Afro beats, rumba, kwaito, and Afro-pop are some of the sounds that have broken Africa’s borders and helped bring global attention.
Although these beats can be incorporated through singing, rap is one of the most prevalent musical genres putting African music on the map.
Here are the best African rappers.
It is only fitting to begin this great list with one of the best South African rappers, Nasty C. The 25-year-old is arguably the best rapper in South Africa and has made a name for himself as one of the best in Africa.
Nasty C became famous after releasing Bad Hair in 2016, with the lead single “Hell Naw” making headlines. At the peak of his career, Nasty C got signed by Def Jam and Universal Music Group, making him the first African rapper to be signed under the label.
He also received the South African Hip Hop Awards for Best Freshman, the 16th Metro FM Music Awards for Best New Artist, Male Album, Hip Hop Album, and Song of the Year.
Nasty C is continuously making waves, making Africa proud.
Maya Christinah Xichavo, known by her artist name, Sho Madjozi, is a South African rapper, singer-songwriter, and global sensation.
Musically, although Madjozi raps in English and Tsonga, her signature style of music incorporates lots of Swahili language.
Although she has numerous albums, such as Limpopo Champions League, released in 2018, with lead singles such as “Huku,” Madjozi gained international recognition for her song “John Cena,” based on the famous wrestler John Cena.
Sho Madjozi is a BET Award recipient for Best New International Act in 2019. She is an International Act ready to take on Africa and the world with her impeccable talent.
Born Michael Owusu Addo, Sarkodie is a Ghanaian rapper majorly known for his Azonto genre.
Hailing from West Africa, Sarkodie has made a name for himself amid the afrobeat scene, becoming a significant entertainer and a successful African rapper.
His immense talent has won him several accolades, including BET’s Best International Flow Artist in 2019 and Artiste of the Decade with the Vodafone Ghana Music Award.
Sarkodie is well known for his popular tracks, including, “Makye,” “Sarkology,” “Mary,” and “Black Love.” He has also collaborated with other amazing artists on popular songs, “Down on One” with Fuse ODG and “Adonai” alongside Castro.
Ladipoe is a famous rapper and artist from Nigeria.
He is a member of a Nigerian supergroup, the Collectiv3, created in 2015 to showcase musicians who help move culture and Africanism.
Ladipoe gained recognition after releasing his single, “Feel Alright,” and later, in 2020, he got featured with Simi on the hit song “Know You” under Marvin Records.
Ladipoe is one of the best African rappers owing his talent to his unique music pattern. Since then, he has been able to offer his fan base hit songs each time, including “Running” with Fireboy DML and “Feeling” with Buju.
Brian Ouko Omollo, popularly known as Khaligraph Jones, is a famous Kenyan rapper and artist.
He first gained international recognition with his hit singles “Mazishi” and “Yego.” He has also collaborated with other international rappers, including Sarkodie on “Wavy” and Dax on “Hiroshima.”
Khaligraph Jones is also known to incorporate new and upcoming artists under his wing by showcasing them on the Khali Cartel. Khaligraph is a giant among African music legends. He is signed under the label Blue Ink and shows no sign of slowing down.
Active since 2010, Olamide is a Nigerian rapper and record producer. Ranked as one of the best rappers in Nigeria, Olamide has slowly made a name for himself in the past decade.
He is also regarded as an influential African artist and has been instrumental in launching several Afrobeat artists, such as Phyno and Ice prince.
Some fan favorites include “Motigbana,” with over 33 million views on YouTube. Olamide is also famous for his studio albums, Rapsodi, YBNL, and Baddest Guy Ever Liveth released in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively.
Based on his immense talent and influence in Africa, he was the first Nigerian artist to have an endorsement deal with Ciroc in 2013.
Mohammed Ismail Sherif Kwaku Frimpong is a rapper and singer born and raised in Ghana. He first rose to fame in 2021 after releasing “First Sermon.”
However, Black Sherif gained popularity and recognition after releasing his single, “Kwaku the Traveller,” in 2022. The song topped West Africa’s music charts for weeks. He also released his first album, The Villain I Never Was, in October 2022.
Although Sherif gained popularity in 2021, he shows no sign of slowing down, making him one of the best African rappers today.
Chef I87, born Kondwani Kaira, is a Zambian hip-hop rapper and musician.
He first rose to fame after releasing “I Am Zambian Hip-Hop,” but he has shown an interest in music since he was only five years old. Some of his other works include the “Husband Material” song that has currently amassed over nine hundred thousand views on YouTube.
If you do not know who Chef I87 is, make a point and listen to some of his work.
Since 2004, Nigerian rapper Panshak Henry Zamani, known as Ice Prince, has dominated the Afro beats airwaves for decades, making him one of the best African rappers.
Ice Prince became a notable artist after releasing “Oleku.” His other best works include “Olofofo,” “Feel Good,” “I Swear,” and “Kolo.”
He has collaborated with other artists, including Oxlade, Sarkodie, Phyno, and AKA, to make great music.
Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, born in 1982, is a Ghanaian rapper, musician, and record producer. He is professionally known by his stage name, M.anifest.
M.anifest talents lie in the hip hop, afro beats, and R&B genres, where some of his notable works, including the hit song “God MC,” won him the Hip Hop song of the year at the Ghana Music Awards in 2017.
Additionally, M.anifest has worked with Burna Boy on his song “Tomorrow.” As a business mogul, M.anifest is also a co-founder of Giant Steps, a conference for creative business people.