The theme for World Music Day 2023 is “Music on the Intersections”, highlighting the ability of music to unify communities and individuals. World Music Day is an annual celebration that is observed on June 21 to celebrate the global language of music as well as honor musicians for their contributions.
Below are 10 Continental collaborations amongst African rappers that helped foster unity amongst Africans, showing the power of music to unite people of different cultures.
M.I. Abaga ft. HHP: Superhuman
As the 2010 world cup in South Africa helped unite citizens and soccer fans from all around the country and abroad, we saw Hip Hop in Africa bring together two of the continent’s rap juggernauts in 2012.
This is where the cross-continental collaboration between Nigeria’s M.I. Abaga and South African Mostwako pioneer, Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) came about, where both delivered superhuman level verses, further bridging the gap between the two countries.
ProVerb ft. M.anifest: Proverbs Manifest
That same year, South Africa took a trip to Ghana where one of SA’s most respected lyricists, ProVerb came together with one of West Africa’s most prolific emcees, M.anifest in Proverbs Manifest.
“Chaley oh word, I speak in proverbs, riddles and such, but let me blunt”
HHP ft. M.anifest: Jigah
As a proud pan-African, HHP again joined forces with M.anifest in Jigah for the former’s album, Motswako High School.
The two rap titans played lyrical heads of states in the streets of Johannesburg to deliver their Pan African hip-hop manifesto over a Wes Mapes production, going back and forth in four different languages; English, Pidgin, Setswana, and Twi.
Jabba even had to do the Azonto dance in the video to solidify his Ghanaian honorary citizenship.
Ice Prince ft AKA: N Word Remix
“Look how I put my city on the world map, it’s gon take more than good luck to bring your girl back.”
In just one smooth double entendre, the late Kiernan Forbes announced his triumphant entry into the Nigerian music as he partnered with Nigeria’s biggest rap export, Ice Prince in a remix of the latter’s N Word.
AKA ft Burna Boy , JR and Da L.E.S: All Eyes On Me
Burna’s infectious patois hook combined with AKA, JR, and Da L.E.S’ braggadocious rhymes on a classic Brenda Fassie sample instantly brought the country to a standstill.
With South African producer, Tweezy on production, the song quickly took over the local club scene and solidified AKA as a top class hitmaker.
M.I. Abaga ft Khaligraph Jones: Black Bill Gates.
This was the song that brought the respected Kenyan lyricist, Khaligraph Jones to the attention of Nigerians.
Housed on the most controversial and fan splitting of all the Illegal Music projects, Illegal Music 3, the song was a lyric-fest as Khaligraph delivered a scene stealing verse and made sure that Nigerians never forgot his name.
Emmy Gee ft. AB Crazy: Rands and Nairas (Remix)
To think the original version of the song was already big enough, they had to go even further with an even bigger remix.
Nigerian rapper, Emmy Gee recruited South Africa’s AB Crazy and the late DJ Dimplez to create one of 2013’s biggest party anthem. The song made its way on to every DJ’s set all across the continent, bringing down Lagos pool parties, the Durban July’s, and Nairobi festivals.
NuRu ft. Shappa Man, Keko and Stanley Enow: Zani Mali
Zani Mali was the blueprint of what a Pan-African Hip Hop posse cut should be, where there was representation from almost every single corner of the continent.
The track recruits talent from Kenya (Shappa Man of Camp Mulla), Uganda (Keko) and Cameroon (Stanley Enow). It was an anthem in East African rap and helped in further bridging the gap between the West and the East.
M.I. Abaga ft Cassper Nyovest: Soup
In 2017, while the world waited for the official follow up to MI’s third studio album, ‘The Chairman,’ Abaga shocked fans by going Frank Ocean and dropping a surprise “playlist” titled ‘Rendezvous.’
The project housed two South African collaborations, one with Cassper and another with Kiernan, who were both at he helm of affairs in Mzansi Hip Hop.
Soup was the Cassper feature Nigerians were all waiting for, one with Mr. Incredible.
Nasty C ft. Cassper Nyovest and Davido: Juice Back (Remix)
A young Durban emcee was introduced to the whole continent through a monstrous verse that left people Googling his name for months, in the midst of continental giants, Davido and Cassper who also delivered stellar verses.
Can you remember when you were when you heard these songs?
Which one of them is your favorite, and which ones did we miss?
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