Since the 1980s, rap music has been a popular genre of music in the United States and today, the continent of Africa has some of the best rappers.
We all know that rap music was invented by the black community in the United States. Rap music dates back to the early 1960s and since then, it has evolved into something else.
The early 1980s was the time for the hip-hop group N.W.A. The group had some of the finest MCs. The likes of legendary Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and Dr Dre.
The 1990s was also a time that the world saw one of the greatest rappers of all time. It was a time we listen to rappers like the Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur.
Rap music began in the United States but it inspired a lot of people around the world. Traditionally, we on the continent of Africa have our type of music. However, hip-hop became a genre of music we all accepted and as time progresses, several rappers emerged from different countries in Africa.
Because they loved the rhymes and poetry involved in rap music and also getting inspired by their favourite American rapper, African rappers got into the rap game.
Today, we have several rappers across the continent of Africa and they are also recognized internationally. African rappers have won different international awards and that is what we will also look into in this guide.
In a moment, we will list the best rappers on the African continent and the countries where they hail from.
Who Are the Best Rappers in Africa?
Some of the best rappers on the continent are from countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroun, Kenya, and Uganda. We are all familiar with names like Sarkodie, Nasty C, M.I Abaga, AKA, Cassper Nyovest, and Phyno.
African rappers have won BET awards and other international awards. In 2013, Nigerian rapper Ice Prince won Best International Act: Africa. Four years later, South African rappers Nasty C also won the same award.
The rape game is still active band flourishing across different countries in the continent and more young talents are emerging as time progresses.
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20 Best Rappers in Africa
One unique thing about African rappers is that they are gifted and can rap in different languages. Rappers on the continent can rap in the English language and their local dialect.
So, who are the best rappers on the African continent?
#1. Sarkodie (Ghana)
Born July 1988, Michael Owusu Addo popularly and professionally known as Sarkodie is a Ghanaian rapper and songwriter. Sarkodie has been in the rap game for over a decade and he is still one of the best rappers in Africa.
The Ghanaian rapper was raised in Tema and he graduated with a degree as a graphic designer. Sarkodie remains one of the best rappers this generation has ever seen.
The Ghanaian rapper became famous with the release of his first single titled “Baby”. Since then, Sarkodie has released several songs, some of which he featured international artists like Ace Hood.
Sarkodie has been nominated for several awards, both in Africa and outside the continent. He has won 26 Ghana Music Awards, 2 BET Awards, 3 Headies Awards, and more.
#2. Nasty C (South Africa)
Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, professionally known as Nasty C is a South African rapper and songwriter. Nasty C was born on 11 February 1997 and he is one of the best young rappers in Africa.
Since 2013, Nasty C has been in the rap game. Nasty C has won several awards including BET’s Best International Act: Africa. One of Nasty C’s hit songs that made popular is his hit single titled “Way it Goes”.
Nasty C has collaborated with several African artists including Davido and Run Town. The South African rapper was the youngest to receive an award at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards.
#3. Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
Cassper Nyovest is the next South African rapper on our list. His real name is Reliloe Maele Phoolo, born December 16 1990.
He is a songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and amateur boxer. Cassper became one of the most recognized rappers in Africa when he released his debut album in 2014. The album was titled “Tsholofelo” and that was the introduction from Cassper.
Since 2014, Cassper Nyovest has been one of the best rappers in South Africa. The rapper has been nominated for several awards and won many.
Cassper won the award for the best South African MC by MTV Base. He also won the award for Best New Comer, Album of the Year, Best Music Video as well as Best Single.
#4. Falz (Nigeria)
Falz the Bad Guy is one best Nigerian rappers on the African continent. Real name Folarin Falana, Falz the Bad Guy is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter, and actor.
The Nigerian rapper began his career while he was in secondary school back in the day. Falz formed a group called The School Boys with his friends before his professional career kick-started in 2009.
Currently, Falz is the CEO of an independent record label known as Bahd Guys Records. In 2014, Falz released his debut album titled “Wazup Guy”. The rapper’s second album “Stories That Touch was released a year later.
Besides being a rapper, Falz the Bahd Guy has also appeared in several Nollywood movies.
#5. M.I Abaga (Nigeria)
M.I Abaga (Mr Incredible) is one of the best rappers in Africa. He is one of the finest MCs in the rape game.
Jude Lamfani Abaga came to the limelight of fame in 2006 when he released his hit single titled “Crown Mentality”. In 2008, the Nigerian rapper released his debut studio album titled “Talk About it”.
The rapper was not done yet, as he released MI 2: The Movie in 2010. Then four years later, M.I Abaga released his third studio album The Chairman.
The Nigerian rapper was the CEO of Chocolate City from 2015 to 2019. However, in 2020, he left Chocolate City and launched his record label Incredible Music.
M.I. has won several awards as a rapper. Mr Incredible won Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 edition of the MTV Africa Music Awards.
#6. AKA (South Africa)
The next South African rapper on 0ur list is AKA. Kieman Jerry Forbes is one of the finest MCs out of South Africa. The South African rapper’s hit song titled “Victory Lap” made him popular in the hip-hop world back in 2011.
Some of AKA’s hit songs include The Saga, Baddest, Sim Dope, and All Eyes on Me. AKA has won several musical awards including
The Best Male Artist of the Year, and the Best Street Urban Music Album. He won these awards at the 18th South African Music Awards (SAMA).
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#7. Khaligraph Jones (Kenya)
Brian Robert Ouko, professionally known as Khaligraph Jones is a Kenyan rapper and one of the best in Africa.
Khaligraph Jones made his entrance into the rap game back in 2013. He remains one of Kenya’s finest rappers, winning several musical awards. The Kenyan rapper was awarded the Best Rap Act at the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA).
Some of Khaligragh Jones’s hit songs include Ma Name, Mariga Money, One Two Three, The Anthem, Yego, Faslane, Tattoo Kwa Thigh, and Dedication.
#8. Phyno (Nigeria)
Phyno is one the finest rappers in Arica. The Nigerian rapper’s real name is Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike and he was raised in Enugu State, Nigeria.
He is a songwriter and a record producer who came to the limelight back in 2003. Phyno is popularly known for rapping in the Igbo dialect. He’s best friends with another Nigerian rapper Olamide.
Some of Phyno’s hit tracks include songs like So Far So Good, Man of the Year, Ghost Mode (Featuring Olamide), High Way, and YeYo.
#9. Nadia Nakai (South Africa)
Nadia Nakai is a female South African rapper and television personality. She attended Fourways High School in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed her high school education in Kenya.
The South African female rapper released her hit song in 2013 titled “Like Me”. She is the first female rapper to win the Mixtape 101 competition on the e.TV hip-hop show.
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#10. M.anifest (Ghana)
Kwame Ametepee Tsikata is the next Ghanaian rapper on our list. M.anifest is a Ghanaian rapper and record producer who came into the rap game in 2017.
The Ghanaian rapper won the Best Rapper and Hip Hop song of the year at the Ghana Music Award in 2017. A year later, M.anifest won the Best artiste in African Hip Hop award at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).
#11. Jovi (Cameroun)
Born in 1983, Ndukong Godlove Nfor is a Cameroonian rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is popularly known as Jovi which is his stage name.
The Cameroonian rapper graduated from the University of Yaoundé II (Soa), with a bachelor of arts in economics and Business Management. His first hit single titled “Don 4 Kwat” was the hit track that made the Cameroonian popular.
Jovi also featured Congolese artiste Tabu Ley Rochereau in the song titled “Pitie”.
#12. Olamide (Nigeria)
Born in 1989, Olamide Gbenga Adedeji is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter, and record executive. Olamide is one of the best rappers in Africa and as a record executive, he has been instrumental in the launching of several young talents.
Baddo released his debut studio album in 2011 and since then, he has become one of the biggest artists not just in Nigeria, but in the whole of Africa.
Baddo has won several musical awards including the Headies Award, MTV Africa Music Award, and many more.
#13. Ice Prince Zamani (Nigeria)
Ice Prince Zamani is another Nigerian rapper on our list. Born in 1984, Panshak Henry Zamani is a Nigerian rapper and hip-hop recording artist.
The Nigerian rapper rose to fame after he released his hit single Oleku. The song remains one of Nigeria’s most mixed songs of all time.
In 2011, Ice Prince released his debut studio album titled “Everybody Loves Ice Prince. The rapper’s debut studio album was supported by three singles “Superstar” “Oleku” and “Juju”.
Ice Prince won the Best International Act: Africa at the BET Awards back in 2013.
#14. Octopizzo (Kenya)
Octopizzo is the second Kenyan rapper on our list after Khaligraph Jones. The Kenyan rapper’s real name is Henry Ohanga and he is the CEO of the Octopizzo Foundation.
In 2012 and 2015, Octopizzo won the Best Male Artiste and Best Hip Hop Artiste Coastal Nzumari Awards.
#15. Vector Tha Viper (Nigerian)
Another Nigerian rapper on our list is Vector Tha Viper. Born in August 1984, Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, popularly known as Vector, is a Nigerian rapper and songwriter.
Vector is one of Nigeria’s finest rappers. Currently, Vector has released three studio albums which include The Second Coming (2012) and State of Surprise. In 2016, Vector also released his third album Lafiaji.
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#16. Kwesi Arthur (Ghana)
Kwesi Arthur is one of the young talents in the rap game. The Ghanaian rapper, songwriter, and singer hail from Tema, Ghana.
Emmanuel Kwesi Danso Arthur Junior rose to fame in 2017, with the hit single “Grind day”. Arthurs is one of the best rappers on the continent of Africa.
#17. Shane Eagle (South Africa)
Shane Eagle is one of South Africa’s young talents. He is a rapper, songwriter, record producer, and television personality who rose to fame in 2015.
The South African rapper finished in fourth place on the first season of the Vuzu rapping competition.in 2017, Shane Eagle released his debut album Yellow. The album featured the lead single “Let it Flow.
#18. Fik Fameica (Uganda)
Fik Fameica is another young African rapper on this list. The Ugandan rapper’s real name is Walukagga Shafik and he was born on January 10 1996.
The rapper has won awards in his home country of Uganda and East Africa. In 2018, Fik won the Best Rap Song for his hit track “Kutama” at the annual HiPopo Awards.
#19. Sho Madjozi (South Africa)
Sho Madjozi is another female South African rapper on this list. Madjozi is a songwriter, actress, rapper and poet.
The South African female rapper was named one of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 because of her contribution to the music and entertainment industry. Sho Madjozi has been nominated for several musical awards and won many of those awards.
#20. Medikal (Ghana)
Samuel Adu Frimpong popularly known as Medikal is a hip-hop artiste from Ghana. Medikal completes our list of best rappers in Africa.
The Ghanaian rapper and Sarkodie had the highest nomination for the 2017 Ghana Music Awards.
The rap game may have begun in the United States, but rappers from the African continent are taking rap music to the next level. Some of the rappers on our list have been in the game for over two decades.
New talents are still discovered in different countries across the continent and they are ready to become the next top rap artists in Africa.
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