Africa best rappers
M.anifest, born Kwame Ametepee Tsikata , 20 November 1982, is a Ghanaian rapper, singer and songwriter.
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.
#9. Nadia Nakai, South Africa.
Nadia Nakai Kandava, born 18 May 1990, is a South African rapper and songwriter.
Nakai was born in South Africa. Her father is South African and her mother is Zimbabwean . She studied Marketing, Communication, and Media Studies at Monash University, Johannesburg.
Nakai made her first television appearance on the e.tv hip hop show Shiz Niz where she won the Mixtape 101 competition, making her the first female to win the competition. She then rose to prominence in September 2013, when she released her debut single Like Me. The following year, she was featured on the remix of Riky Rick song, Amantombazane amongst various acts. As for June 2015, Nakai released her third single Saka Wena featuring rapper Ice Prince , following her second single, Whatever featuring DotCom and Psyfo.
The Man featuring Cassper Nyovest from her then upcoming EP , Bragga. Bragga was then released on September 15, 2016. In November 2017, Nakai released her critically acclaimed single Naaa Meaan featuring Cassper Nyovest. The song topped charts in several radio stations in South Africa. On November 4, 2016, she hosted the red carpet special for MTV Africa at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Nakai is currently the co-host of MTV Base hip hop show, Yo! MTV Raps South Africa alongside television presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi. On May 3, 2019, Nakai confirmed that her debut album Nadia Naked was released on June 28, 2019. On May 18, 2019, “Imma Boss” was released as the lead single accompanied by the album’s artwork cover.
Nakai was inspired by a Kenyan rapper, Nazizi, who she met while she was staying in Kenya. She said that Nazizi influenced her in starting her rapping career.
#8. Phyno, Nigeria
Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike, born 9 October 1986, better known as Phyno , is a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. He started his music career as a producer in 2003, and is renowned for rapping in the Igbo language. His debut studio album No Guts No Glory was released in 2014. It was supported by four singles: “Ghost Mode”, “Man of the Year”, “Parcel” and “O Set”. Phyno has worked with artists such as Timaya , Flavour ,Ruggedman , Bracket, J. Martins and Mr Raw.
Phyno began recording his debut studio album No Guts No Glory in 2012. The album features guest appearances from Stormrex, Omawumi , Olamide , Efa, P-Square , Timaya ,Flavour N’abania , Mr. Raw, MI , Ice Prince and Runtown . It was primarily recorded in Igbo and Nigerian Pidgin. On 25 September 2012, he released the Olamide-assisted “Ghost Mode” as the album’s lead single. It won Best Collabo at both the 2012 The Headies Awards and 2013 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. The music video for “Ghost Mode” was released on 7 December 2012. It was shot and directed in Lagos by Clarence Peters.
#7. Khaligraph Jones, Kenya
Khaligraph Jones is the stage name of Brian Robert Ouko. The twenty-eight years old is vastly known for his hip-hop and rap music genre. Khali graph became famous in the music industry in 2013 and since then he has been the fan-favorite, dishing the best from what he’s made of. He was awarded the Best Rap Act at the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA). His notable and best songs include Dedication, Ma Name Cash, Mariga Money, One Two Three, The Anthem, Yego, Faslane, Tattoo Kwa Thigh among others.
#6. AKA, South Africa
Kiernan Jarryd Forbes , known professionally as AKA , is a South African rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Cape Town , Western Cape, Forbes gained significance after releasing his single “Victory Lap” which was released from his debut album, Alter Ego (2011).
Forbes continued his success by releasing studio albums which include Levels (2015), Touch My Blood (2018), and the collaborative album, Be Careful What You Wish For alongside Anatii (2017).
On April 2018, Forbes alongside vodka brand Cruz launched the watermelon-flavoured drink with his initial on the bottles. That same month, Forbes was featured as a special guest on WWE Live events which were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town. As for 2019, he was the roastee for the Comedy Central Roast special.
In 2002, Forbes alongside his two friends Vice Versa and Greyhound, formed a hip hop group called Entity. The group received a nominee on the KORA Awards for the Best African Hip Hop category. Entity disbanded in 2006, leading Forbes to go study sound engineering. In 2006, Forbes co-founded the production collective The I.V League alongside two other members. The I.V League made production credits for artists including Khuli Chana , ProKid and JR . In 2009, he released three songs, which include “In My Walk”, “I Do” and “Mistakes”.
On 28 July 2010, Forbes released I Want It All, which is the lead single from his debut studio album, Altar Ego . The album also pre-released two singles which was “All I Know” and “Victory Lap”. “Victory Lap” was a success as it topped South African local radio charts.
Alter Ego was then released on 23 August 2011. The album was certified gold by RiSA for its commercial success. The album won several accolades notably being for the 2011 Metro FM Awards winning for Best Hip Hop Album, and the 2012 South African Music Awards for Best Male Artist of the Year.
#5. M.I Abaga, Nigeria
Jude Abaga popularly known by his stage name as M.I Abaga is a famous Nigerian hip hop rapper, singer, songwriter, recording artist, stage performer, record producer and a model. He has been the chief executive officer (CEO) of Chocolate City record labels since June 2015 till date. He is very handsome, gifted, skillful, creative and talented. He has been described as the greatest rapper in Africa by several media organizations and popularly known as Mr. Incredible.
M.I Abaga was born in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. His parent, Pastor and Mrs. Abaga is from Takum, a small village in Taraba State in the northern part of Nigeria.
M.I Abaga completed his primary school education in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. After completing his primary school education, M.I Abaga proceeded to Baptist High School in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria and obtained his West African Senior School Certificate. While still in secondary school, M.I Abaga started rapping and freestyling. During that time, his mother purchased some music equipment and a 7-key mini piano which launched him into the music world.
M.I Abaga has two younger brothers namely Jesse Jagz who is also a famous Nigerian reggae/hip hop rapper and Jason Abaga. During his teenager, he loves listening to musics from Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sarah Maclachlan, Pablo Neruda, Jay-Z, Tupac and DMX.
M.I Abaga ventured into the hip hop music world in 1998. After completing his secondary school education in Nigeria in 1998, M.I Abaga proceeded to Calvin College in Michigan in the United States of America to pursue a course in Business and Economics. While in the United States of America, he was influenced and inspired by DMX and Lauryn to pursue a career in music.
While in Calvin College in Michigan in the United States of America, M.I Abaga delved into poetry while pursuing a career in Business and Economics. While in campus, he performed regularly at the school’s major hip hop shows and concerts.
His impressive and magnificent rap flows gained him a third-place finish at the Calvin College show tagged “Hip-Hop-era” in 2003, which was actually the only “hip hop show” that Calvin College ever had. M.I Abaga also made some amateur attempts at comedy, but decided to stick to music because he was embarrassed when nobody laughed to him during his performance as a standup comedian.
M.I Abaga began his music career professional when he returned to Nigeria in 2003 from the United States of America after completing his studies at Calvin College in Michigan in the United States. When he returned to Nigeria in early 2003, the Nigerian music scene was dominated by hip hop rap legends like Ruggedman and Eedris Abdulkareem.
He quickly commenced the production of his mixtape with his friend Djinee. This mixtape led to the production his self acclaimed hit single “Safe”. The song became very popular and garnered impressive airplay by African radio and music video stations such as MTV Vibe. The track also earned him awards at the Nigerian Music Video Awards, City People Entertainment Awards and Nigeria Entertainment Awards, amongst others.
In 2009, M.I Abaga won the award for Best Hip Hop Rap and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2010, he was nominated for Best International Act category at the BET Awards in the United States of America.
#4. Falz, Nigeria
Folarin Falana, born October 27, 1990, better known by his stage name Falz , is a Nigerian rapper, songwriter and actor. He began his career while in secondary school after forming a group called “The School Boys” with his friend before his professional career as a music artist began in 2009. Falz became more well-known after his song “Marry Me” featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade.
He currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records. He released his debut album Wazup Guy in 2014. His second album Stories That Touch was released in 2015. He released 27 as his third studio album in 2017. On January 15, 2019, he released his fourth studio album Moral Instruction.
Falz started music as a hobby while in secondary school. He formed a music group with a friend called “The School Boys”. In 2009, he released a compilation of some of his recordings as a mixtape titled Shakara: The Mixtape.
In 2011, Falz released a single titled “Waz Up Guy”, then released “High Class” and “Currency”, which gained him grounds in the Nigerian music industry.
In 2015, Falz was nominated in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards for his chart-topping single “Marry Me”. It won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. He was also nominated in the “Best Rap Act of The Year” and “Best New Act to Watch” categories.
On 31 January 2015, he released a single titled “Ello Bae”, which won him a nomination in the “Best Street Hop Artiste of The Year” category at The Headies 2015.
On 3 November 2015, he announced the release of his second studio album, titled Stories That Touch , which was released on 17 November.
In June 2016, Falz was voted the winner of the “Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act” category at the 2016 BET Awards.
On October 27, 2016, Falz collaborated with Simi to release Chemistry, a seven-track EP solely produced by Sess . Falz had previously worked with Simi on the singles ” Jamb Question ” and “Soldier”.
On 27 October 2017, his 27th birthday, Falz released a new album titled 27 to celebrate the day. This was a surprise album, as it was not promoted before its release. It contained 17 tracks including hit singles like “Bhad Baddo Baddest”, “Wehdone sir”, and “Something light”. It featured prominent music acts like Davido ,Olamide , Burna Boy , Wande Coal , Maleek Berry, Sir Dauda, Medikal, Terry Apala, and Ycee. The album was majorly produced by Sess as in-house producer, withand some tracks were done by Maleek Berry, and studio magic. The album did very well and it gained several awards and nominations, including a nomination for The Headies Award for Rap Album of the Year .
In May 2018, Falz released a music video titled ” This Is Nigeria ” which was inspired by Childish Gambino ‘s “This is America”. It highlighted Nigerian issues including corruption and bribery.
Months later, the song was banned by the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) claiming it was a vulgar song. When Falz was asked, he said: “If they ban this song, then I do not understand them because that song is definitely not a vulgar song,”. However, Falz sues NBC for N100 Million.
#3. Sarkodie, Ghana
Michael Owusu Addo , known professionally as Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian rapper and entrepreneur from Tema. His contributions to the Ghanaian music industry have earned him numerous accolades , including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for Artiste of the Decade. He was announced the first winner of BET’s Best International Flow act at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards. He is also considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance.
Sarkodie often raps in his native language Twi and is considered a “multifaceted rapper” due to the various musical styles he possesses. Sarkodie is often named as one of Africa’s greatest hip hop artists. MTV Base ranked him sixth on its list of the Hottest African MCs in 2014. In 2013, Lynx TV ranked him first on its list of the “Top 10 Ghanaian Rappers of All Time”. In 2015, AfricaRanking.com ranked him third on its list of the “Top 10 African Rappers of 2015”. In 2015, The Guardian listed him as one of its top five hip hop acts on the African continent. He was ranked 8th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 and 2015 list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes. In June Sarkodie asked the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress Party, Sammy Gyamfi, to take down a tweet about the voters’ register that referenced Goerge Floyd’s murder.
Ghanaian rapper and hiplife artist Sarkodie has received 92 awards from 165 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, born 16 December 1990, professionally known as Cassper Nyovest, is a South African rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and record producer. Born and raised in Mahikeng , North West , he is regarded as one of the most successful artist in South Africa. In 2014, he established his own record label, Family Tree Records. Nyovest rose to fame with the release of his debut studio album, Tsholofelo (2014) which produced the successful singles ” Gusheshe ” and “Doc Shebeleza “.
With his success of selling out tickets for his concert, Fill Up The Dome (2015) which was held at Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg. The success of the event pursued Nyovest with the affix “Fill Up” to instigate more concerts in different stadiums annually, including Orlando Stadium (2016) and FNB Stadium (2017), also both in Johannesburg, Moses Mabhida Stadium (2018) in Durban , and Royal Bafokeng Stadium (2019) in North West.
Nyovest released his eponymous studio album, Refiloe , released on 31 October 2015, at his Fill Up The Dome concert. The album collaborates with several artists including The Game , DJ Drama, Stonebwoy and Casey Veggies. He followed his success with his critically acclaimed third album Thuto (2018) and his kwaito-focused fourth studio album, Sweet and Short (2019 ).
Nyovest has been awarded and nominated for various music awards both locally and internationally. His first set of awards were in 2013 when he won four awards at the second edition of the South Africa Hip Hop Awards. On 13 April, he received a nomination at the 12th Headies Award in Nigeria in the category of Best African Artiste alongside Nasty C, Sarkodie from Ghana, Kenyan group Sauti Sol, and Tanzanian singer Vanessa Mdee.
#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.