Hip hop surpassed Rock to be the most popular genre in U.S four and half decades after it started. It is still one of the hottest on the planet right now. We’re not sure about aliens, but if they listen to music in Crypton, hip-hop is probably going be the hottest there too.
However Africa is not lost. There’s always new and impressive stuff every other week. In 2018 we expect that new names to enter the fray.
Now here are some super cool African rappers that I think will take Africa by storm in 2018. This list does not include the likes of Nasty C, Emtee tha Hustla, Falz and any other new rapper who has had a well attended African tour. It also includes their countries of origin and a brief bio.
Oya come make we go;
1. Laylizzy (Mozambique)
Real name is Edson Abel Jeremias Tchamo. Laylizzy is a Mozambican rapper who raps in English and Portuguese. Signed to Geobek Records, Laylizzy is one of those rappers Africa should watch out for in 2018.
With two albums namely “Unsigned” and “Artistic”, one should expect bigger things as we enter the new year.
2. CDQ (Nigeria)
Only God knows what will happen if I call him upcoming?. But that’s just by the way. CDQ is a Nigerian rap star, whose delivery is similar to that of rappers like Reminisce, Chinko Ekun, and Seriki. He actually raps like he’s just talking. Forget the club bangers he’s doing, he rarely sings and this is good for the culture.
He’s a mainstream artiste, with hits like Woss Wobi (his signature hit), Salaro, Nowo E Soke featuring Wizkid and Odikwa OK featuring Banky W.
His album “Quality” was a successful debut. And collaborations with the likes of Olamide, Davido, Wizkid and Masterkraft are coming in good. In 2018 CDQ might just be the guy of the moment in Africa. One more thing, he’s not under 30.
3. Boogey (Nigeria)
He is arguably Nigeria’s underground prince. Let’s get the facts right, by no means is he an upcoming artiste. He’s that cool cat, who does what he does. Hip hop in Nigeria would be broke without his kind. He is one of the very few outsiders, who has been nominated for the Headies Lyricist On The Roll.
Born David Iye Odey, the dread haired MC is possessed with amazing lyrical powers and a unique delivery. It might not be evident from his accent that he’s a Nigerian or even African. But Boogey is just the right type for any hip hop lover.
He has dropped six projects and been nominated at the Headies three times. And with a new album “Nouveau Niveau” set to drop early next year, perhaps he’ll go international.
4. Yaa Pono (Ghana)
Earlier in 2017, this guy shook Africa when he dropped two diss tracks, “Noko” and “Gbee Naabu” aimed at Ghanaian singer, Shatta Wale. A searches on google related to “Yaa Pono” includes Gbee Naabu”. This means people from places other than Ghana really wanted to know.
Top MC M.anifest, listed him as one of his top five rappers. And with 63.4K twitter followers, Yaa Pono is one of the hottest new acts in Africa, right now.
He has a full length project titled “Faster Than Gods” which he dropped in June 2017. Singles like “Street Boy” and “No. 1 in Africa” are already gaining grounds all over. Obviously, Yaa Pono is poised for bigger things.
5. Dremo (Nigeria)
One of the few Nigerian rappers that made wave in 2017 is Dremo. Signed under Davido led Davido Music Worldwide, he is a cat to watch out for.
His flow is tight and lyrics tighter. The hype he is getting now is enough to wake anyone about to sleep on him.
6. TeePhlow (ghana)
Baidoo Lukeman aka Teephlow is a badass Ghanaian rapper signed to “The Last Two Music Group”. When I heard his EP, I was wowed at how hot the MC is.
He was listed on MTV Base’s acts to watch 2017. And next year you wouldn’t have to watch to notice him. He has had numerous high profile collaborations with the likes of Stonebwoy, Flowking Stone, Pappy Kojo and Edem.
You don’t need binoculars. Just shine your eyes.
7. Gigi Lamayne (South Africa)
Currently signed under Mabala Noise Entertainment; a prominent label which is home to Nasty C, and LeAnne Dlamini. This South-African 23-year-old femcee is one of the hardest in the game.
She rose to limelight after dropping her debut single “Ice Cream” in March 2015. However she remixed it with her mentor, and label mate at that time, Khuli Chana.
She has won the SA Hip Hop Awards five times. And her single “Lobola” is making waves in Nigeria and other African countries.
8. Frank Casino (South Africa)
Nhalanhla Tshabalala is a big name for a big man like Casino. The rapper is signed to Dapper Gang Records; a label he co-founded. Born and raised in Johanessburg, the super-talented rapper and producer is just 25.
Since his single “Just Before The Riches” caught the Media’s attention in 2015, he has been unstoppable. “Whole Thang”, his biggest single till date, gained him a massive following in South Africa. And I sense he’s about to hit the whole of Africa in 2018.
9. Flowking Stone (Ghana)
I don’t know whether his claim of being the best rapper in Ghana is true. But I know one thing, Stone is talented and smart.
Although originally part of the duo Bradez, with his brother Kunta Kinte, FlowKing Stone has done impressive solo singles like “Rapping Drums”, “Fire Bon Dem”, “Number 1” and “Go Low”. He won the “Hip-life Song Of The Year” at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards early in 2017. So expect nothing less from him in 2018.
10. Priddy Ugly (South Africa)
He is one of the best at the moment. This South African MC, whose real name is Richardo Moloi, is just 25. And he’s great.
He was part of the boy-group “Krunk Era”, which later changed to “Blaque”. His first solo work “The Ugly Truth” dropped in 2012 and garnered over 30K downloads. His 15-track album titled “You Don’t Know Me Yet” is just as dope.
Happy New Year in Advance!
About the author
Tylz Ceazar Yo is a young rap artiste and an outspoken music industry commentator. He writes in a very controversial manner and is known to “never let the sleeping dogs lie”. In October 2017, he was inducted into HipHopHead as a contributor.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of HipHopHead.