There have been lots of arguments about who is the Best African Rapper 2021.Therefore, if you are asking and wanting to know the top 10 current best African rappers, this article will focus on them. Despite the increase in the number of artists involved in the rap genre, only a few of them have gained modern experience to date, which is enough to be listed among Africa's leading musicians. Fastest Growing Hustle Blog In the World.
These artists are creative artists who specialize in talent, dedication, and hard work. Over time, these factors have found the difference between successful work and vice versa.
Check out the list below:
#10. M.anifest, Ghana
Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, popularly known as M.anifest is a Ghanaian rapper, songwriter and musician. He was born on November 20, 1982, to Ghanaian lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata and Priscilla Naana Nketia.
He won Best Rapper and Hip-Hop song of the year at the 2017 Ghana Music Awards. He has worked with Damon Albarn , Flea , Tony Allen, Erykah Badu, and is featured on five songs on the Rocket Juice and The Moon album. He is the grandson of one of Africa’s foremost ethnomusicologists and composers J.H. Kwabena Nketia. In 2012, BBC ’s arts program The Strand tipped him as one of four acts to look out for in 2012. In 2015 M.anifest's single "Someway bi" earned him a third-place honour in the International Songwriters Competition (ISC). In the same year, The Guardian named M.anifest as "the foremost rapper on the continent.". M.anifest currently lives in Accra (Madina) and Minneapolis.
M.anifest rose to fame when he released his first single, Manifestations in 2007. In 2020, he collaborated with Africa Express to play gigs in France and Spain. After his, his unique performance caught the attention of the co-founder, Damon Albarn who invited him to be a collaborator on Rocket Juice and the Moon in 2011. M.anifest has released several songs and have stayed afloat in the music industry since he joined.
M.anifest has several songs including Me Ne Woa, No Short Cut to heaven, Someway Bi, We No Dey Hear, B.E.A.R and many others.
#9. Nadia Nakai, South Africa.
Nadia Nakai, born May 18, 1990, is a South African Singer, Songwriter, and Rapper from Johannesburg. At the age of 16, she changed her surname. In fact, her inspiration is Kenyan rapper Nazizi. She met her while living in Kenya. After that, Nakai decided to start her career as a rapper. Her real full birth name is Nadia Dlamini.
Moreover, Nazizi influenced her to focus on her singing and songwriting. Soon, she released a single in 2013 is “Like Me”. Additionally, Nadia featured in “Amantombazane Remix” by Riky Rick. Then, she collaborated with Nigeria based rapper ‘Ice Prince” single “Saka Wena”.
Nakia has won the Mixtape 101 competition hip-hop show. She is the first female rapper to win the prestigious competition. You can enjoy her latest songs on YouTube, Ganna, Saavan, and Hungama.
#8. Phyno, Nigeria
Chibuzor Nelson Azubike is one of the major players in the Nigerian music industry, especially the rap genre. Popularly known as Phyno, he is one of the greatest rappers with a robust career in the Nigerian music scene. With his entrant into the industry, he revived the culture of rapping in his native dialect, Igbo, and set ablaze a trail that was almost going cold since his predecessors seem to have faded from the limelight.
In the years that he has built his career, this rapper has risen to great heights. Phyno has established himself as one of the key rappers in the country, and in the process, amassed a lot of wealth for himself, which aids in the life of luxury he is currently leading. Tracing the background of the rap icon will shed more light on his journey and the numerous milestones he has recorded.
#7. Khaligraph Jones, Kenya
Khaligraph Jones is currently one of the most lethal rappers and one of most celebrated Hip Hop artists in Kenya causing ripples in the Hip Hop industry, having broke into the Kenyan Music scene in 2009 after winning the Kenyan Edition of the Channel O Emcee Africa competitions at the age of 19, years.
Khaligraph Jones was born on 12th June 1990 in Nairobi’s Kayole estate, Brian Robert Ouko is his real name though popularly known by his stage name Khaligraph Jones.
Khaligraph who was influenced by his elder brother to take up the art started doing music seriously in 2007 and has grown to establish himself as a force to reckon with in the music industry having released his first track in 2004 at the age of 13. He grew to be a bilingual emcee who specialised in battling and freestyling. The talented rapper who fell in love with music at a very young age is known for his lyrical prowess that has endeared him to many Hip hop lovers in the country.While still young, the hardships he encountered in Nairobi’s Eastland’s made him fall in love with Hip hop music because that’s where he could express himself comfortably. Khaligraph who can rap comfortably in both English and Swahili is one of the few rappers in the country who has mastered the art of the game. Something most people may not know is that he has had his try at the gospel music industry.
#6. AKA, South Africa
AKA is a South African mainstream rap artist. He was born in Cape Town on January 28, 1988. AKA’s birth name is Kiernan Jordan Forbes. The rapper rose to fame after having joined a group with his two school mates. The rap group arose in 2002 and managed to garner a large number of successes; having entered South Africa’s music chart with a series of different released singles.
After some time, the rap group whose name was Entity, began to have some issues from within the group. All three members expressed different visions, different plans for the future, and various solo projects. Entity came to an end in 2006, with all three members forging different paths.
AKA continued his pursuit of music. He decided to retrieve himself from the world stage for some time and focus on working behind the scenes. AKA took some time for himself to learn the ins and outs of engineering. The rapper then proceeded to create his very own production company in 2007 alongside two colleagues named Buks and Kamza.
After some time producing, AKA sought to pursue his own solo rap career, and so he did. After his debut album garnered a huge level of success within his country he became a sort of poster child for South African Rap. He went on to receive various prestigious awards the most prestigious of all having been the ” Male Artist of the Year Award,” at the South African Music Awards. The South African Music Awards being the countries equivalent to The Grammys. After so much success AKA dubbed the name, “Prince of South African Rap.”
Adding to his list of achievements AKA has also had the privilege of opening up for Kanye West, Big Sean, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar.
#5. M.I Abaga, Nigeria
M.I Abaga is a Nigerian rapper/hip-hop artist and a record producer whose lyrical prowess makes him an outstanding recording artiste in the country’s music industry.
Since gaining prominence in 2006 with his song Crowd Mentality, M.I has won several awards including Best Hip-Hop and Best Rap Album at the Hip Hop World Awards; and several nominations since 2008 to date. He is currently the CEO of Chocolate City, a music and entertainment company which was established in 2015.
Jude (M.I) Abaga, was born on October 4, 1981, in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. He is originally from Taraba State as his parents, Pastor and Mrs. Abaga are both from Takum. Growing up in Jos with his two brothers – Jesse (Jagz) and Jason Abaga, M.I attended Baptist High School, Jos. As a teenager, his interest in music was piqued after his mother purchased basic music notations and 7-key mini piano for him.
Furthering his tertiary education in the U.S. in the 1990s, M.I would listen to tracks from famous rappers like DMX, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, and others. While majoring in Business and Economics at Calvin College, Michigan, he delved into poetry and would often perform at the school’s hip-hop shows and concerts.
He took off with his music career in Nigeria after he returned in 2003. M.I started producing mixtapes with his friend, Djinee and it wasn’t long before he released his first mixtape titled PYERIBOY. His single Safe gained impressive airplay in African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. Not only did Nigerians loved it, the track earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards.
The subsequent release of his first studio album title Talk About It cinched his career success and popularity. M.I was rated 8.5/10 by Oye Akideinde of 360nobs and won the City People Awards for Best Hip Hop Artist and Musician of the Year 2008.
Motivated by his mounting fame, M.I dropped a sample mixtape in 2009 and 2012 titled: Illegal Music I and II. He later teamed up with several music artists Lindsay, Ice Prince, including to brother Jesse Jagz, and others to establish Loopy Music – a company that is currently merged with Chocolate City.
After he got signed by Chocolate City, M.I moved from Jos to Abuja. From there onwards, his recognition ricochet across Nigeria to South Africa and the US where he was acknowledged by MTVbase Awards, Channel O Music Award as well as American BET Awards.
#4. Falz, Nigeria
Top Nigerian rapper Falz The Bahd Guy is a name the Nigerian entertainment industry cannot do without.
Born on the 27th of October, 1990 as Folarin Falana, Falz began his music career as early back as 1990 with a music group - 'The School Boys'.
He was born in Mushin, Lagos State, Nigeria to renowned lawyer parents, Femi and Funmi Falana. Amazingly, Falz also studied law himself and was called to the bar 2012 after his graduation from the Nigeria Law School, Abuja.
He had his primary and secondary education at the St. Leo's Catholic Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos State and the Olashore International School, Osun State respectively and is an alumnus of the University of Reading England, having graduated with an LLB honors degree in Law.
Having started his music career in secondary school, in the year 2009, Falz released a compilation of some of his recordings as a mixtape - 'Shakara: The Mixtape'. In the year 2011, he also released a single, 'Waz Up Guy' and then 'High Class' and 'Currency', which all did very well.
Falz became more well-known after his song with Yemi Alade and Poe, 'Marry Me' won him a nomination in the 'Best Collaboration Of The Year, 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated for the 'Best New Act To Watch' and the 'Best Rap Act Of The Year'.
Prior to that, on the 2nd of January, 2014, Falz appeared in tooXclusive's 'Artistes To Watch in 2014'. He released his second album, 'Stories That Touch' on the 17th of November, 2015 and in 2016, won the 'Best Actor In A Comedy Movie/Series' at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for his role as Segun in Funke Akindele's TV series - Jenifa's Diary.
Falz was also voted the winner of the 'Viewer's Choice Best New International Act', 2016 BET Awards. He collaborated with Simi to release Chemistry, a seven-track EP which was produced by Sess. Before that, he had released two songs with Simi - 'Jamb Question' and 'Soldier'.
On the 27th of October, 2017, Falz dropped a surprise album, '27' to celebrate the day and was a blast. It wasn't promoted before it's release and contained tracks like 'Bhad Baddo Baddest', 'Wehdone Sir', 'Something Light' and others. He featured artists like Olamide, Wande Coal, Burna Boy, Maleek Berry, Terry Apala, Medika, Ycee, Sir Dauda and Davido. The album was produced by Sess and won a good number of awards and nominations, including the 'Headies Award for Rap Album of the Year'.
May 2018, Falz released a controversial music video, 'This Is Nigeria' which was inspired by American singer, Childish Gambino's "This is America' and it highlighted the Nigeria's social issues such as corruption and bribery.
On the 1st of September, 2018, Falz won the 'Best Supporting Actor' at the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards for his role as Quam in Tope Oshin Ogun's movie New Money. He became the first Nigerian musician to win the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards twice.
#3. Sarkodie, Ghana
Michael Owusu Addo professionally known as Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian hip hop rapper and entrepreneur from Tema. He is considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance. Sarkodie is often named as one of Africa’s greatest hip hop rappers. The Guardian listed him as one of its top five hip hop acts on the African continent.
Sarkodie often raps in his native language Twi, and is considered a “multifaceted rapper” due to the various musical styles he possess. He was ranked by Forbes and Channel O’s list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes. Sarkodie has performed with artists such as T-Pain, Miguel, Movado, Trey Songz, and Ludacris. He has a large fan base in Africa, and is considered one of the most celebrated musical icons from Ghana.
Sarkodie has received 81 awards from 148 nominations, including 22 Ghana Music Awards. Makye, his debut studio album, won him three awards at both the 4syte TV Music Video Awards and Ghana Music Awards. The album also earned him a nomination at the 2010 MTV Africa Music Awards. Rapperholic, his second studio album, earned him accolades at the 2012 editions of the BET Awards, The Headies, Ghana Music Awards, National Youth Achievement Awards, MOBO Awards, and Channel O Music Video Awards.
#2. Cassper Nyovest, South Africa
Refiloe Maele Phoolo alias Cassper Nyovest is a celebrated South African rapper, songwriter, record producer, dancer and business mogul. He is currently considered as the most successful South African artist as well as the greatest South- African hip- hop artist of all time.
Cassper was born on 16th December, 1990 in Montshioa, Mahikeng, North West province, South Africa. Cassper is currently 30 years old as of the year 2021. He gets to celebrate his birthday on 16th December every year.
He went to Sol Plaatjie Secondary school for his secondary education. It was during this time that he developed profound passion for music, specifically rap music. As a matter of fact, he started rapping at the age of 12. After failing his Grade 10 exams in 2006, he moved to his grandmother’s house in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Cassper dropped out of school in 2007 at the age of 16. Prior to his dropping out, he told his parents that he would rather chase his dream, which he believed was going to work out rather than playing it safe and regretting it his whole life.
#1. Nasty C, South Africa
Unarguably, the young talented rapper is the rave of the moment in South Africa and across Africa. Nasty C hails from South Africa and he is a rapper, a songwriter, and a record producer currently regarded as the best rapper in Africa. He is popular and well known for the single hit song “Way it Goes”. Nasty C was the youngest rapper to receive an award (the Best Freshman Award) at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards. In addition to his music thrills, with hit singles like ‘Said’ among other hit songs, the released second studio album titled Strings & Bling, Nasty is regarded as the best rapper in Africa. He has been consisting of his performance, dishing out his best to win the heart of his fans and indeed it has got him a lot of love and many international approvals.
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