2016 hasn’t exactly been a Hip-Hop year for Phyno. Some may say he’s done more singing than rapping; fair enough. That said, he’s had an amazing year all-round with hit singles and collaborations, none bigger than “Fada Fada” featuring Olamide, a song which has just been awarded “Song of the Year” at the #Headies2016 and “Best Collaboration” at the #SoundcityMVP2016. The 2nd edition of Phyno’s annual concert in Eastern Nigeria – tagged #Phynofest2016 – was a massive success.
Phyno‘s latest album “The Playmaker” is a great body of work, with Abulo being the stand-out hip-hop cut. Keep an eye out for that one.
AKA remains a Hip-Hop heavyweight across Africa, even though he hasn’t really dominated the South African scene this year like he’s done in previous years. That said, he played a key role on eMTee‘s “Roll Up (ReUp)“, got on collaborations with LayLizzy, Ma-E, DJ Vigilante, and more local S.A acts.
The skilled rapper has been on a few continental collaborations with Cameroon’s Stanley Enow, Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz and Nigeria’s Patoranking (Coke Studio Africa). He also did his thing on “Sway In The Morning” and got nominated in the “Best International Act (Africa)” category at BET Awards 2016.
In addition to having a busy year, AKA crowned it all by bagging one of baddest chics in the game, Bonang (yes, it counts!) 😉
Olamide completely missed out on #TheList in 2015 because he simply didn’t rap. The infection Indigenous-Pop tune “Shakiti Bobo” was the wave at the time. This year, the English and Yoruba-speaking rapper switched it up and gave us one of the rap anthems of the year: “Who You Epp“, a song which earned him the #3 spot on our “Hottest Artists” list.
Olamide bagged 2 awards – Best Street Hop Artiste for “Who You Epp?” and Best Rap Single for “Eyan Mayweather” – at the #Headies2016. “Who You Epp?” also won the “Song of the Year” award at #SoundcityMVP2016!
Baddo’s yearly Concert tagged #OLIC3 was a massive success, yet again.
If there’s one rapper who completely took Africa by storm in 2016, it’s Nasty C! The South African teenager was largely unknown outside S.A about 12 months ago. The collaboration with Davido and Cassper Nyovest on the track “Juice Back (Remix)” completely changed all that.
South Africa’s “Freshman of the Year” 2015 became Africa’s “Freshman of the Year” 2016, and is now ending the year as one of the “Coolest Kids in Africa“. Such has been Nasty C’s rise in 2016, the likes of RCA Records are looking to sign him up (if it hasn’t happened already).
Nasty C‘s debut album “Bad Hair” is every rap fan’s fantasy album. I fully expect him to take the game to the next level in 2017.
And the hottest rapper in Africa for the 2nd year running is…. Cassper Nyovest aka Abuti Fill Up!
From Filling up the Dome to Filling Up Orlando Stadium, the 2016 MTV MAMA Best Live Act Award winner has outdone himself. What else can be said of Cassper that hasn’t been said already? He’s got the hits and collaborations to back it up, and the awards keep flowing in.
Congratulations, Cassper Nyovest! You’re the King of #TheList2016!
If we judged by hits only, Ycee would be sitting quite comfortably on #TheList2016. In terms of new school talent outta Naija, he’s currently bossing the game. “Omo Alhaji” is a hit, and “Jagaban“, though released in 2015, is still doing real damage in the clubs.
3. Khaligraph Jones (Kenya)
The Kenyan star broke out of the East African market in 2016, and started gaining fans in other regions like West Africa with the M.I collaboration “Black Bill Gates” off the IM3 Mixtape.
4. King Kotini aka Riky Rick (South Africa)
I’m starting to lose count of Riky Rick‘s names (might as well throw in Boss Zonke while we’re at it). If you haven’t vibed to Sidlukotini this year, your playlist needs a slight adjustment.
5. M.anifest (Ghana)
If #TheList was down to skills alone, M.anifest would be Top 3 every year. He’s probably your favorite African rapper’s favorite African rapper.