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Love it or hate it, rap has gone global. While the genre undoubtedly originated in NYC in the late ’70s, it soon spread not only to the West coast but further away than anyone could have ever imagined. And with rap music now an international phenomenon, many artists worldwide have started dabbling in the genre, rhyming in their own respective languages.
While acts from Europe, Latin America, and Asia are getting their fair share of recognition, most African rappers tend to fall under the radar. Even more so when they come from a country whereits official language is neither French or English. That is the case of Ethiopia — the only African country never to be colonized, where its culture is still deep-rooted in its ancient traditions (for instance, the country follows its own calendar, and rang in the year 2011 this past September).
The Ethiopian rap scene is still relatively young, with most rappers rhyming in Amharic, the country’s vehicular language. However, Ethiopian artists are now starting to get local and international exposure, thanks to the overwhelming support of the young diaspora. And with the majority of the diaspora communityresiding in the United States (Washington D.C. has the largest number of Ethiopians living outside of Ethiopia, while Los Angeles has its own Little Ethiopia off of Fairfax Blvd), there's also an ever-growing number of Ethiopian-American rappers out there.
Scroll down to peep the best Ethiopian rappers right now.
When Skat Nati surprise-dropped his new single "Sira" (which literally translates to "work") accompanied by a video shot in an up-and-coming area of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, many were left wondering where he came from.
While Ethiopian rap had been a thing for a hot minute, this was the very first time we were introduced to a proper Amharic trap tune incorporating subtle, traditional melodies. Unsurprisingly, the song soon became an instant hit both in Ethiopia and among the diaspora worldwide, with the video gathering over 600,000 YouTube views in just a few months.
While "Sira" undoubtedly put him on the map, Skat Nati isn't new to the game. He's been releasing music since 2015, including tracks such as "Ahadu" and "Zeraf." But if his latest track is any indication of what's coming next from the young rapper, it may be safe to say that Skat Nati has a bright future ahead.
Washington D.C. has the biggest concentration of Ethiopians living outside of Ethiopia, with the diaspora now an integral part of the local culture (just take a stroll down U Street and you'll see). So it shouldn't come as a surprise that many up-and-coming Ethiopian rappers hail from the area.
Coming out of uptown Washington D.C., Ras Nebyu is an Ethiopian-American rapper who's gathered a following in his home base. Co-founder of the WashingtonSlizzard — a collective ofD.C. rappers, producers, and overall creatives — Ras Nebyu first hit the scene in 2011, with his debut mixtape Kennedy Street Teachings, and has since grown bigger and better.
In 2014, Nebyu released Ras Griffin III, on which he swiftly switched from rapping to singing, and even went on to perform overseas, opening up for Wizkid in Ivory Coast's capital Abidjan. More recently, Nebyu linked up with PG County raptress Rico Nasty on "Thirsty Packman," a track which anticipates Nebyu's first studio album Uptown Lion Walkin', to be released on November 1.
Alright, Aminé may not need a proper introduction. The Portland, Oregon rapper rose to fame after his single "Caroline" hit the charts in 2016, andhe's been killing it ever since. But did you know he was Ethiopian?
Yup. Aminé's full name is Adam Aminé Daniel, and his parents immigrated from Ethiopia and Eritrea into the United States in the early ’90s. In fact, you could say that Aminé is pretty proud of his Ethiopian roots, withsongs like "Baba" (meaning "daddy" in both Amharic and Tigrinya) on which he can be heardspitting a few verses in Amharic.
Last August, Aminé dropped ONEPOINTFIVE, and visuals for the standout track "Reel It In" soon followed.Once the video dropped, which sees Aminé at a car wash surrounded by strippers,his mother sent him the most hilarious text ever, which includedthe sentenceBesma'am wilde menfes kidus(for the non-Ethiopians, this literally translates to "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). So yes, Aminé is American, but he won't hesitate to remind us of his Ethiopian roots.
Siimba Liives Long
Siimba Liives Long was born in New York, grew up in Addis Ababa, and then returned to Brooklyn. In 2015, Siimba dropped visuals for his single "Cocaine Bimbie," returning to Ethiopia to shoot the visuals, in which he can be seen frolicking with wild lions and literally playing with fire.
As you can image, Siimba is not one to shy away from thought-provoking and insane visuals. Just acouple of months ago, he released the video for "Hooked," in which he's hanging from hooks piercing through his skin.An introspective song about all of his vices, "Hooked" also touches on his Ethiopian background: "My momma worked hard as an immigrant / just so I could be raised as a citizen."
Just recently, Siimba dropped his latest video for "Bad for the Soul" featuring Kamau. Stay tuned for more coming out from the rapper, as he's currently releasingmusic on a weekly basis.
Fershgenet Melaku, aka Lola Monroe, was born in Addis Ababa and raised in Washington D.C.'s Garfield Terrace.Does she look familiar?That might be because she first was a video model under the moniker of Angel Lola Luv (back when being a "video vixen" was an actual career), and starred in many videos we all know and love, such as Kanye West’s “Good Life” featuring T-Pain.
Determined to be more than a video model, Lola gradually transitioned into music and released her first mixtape in 2009, Boss Bitch’s World. Other mixtapes soon followed and, in 2011, she was signed to Wiz Khalifa’s label and dubbed the 'First Lady' of Taylor Gang.
While at Taylor Gang, Lola released Lipstick and Pistols, and later dropped her debut single “B.B. (Boss Bitch)” featuring fellow Taylor Gang artists Chevy Woods and Juicy J. In 2013, however, she announced that she wasn’t part of Wiz’s label anymore. Today, five years and a baby later, she’s working on coming back with her debut album, so stay tuned.
Along with the DMV and California, Texas also has a pretty sizeable Ethiopian community, with Dallas having the biggest concentration. And Dallas is where Samsonyte, a young Ethiopian-American artist, calls home.
In 2017, the now 22-year-old rapper self-released his debut album The Muse, which accumulated tons of streams across all platforms. Samsonyte’s 12-track debut album contained “Lucy,” an uber-smooth track sampling Dr. Dre’s “Xxplosive” and Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady" (which actually sampled “Bumpy’s Lament” by Soul Mann & the Brothers, but I digress...).
Committed to turning music into his profession, Samsonyte has recently quit his day job to pursue music full-time and focus on his sophomore album. Listing André 3000, Pharrell Williams, and J. Cole as his main influences, Samsonyte is here to share his jazzy neo-soul and retro vibes with the world.
Likemany up-and-coming Ethiopian-American artists, OneTakeDrew is a rapper out of the DMV area. Based in Alexandria, VA, Drew began taking rap seriously a few years back, following his remix of Wale's "Ambition." Since then, many other remixes followed and Drew ended up opening for Erykah Badu, Ab-Soul, and Stalley. In 2016, he released his first tape Ventilation, which landed him on Joe Budden's podcast.
Born from an Ethiopian mother and an African-American father, Drew's mother left Ethiopia at the age of 3, due to the country's then-communist regime. While he's never been to Ethiopia, Drew plans to take a trip there sometime soon.
"Doro wot is the shit," admits Drew. "It's probably one of my favorite dishes on Earth. Above all else though, I love the sense of camaraderie I feel in the Ethiopian community from complete strangers. It gives me a sense of pride, so when I hit a milestone or achieve something it's not just for me. It's for the entire community."
Born Tewodros Assefa, Teddy Yo is one of Ethiopia's most known acts. Teddy was born in Shiro Meda, a neighborhood of Addis Ababa, and later moved to Ayer Tena. The first hip-hop song he ever listened to was a track from LL Cool J and fell in love with the genre ever since. Later on, he felt that his generation needed a more modern sonic outlet to promote their culture, and hip-hop was the perfect medium.
Teddy initial rose to fame was in 2007 thanks to “Gurageton,” a festive uptempo track released to celebrate the new Millennium (remember, the Ethiopian calendar is seven years behind). This led him to get lots of bookings not only in Ethiopia, but also across the U.S., Australia, and the UK, where a lot of the Ethiopian diaspora resides.
In a music scene where artists tend to dabble in all genres, from traditional Ethiopian music and reggae to hip-hop and rock, Teddy is determined to stick to the script and help establish Ethiopian hip-hop as a long-standing genre.
If Ethiopia had a "rap star," then it would be Lij Michael. The young rapper, previously known as Faf, is what many would describe as the most popular Ethiopian rapper to date. Lij Michael, real name Michael Taye, first hit the scene in 2007 with his debut single “Arada L’arada,” which quickly garnered over 300,000 YouTube views inits first few months.
Other catchy rap tunes soon followed, and Lij Michael soon became popular both in Ethiopia and abroad. Fusing Ethiopian sounds with hip-hop, Lij soon became the main reference for the latest generation of local musicians.What’s more, Lij is also known as being one of the originators of the Ethiopian rap movement, helping put the genre onto the country’s music scene.
Admittedly, the country’s music scene has been predominantly traditional with pop and reggae artists on the big stage, for the most part. Not anymore — Lij Michael and others have been able to break through and show the older generation they mean business.
TBH, Hahu Beatz’s sound (and visuals) will be appreciated by those already familiar with the culture. His newest single “Zomawa” is a hit — with 6 million views and counting — however, it may not be for everyone. But once you get past the creepy clowns andunfamiliar sounds, you’ll find that it’s pretty damn catchy.
Coming from Mekele, Tigray, Hahu Beatz has been part of the Ethiopian rap scene fornearly a decade. Before rapping, Hahu actually went to college (like pretty much every Ethiopian kid is expected to do) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Hawassa University.
Still, he decided to focus on music and originally began rapping in English. However, he soon discovered that young Ethiopians would rather listen to English-speaking rap from the U.S., and switched to Amharic instead. Before breaking through with his hit “Zomawa,” Hahu released other note-worthy singles such as “Yibelu” and “Demkalech Wstea.”
For more in this series, check our list of the 10 Irish rappers to know.
Who are the top 10 female rappers? ›
- MC Lyte. Lana Michele Moorer, known as MC Lyte is one of the best female rappers of the 80s and has released various popular albums. ...
- Nicki Minaj. ...
- Lauryn Hill. ...
- Cardi B. ...
- Lil' Kim. ...
- Missy Elliott. ...
- Megan Thee Stallion. ...
- Queen Latifah.
1. Aster Aweke. Aster Aweke is an Ethiopian-born, Washington-based singer. One of the country's leading artists, Aweke was born in Gondar in 1961, and was already making strides towards a professional music career in her home country by her late teens.Who was the 1st female rapper? ›
Sharon Green (born 1962), considered the "first female rapper" or emcee, known by the rap moniker MC Sha-Rock. Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, she grew up in the South Bronx, New York City during the earliest years of hip hop culture.What is amine ethnicity? ›
Aminé is the son of Ethiopian immigrants who came to the United States in the early 1990s. Aminé's mother worked at a post office and his father was a teacher and translator part-time. Aminé was born and raised in the Northeast Portland neighborhood of Woodlawn.Are amines Amharic? ›
Adam Aminé Daniel grew up in Portland, Ore., to Ethiopian immigrant parents (Aminé, pronounced uh-MEE-nay, means “I believe” in Ethiopia's official language, Amharic). Though he grew up in a black neighborhood, the rapper says he didn't understand what diversity was until he got older and visited New York.Who is the richest rap? ›
- Nicki Minaj – $100 Million. ...
- Queen Latifah – $70 Million. ...
- Missy Elliott – $50 Million. ...
- Cardi B – $40 Million. ...
- Bhad Bhabie – $20 Million. ...
- Sandra Denton – $15 Million. ...
- Iggy Azalea – $15 Million. ...
- Cheryl James – $14 Million.
Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi is an Ethiopian and Saudi Arabian businessman. He was born in Ethiopia and his network is calculated at about 10.9 billion. He is also considered to be Ethiopia's largest investor and the richest man in the country.What is Gebeta? ›
Gabata (also spelled "Gebeta") is the generic term for mancala games played in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is used for many two-row games, but also for several three-rank mancala games.What kind of music is popular in Ethiopia? ›
Music of Ethiopia.
|Typical instruments||Krar masenqo saxophone washint begena|
|Zema / Ethiopian-Eritrean Christian Liturgical Chant|
Who invented rap? ›
One of the first rappers at the beginning of the hip hop period, at the end of the 1970s, was also hip hop's first DJ, DJ Kool Herc. Herc, a Jamaican immigrant, started delivering simple raps at his parties, which some claim were inspired by the Jamaican tradition of toasting.Who is the first black rapper? ›
Born Kurtis Walker in 1959, Blow, who turns 60 on Aug. 9, was the first rapper to sign with a major label and the first to become a mainstream star.How old is Aminé? › Where did Aminé get his name? ›
The pseudonym is just a nickname from his aunt, which stems from his birth name: Saaheem. Sometimes it's said more like "suhbaby," but the Atlanta rapper confirmed to Ebro that it's "sah-baby."What is Aminé real name? › Where is Aminé parents from? ›
Aminé's parents moved to the United States from Ethiopia in the early 1990s, settling in Portland; his mother works for the post office, and his father has been a teacher and translator.How did amine get famous? ›
In October, Aminé posted a new video to YouTube, this time for his playful song “Spice Girl.” It hit one million views in three days.Who opened for Amine? ›
Opening for the shows will be English rapper AJ Tracey, TikTok favorite Cochise, and Gen F veteran 454.What rapper is a billionaire? ›
Jay-Z is a very big name in the field of music who is known for his distinctive voice. He is the first hip-hop billionaire and recipient of 23 Grammy Awards.What does rap stand for? ›
Rap stands as an acronym for Rhythm And Poetry.
Who is the richest boy rapper? ›
What is this? Kanye West is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. He is now the richest rapper in the world, with a net worth of $6.6 billion.Who is the top 5 rappers? ›
- 2Pac. Tupac Amaru Shakur also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper. ...
- Eminem. ...
- The Notorious B.I.G. ...
- Jay-Z. ...
- Nas. ...
- Rakim. ...
- Kendrick Lamar. ...
- Lil Wayne.
The fastest rapper in the world, Twista, has an incredible speed of 10.87 syllables per second, followed closely by Eminem at 10.65 syllables per second. How many syllables per second can you pronounce?Who is richest singer in the world? ›
The record for richest musician in the world 2022 is held by Kanye West who has accumulated his huge wealth through music, real estate and brand endorsement. He is one of the richest singers in the world. His music records have alone sold over 160 million copies and he is the winner of 24 Grammy Awards.Who is the best rapper in the world? ›
|3||Chali 2na||Multisyllabic Rhymes|
In 2018, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was ranked at the top for the first time and became the first centibillionaire included in the ranking, surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had topped the list 18 of the previous 24 years. In 2022, after topping the list for four years, Bezos was surpassed by Elon Musk.Who is Ethiopian hero? ›
This is the story of one Ethiopian officer who won a US gallantry award. In 1951, the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, decided to send thousands of troops to fight as part of the American-led UN force supporting South Korea against the communist North and its ally, China.What is Ethiopia good at? ›
Ethiopia rewards visitors with stunning scenery, great food, world-renowned coffee, fascinating history and much more. Ethiopia bonus facts often include its incredibly diverse landscape, history, and culture.Why is Ethiopia so famous? ›
Ethiopia is famous for being the place where the coffee bean originated. It is also known for its gold medalists and its rock-hewn churches. Ethiopia is the top honey and coffee producer in Africa and has the largest livestock population in Africa. Ethiopia has ties with the three main Abrahamic religions.What is the rule of Gena? ›
Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment, took effect on November 21, 2009. Under Title II of GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information.
How do you play Gabata? ›
It is characterised by a race at the beginning, players moving simultaneously until one player sows a piece into an empty hole. Pieces are captured when a piece is sown into an empty hole, all enemy pieces in that hole's column becoming captives.What games do Ethiopians play? ›
- Genna - Gena - Qarsa. ...
- Gebeta - Gabata - Gebet'a. ...
- Lamlameta. ...
- Akukulu - Kukulu - Acoocoolu. ...
- Demo - Pepsi. ...
- Segno Maksegno. ...
- Kebeto. ...
- Awo Aydelem.
The life and work of Azmari Tèssèma Eshèté, the first Ethiopian singer to record commercially, includes interviews with Yidnèkatchèw Tèssèma.Who is the king of Ethiopian music? ›
Tilahun Gessesse is indisputably the king of Ethiopian Music.Who started music in Ethiopia? ›
Ethiopian music began as a form of religious expression during the 4th century AD with the advent of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The churches own unique musical style was created by Yared, the father of Ethiopian Church music and his vivid three mode sounds are still practiced today.Can you rap very fast? ›
Rapping fast is a skill that takes a lot of practice. The fastest rappers in the world can drop close to a dozen syllables a second. But it isn't just how fast they can rap. Even fast rappers have to be creative lyricists and inspired musical artists.Who is first rapper? ›
Coke La Rock is known for being the first rapper to ever spit rhymes after teaming up with DJ Kool Herc in 1973 and both are recognized as the original founding fathers of Hip Hop. Rap music was originally underground.Who started fast rapping? ›
The earliest recorded and widely distributed examples of the "fast rap" style are attributed to Kool Moe Dee of The Treacherous 3.Who is the Princess of rap 2021? ›
BET Awards 2021: 5 Reasons Why Flo Milli Is The Newly Crowned Princess Of Rap. Meet the Alabama hip-hop star who found a way to uniquely connect to her fans.Who is the fastest idol rapper? ›
Changbin, of JYP Entertainment's boy group Stray Kids, ranks at #1 with 11.13 syllables per second.
Who is the king of rap of all time? ›
#1 Jay-Z. Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, hails from NYC, a fact he raps about consistently over the course of his nearly three-decade career. He quickly rose to fame in the mid-1990s when he released his debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt, from his own record label Roc-A-Fella Records.What is the youngest rapper? ›
Special Ed. What is this? Special Ed, born in the birthplace of Hip-Hop, Brooklyn, New York, was just 16-years-old when he officially began his rap career. Just a year later, he released the hits – “I Got It Made,” “Think About It,” and “I'm the Magnificent” from his debut album, Youngest In Charge, in 1989.What rapper has the most kids? ›
Claiming the number one spot for “rappers with the most kids” is DMX with a whopping 15 children. The late rapper passed away in 2021 but was married to Tashera Simmons from 1999 to 2014. During that time, they welcomed four kids together and he fathered a son with Desiree Lindstrom.Is amine A Eritrean? ›
A first-generation American and son of immigrants, Aminé wears his identity with pride. “I think about it a lot,” he says. “I'm personally so proud to be a first-generation Eritrean-Ethiopian.How tall is anime The Rapper? ›
The 27-year-old is said to be 5 ft 11 inches tall.What is J Cole ethnicity? ›
Jermaine Lamarr Cole was born on January 28, 1985, at a U.S. Army base in Frankfurt, then in West Germany. His father, an African American soldier, left his mother, a white German postal worker, when Cole was a baby.What is ASAP Rocky race? ›
His father is from Barbados. He has an older brother and an older sister, Erika. Both Rakim and Erica's names are taken from the Eric B. & Rakim duo. His cousin is fellow ASAP Mob member ASAP Nast.How old is amine? › How do you pronounce amine? ›
How To Say Aminé | Behind The Scenes - YouTubeWhat is amine real name? ›
What does Clbn mean? ›
|CLBN||Check List Box Notification|
|CLBN||Crash Locator Beacon|
|CLBN||Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland NV (Dutch: Lyonnais Credit Bank Netherlands LLC)|
Modern anime began in 1956 and found lasting success in 1961 with the establishment of Mushi Productions by Osamu Tezuka, a leading figure in modern manga, the dense, novelistic Japanese comic book style that contributed greatly to the aesthetic of anime. Anime such as Miyazaki Hayao's Princess Mononoke (1997) are the ...How much is Drake net worth? ›
|Name||Aubrey Drake Graham|
|Birthday||October 24, 1986|
|Birth Place||Toronto, Canada|
Eminem was born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and was raised by his mother, Debbie Nelson Mathers, who settled the family in Warren, just outside Detroit when he was 11.Is Kendrick Lamar A Millionaire? ›
What is Kendrick Lamar's net worth? Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper who has a net worth of $75 million dollars. He is one of the most popular and highest-paid rappers on the planet.Where did little babies originate? › Is Rihanna married to ASAP Rocky? ›
"Rihanna is single," the insider told E! News. "She just got out of a long intense relationship with Hassan. She's wants to be single and isn't going to jump into something. She's hanging out with ASAP Rocky, but she is not dating him."Did Rihanna and ASAP get married? ›
No, Rihanna and ASAP Rocky did not get married. A source close to the couple confirmed this to TMZ. The source claimed the whole thing has been done for fun. In one of the interviews, Rihanna revealed that she and ASAP Rocky became close during the pandemic.How rich is ASAP Rocky? ›
ASAP Rocky Net Worth.
|Net Worth:||$10 Million|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)|
|Profession:||Rapper, Record producer|
|Nationality:||United States of America|