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JJC and 419
African hip hop

It's massive across the continent. Check out who's hot in Kenya and Nigeria.

listen JJC & 419 Squad are a London-based Nigerian four-piece, fusing African rhythms, hip hop, salsa and their native Yoruba language with English. They classify themselves as Afropean (Africans based in the European diaspora, in this case Nigerians living in London) and their music draws from a diversity of influences to create a young, African sound.

listen Kalamashaka along with their collective Ukoo Flani Mau Mau Camp represent the real underground hip hop straight outta the ghettos of Nairobi and Mombasa. The crew represent the struggle of the poor, the deprived and the sentiments of the people who fought Kenya's independence. Every ghetto loves them but the media show them little love because they are so raw.

listen Prezzo (aka King of Bling) is renowned for a showbiz lifestyle no artist in Kenya can contend with. Often referred to as the P Diddy of Kenya, he is the president ('Prezzo') of Cash Money Brothers crew (CMB). The boy rolls in a convoy of vehicles like the president of Kenya and has been known to turn up for his shows in a helicopter. He is definitely loved by many and envied by most.

listen Bamboo (also part of K-South) is one of the hottest male MCs. He could easily hold it down against any international MC you put him up against. Recently born again, we wait to see the effect that will have on his future musical output.

listen Necessary Noize sleekly mix dancehall, hip hop and soul. The Kenyan boy/girl duo recently broke away from one of the hottest production houses, Blu Zebra. Featuring Nazizi, 'the first lady of Kenyan hip hop'. This girl is can hold her own against any male rapper in the whole of Africa.

listen Hardstone remains the respected pioneer for influencing the current interest in homegrown talent. He fuses his dancehall vibes with hip hop beats. Leaving Kenya for Cleveland US, he has toured and worked with many big US artists and is currently fielding interest from several big labels including Def Jam.

listen Nonini is a hot favourite amongst young Kenyans. He is well-known for his often controversial lyrics about women and alcohol as well as his off-stage antics.

listen Nameless has his own unique hybrid style of dancehall/pop fused with local genres like genge and kapuka. Best known for his performances and is possibly the country's best young showman. His debut album has remained one of the bestselling releases in recent times and he has toured the US and UK extensively.

listen E-Sir is a much-loved young rapper who passed away a couple of years back just before his first album was released. He left a legacy in Kenya which matches that of Tupac.


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