip Hop in East Africa

This episode features a conversation with Kenyan hip hop artist Hustlajay Mau Mau. A conscious hip hop artists from Mombasa, Kenya who is part of an informal collective of conscious hip hop artists in East Africa. These artists, based in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya; in Kampala, Uganda; and in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, Tanzania continue to build on more than a decade of East African collaborations, forming grassroots organizing collectives and working on hip hop based initiatives that work with youth in those areas. Hustlajay Mau Mau's info Website: Soundcloud: Facebook page: Twitter: @hustlajaymaumau
11/30/201638 minutes
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 3: Xuman and Keyti on Hip Hop Culture in Senegal

This episode features an interview with Senegalese hip hop pioneers and activists Xuman and Keyti. Xuman and Keyti have been active in hip hop in Senegal for over 20 years. They now host a hip hop news show called Journal Rappé on YouTube. The episode featured on this podcast features the U.S. rapper M1. Journal Rappé:
11/2/201640 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

HHAP Episode 2: Scholarship on African Hip Hop

This episode focuses on some background information on studies of hip hop and studies of hip hop in Africa. We discuss some of the scholarship that has been produced on hip hop. The show starts with the song "Inspiration" by Tanzanian hip hop artists Sima da Black Philosopher and Mukimala from the Dar es Salaam based hip hop group Wanaitwa Uhuru (Call them Freedom). The group's album was featured in the best of 2013 on the World Hip Hop Market best of list. You can find Mukimala on Facebook at:
10/15/201618 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Podcast Introduction

We are introducing a new podcast show titled The Hip Hop African podcast. The podcast will feature interviews with artists and conversations around certain social and political issues that hip hop in Africa addresses. The podcast will be produced by Msia Kibona Clark in the Department of African Studies at Howard University, as well as students in her Hip Hop and Popular Culture in Africa course. This episode is just a brief introduction to the podcast.
10/5/20163 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Student Project: South African Visual Feminism

A project unpacking the feminist images available in South African Female Rap Artists' music videos.