EDITOR’S NOTE: THE STATE AND FUTURE OF THE NEW HIP-HOP INDUSTRY THIS YEAR

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Hello you,

I know it has been a minute, and I’ve not been up and doing; filthy December that included three states, a weekend getaway, beach party, house party, three club nights, a LOT of trees, and three prophets – you didn’t look for God? A pity.

Anyways, it is time to get on with business. I believe it would be befitting to kick off the first back-to-work article as the briefing material of our findings and our mission for the hip-hop culture in Nigeria and Africa.


The continued points and arguments for the past decade have been; that there’s no love in the industry; Nigerians don’t listen to hip-hop (a fallacy); gatekeepers; lack of funding; etc., and I agree with them. These are simply the symptoms of the actual problem.

The industry doesn’t exist, and what we call the current hip-hop mainstream feels more like an idea; there’s no direct path from the underground (which doesn’t exist) to this mainstream. You simply need to have a lot of money behind you – or be very well connected – to be able to fund the marketing and payolas; talent and skillsets now take a backseat.


2021:

Year in Review

We want to thank every one of our visitors, emcees, Ol’Gs, A&Rs, Publicists, Artist Managers, Club managers, content creators, and other creatives that collaborated with us towards achieving our 2021 goals. We had sit-downs with creatives, exclusives with the Ol’Gs, and introduced new talents with dope sounds on all platforms.

The team also introduced new artistes, music, and projects through playlist curation on Apple Music, Spotify, and Audiomack. We also ran reviews – projects, movies, tools/apps, and fashion – to introduce you to dope projects and films and keep you informed about the entire hip-hop culture, lifestyle, music, knowledge, and events. All that without the gossip.

Through these collaborations, we created the maiden edition of the BUJ Industry Night at De Hive Club, Abuja. The lineup and performances were great; the headline artiste O G Mage, support artistes TMJ, Walze, IB Vibes, Zo, Yung Mela, Diyo Matalo, and a few walk-in artistes. This event led to new opportunities and areas to add to the growing hip-hop industry, to be discussed in the following pages. We also acknowledge our social media followers and e-mail, and newsletter subscribers. Thanks for every engagement; it encouraged us to keep doing more.

Thanks for a great first year.

Industry Review

The hip-hop industry also enjoyed significant growth and exposure on all levels. At the mainstream; Ladipoe had a great year with two singles, Feeling (with Buju) and Running (with Fireboy DML). Vector’s Early Momo; Show Dem Camp’s Clone Wars V; Blaqbonez’ Sex Over Love; Laycon’s Shall We Begin…; A-Q’s Golden; Cheque’s Bravo; Olamide’s UY Scuti; Phyno’s Something To Live For; Loose Kaynon’s Survivor’s Remorse; and many more.

On the underground level, many artistes (and their crafts) were exposed to several hip-hop dedicated channels such as YouTube Reactors, podcasts, Rap Radio, Playlist Curators, blogs, media, publishers, and influencers that featured or flirted with these contents.

The cyphers were brilliant; 1442 Cypher series, HNA by Anti World Gangstars, TOJ Cypher, L.A.M.B 3.0: The Last Cypher, some verses of the 2021 Hennessy Cypher series, and some other ones from our African brothers and sisters.

The diaspora artistes also had a good year: Dave’s We’re All Alone in This Together was a global hit. Little Simz’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert made Album of the year on Dead End Hip Hop. Both tapes were nominated for BET’s Best International Flows (USA VPN to watch), alongside Nasty C and other African Acts. Little Simz won the award.

The efforts of underground emcees that earned the community’s respect with their art did not go unnoticed, but we are pretty sure a lot more didn’t hit our radar, and we will close that gap further this year.


2022:

In Perspective

This new year, we aim to collaborate with more emcees, hip-hop personalities, and brands in different contexts and formats and deliver to a larger audience. This plan will be achieved by adding new content to our YouTube channels; Freestyle Sessions, Cyphers, Interviews, a Rap/Hip-Hop Music Video Channel, and music video production services (for a token) to hip-hop artistes.

We would also need your help getting content we miss or would likely miss by putting us on; send your release press pack – artwork, backstory for the single/project or music video, and a smart link to project/song on all platforms.

If you have other announcements or events/workshops that hip-hop creatives and enthusiasts can benefit from, forward us the press back, and we will make sure to put it out there for our ever-growing audience.

BUJ Industry Night

The BUJ Industry Night will also resume. A more organised, ticketed, and choreographed event. Dope performances from established and rising emcees, spoken word poets, freestylers, dancers, Deejays, and other unique performers will be the entertainment for the night in Abuja.

We count on your continued support to be there for us, physically or virtually. 

R&R Hip Hop Awards 2021

The nominees of the maiden edition of the R&R Hip-Hop Awards will be announced in the coming weeks, and a portal for public voting and an explanation of the scoring system will be opened in that regard.

This edition is simply a notification to all the underground and mainstream nominees that their efforts and contributions that impact the hip-hop culture are noticed and appreciated. Mother tongue or posh English rap, traditional or progressive sound, and inclusive categories will accommodate fresh nominees yearly.

The selection panel comprises respected music critics, hip-hop Ol’Gs, producers, A&R, DJs, and music execs.

Releases

Highly anticipated releases from M.I Abaga (Rendenvouz 2), Vector (Teslim), Reminisce (Alaye Toh Seh Gogo), etc. Other releases from some of our JJC guests, Murz, O G Mage, Astrap King, Diyo Matalo, Jason Nkanga, Fozter, and Aiseh. Other underground releases are expected this year, and the categories for the 2022 awards edition will be very competitive with quality dope songs from Nigerian and African emcees and producers.

Remember to subscribe and add our playlists to your music library to discover these new talents as their songs and music videos are fresh off the studio.

Community

This year, we are working towards a new community of creatives and hip-hop enthusiasts in all sectors across Africa. The group is focused on being solution-minded; we all face similar problems and challenges in our different industries and can develop strategies and tactics to overcome these obstacles. Start with a WhatsApp group and then Telegram when we hit the former’s limit.

Members of the group are required to dispose of their ego regardless of their financial status, job description, talent, and superstar level; we are all humans, and we are trying to create an economy where every member can collaborate to establish new tools and products, that will get the attention of more audience to their already existing ones.

Only when we have a substantial audience size will the big brands and their deep pockets come along. That is when we begin to reap on a mainstream scale. For now, let’s figure out how to exploit a market of 30+ that was raised on hip-hop, live performances at local joints and venues—slowly growing an audience and your value over time. You begin charging the venues a fixed amount as your appearance fee; fans will spray cash, and you will get requests for private performances with a higher appearance fee and an all-expense-paid account.

The above is just one of the many benefits of the community. It also includes educational classes on the business end of the different sectors for entrepreneurs, independent artistes, and creatives. Workshops on skill developments and tools necessary for personal and career development.

Updates of the community will be given in the following weeks via our newsletter (subscribe).


Conclusion

Hip-hop has a higher chance of hitting a new all-time high this year. Hip-hop practitioners and creatives must continue to create an ecosystem and economy in the industry. This ecosystem will thrive through networking and collaborating to grow a large audience to provide an adequate living income from the different online platforms and tools. This is what we call the #LongerTable mentality.

Before we can attract investment into the culture, we need to build the value that will attract such investments and funding.

Remember to subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the new hip-hop community. Our newsletter shares knowledge and helps you create value at all levels (aspiring professionals). From playlist curation to production, writing, singing, delivery, music business, media, pr, and digital marketing agency, animation, graphic design, videography, photography, fashion, cinematography, brand managers, promoters, OAPs, bloggers, bloggers, reactors, critics, internet radio and podcast hosts, publishers, tech bros/sis, art, etc.


The change we seek starts from the relationships and networks we create and the impact of the outputs that come from those relationships.

Happy new year to you all, and may all your dreams and wishes come true.

Stay Jiggy.

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