It's been an interesting year in the world of African hip-hop. And we saw it all, from fresh new talent to hot collabos and dope videos. We are all about the music here at MTV Base, but in between those hot tunes the game also experienced its fair share of beef amongst MCs. And let’s face it, what’s hip-hop without a little beef?
This year they made headlines, worked with top international acts, topped charts and even branched out into other stuff outside of music, like TV hosting and clothing lines. They are to hip-hop what trending news is to Twitter. Here are the Hottest African MCs right now.
1. Cassper Nyovest
Hits in the past year: “Doc Shebeleza”, “Gusheshe”, “Phumakim”.
The 24 year-old rapper might be beefing with AKA, but what we are more interested in are the hot singalong tracks he keeps dropping. From "Gusheshe" to "Doc Shebeleza" all the way to the current hit "Phumakim", it's really hard not bumping to his melodic rhymes.
Hits in the past year: “Caracara”, “Mission Statement”.
K.O's second solo single "Caracara" has proved that for him making hits is standard procedure with or without his fellow band Teargas. If "Caracara" is anything to go by, we simply can't wait to hear his full album due out later this year.
3. Ice Prince
Hits in the past year: “N-Word (Remix)”, “I Swear”, “Shots On Shots”.
Now l get why Ice Prince called his latest album 'Fire Of Zamani'. He meant it! And the fire clearly shows in his music. With his most recent video for N-Word Remix and a string of impressive collabos, its clear why he's a BET award winning rapper.
Hits in the past year: “Run Jozi”, “Congratulate”.
AKA might be known for speaking his mind, which usually rubs off the wrong way on fellow rappers, but at least he has the talent and swag to back it up. Not only does his music have staying power, but he also has attitude. That top rapper, super star attitude. He knows his worth and it seems to be working for him.
5. Burna Boy
Hits in the past year: “Don Gorgon”, “Yawa Dey”, “Run My Race”.
Burna is probably the most authentic rapper right now. From his Jamaican inspired sounds in "Yawa Dey", to his sometimes retro style and always distinct tone, his music always leaves an impression. That old skool vibe and hardcore image sets him well apart from the rest.
Hits in the past year: “Adonai”, “Shots on Shots”, “Inflation”.
MAMA Best Hip-Hop award winner, BET and MTVEMA nominee, Sarkodie, has had an illustrious year with some impressive features under his belt. Taking Best Hip-Hop and collaborating with Miguel at the MAMAs, to hit producing features on Ice Prince and Fuse ODG tracks. Sarkodie has remained at the top of African rap.
Hits in the past year: “Goons Mi”, “Story for the gods”, “Sitting On the Throne”.Olamide is a celebrated street hop act that is steady writing the revolution of indigenous rap music in Nigeria’s blossoming music industry. While controversy trails him over being Naija’s most consistent artist, King Badoo’s career can boast a record of features and releases.
Hits in the past year: “Ingoma Ezimnandi”, “Chocolate & Vanilla”.
iFani is known for his tongue-twister Xhosa rhymes and distinct fashion sense. His hooks are catchy and his verses playful and witty. And with multiple bangers on his debut album, 'I Believes In Me', it's no wonder he's hot right now. This rapper manages to keep his music fun and relatable with a bit of soul in it.
Hits in the past year: “Alobam”, “Man of the Year”, “Authe”.
Phyno is one superstar who has enjoyed loyalty from fans that cut across his Eastern roots. Prior to the release of his debut album, ‘No Guts No Glory’, his singles “Ghost Mode ft. Olamide”, Man of the Year (Obago), Parcel, and Anamachi Versachi catapulted his fame while songs like ‘O Set ft. PSquare, ‘Icholiya ft. Ice Prince & M.I’ and the controversial ‘Authe ft. Flavour’ after the album release, kept him on a chilling fourth gear cruise.
Hits in the past year: “Tsiki Tsiki”, “Khayalami”, “Tsiki Tsiki (Remix)”.
Duncan's debut album topped local iTunes charts upon release and is still dominating the South African album sales chart. His Kwaito inspired rap takes you straight to the township. His new, his fresh and he's worth keeping an eye on!