November 2015 theme: Hip-hop in Africa

Following its emergence in New York in the 1970s, hip-hop first rose to the musical mainstream as early as the 1980s. It soon became a global movement, drawing influence from Africa as well as influencing new musical trends on the continent. While the genre was initially the domain of underground acts and loyal fans, in the past 10 years it has exploded to become one of the defining sounds of popular music all over the world, particularly in Africa. More than just a sound or a style, hip-hop is also a worldview determined to not only entertain but also inspire, uplift, educate and empower. As a global social movement, hip-hop serves to share common experiences and build bridges between various communities, nations, regions and even continents.

Sarkodie (Ghana) and AKA (South Africa). Photo: www.africanhhb.com
Sarkodie (Ghana) and AKA (South Africa). Photo: www.africanhhb.com

While some African hip-hop artists continue to look to the genre’s American pioneers and current stars for inspiration, many of Africa’s leading hip-hop artists and producers have succeeded in redefining the sound to incorporate local languages and musical influences, often fusing new categories in the process, such as Hiplife in Ghana. Today, many of Africa’s most popular artists rely on hip-hop as their primary inspiration. For this reason, we have chosen hip-hop as our theme for the month of November. Music In Africa has commissioned and published original overview texts covering the historical development of the genre in various African countries - including Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa and Mali – with many more still to come. We have also compiled a selection of hip-hop-related features and news articles from our magazine section.

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