TOP 10 AFRICAN RAPPERS 2017
This is one of the most difficult categories to shortlist, right off the bat. African hip hop has been on the rise and moving boundaries to which these acts have contributed immensely. Note that the criteria used for this ranking include but are not limited to rap skills (pun, double entendre, cadence etc.), accolades, charts, sales, hype, views, style, fan base, all in the year of review which is 2017. These are the 10 rappers that made an impact to the culture and a statement with their voice in 2017.
Kwesta is a South African rapper and songwriter. He was selected to become a Brand SA ambassador performing as a headline act at the nationwide roadshow tour in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010. He had some hit songs in 2017 such as Spirit featuring American rap sensation Wale.
- Ice Prince
Ice Prince is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and singer. His versatility is one major factor that makes him stand out. The BET Award for Best International Act: Africa 2013 winner released a couple of remarkable singles in 2017 such as ‘Replay’. He has worked with a lot of acts in Africa and beyond.
8. Khaligraph Jones
Khaligraph Jones is a Kenyan hip hop artist. He started in the Kenyan entertainment scene way back in 2009 after he won the Kenyan Edition of the Channel O Emcee Africa competitions at the age of 19. Khaligraph is one of Kenya’s finest rappers and he is known for his unique flow, style, delivery, and lyrics. His American accent makes him different from the rest.
M.anifest is a Ghanaian rapper, singer and songwriter. They say “good things take time” and M.anifest is an example for that. He doesn’t release much but when he does it’s fire. He is one of the most lyrical rappers in Ghana. He released several solid singles in 2017. He won the Best Rapper and Hip-Hop song of the year categories at the Ghana Music Awards in 2017.
- M.I. Abaga
M.I Abaga is a Nigerian hip hop recording artist and record producer. M.I’s legacy is big enough for him to be on every African hip hop list. M.I is one of the biggest name in Nigeria Hip hop. He released a couple of outstanding singles in 2017 such as ‘You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Lives’ where he raps about the South Africa dominancy in African hip hop.
- Riky Rick
Riky Rick also known as Boss Zonke or King Kotini, is a South African rapper. He is one of the biggest name in South African Hip-Hop music. His lyricism makes him one of the most competitive rappers in Africa right now. His latest EP stay shining brings you nothing but bars.
- Nasty C
Nasty C is a South African rapper, songwriter and record producer. His debut album ‘Bad Hair’ tops iTunes and Audio Mack charts at number 1 spot. The 20-year-old was the youngest recipient for an award at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards. He is definitely one of the most lyrical South African rapper. Nasty C has worked with most of the big names in Africa music industry.
Sarkodie is a Ghanaian hip hop recording artist. He raps mostly in his local dialect ‘Twi’. Self-proclaimed King Sark has been dominating Ghanaian music industry for years. His consistency has got him fans in the continent and beyond. The BET Award for Best International Act: Africa 2012 winner is definitely the most prominent figure in Ghana music industry. Side note; hip hop heads claim he is the fastest rapper in Africa.
AKA is a South African hip hop recording artist and record producer. You can’t think of African hip hop and not think of AKA. He is a versatile artist who has several hits and accolades to his name. He is one of the most prominent artist in Africa. He is arguably better than Cassper but that’s a debate for another day.
- Cassper Nyovest
Cassper Nyovest, is a South African recording artist and record producer. His third studio album ‘Thuto’ released in 2017 went platinum just like his previous two albums. Since his debut album ‘Tsholofelo’ which was released on 18 July 2014, Cassper has had one of the best come-up in African hip hop. He is fast becoming a household name in Africa.