10 of the Best Ethiopian Rappers/Hip Hop Artists in 2022 — allaboutETHIO (2022)

10 of the Best Ethiopian Rappers/Hip Hop Artists in 2022 — allaboutETHIO (1)

Hip Hop and Rap in Ethiopia

When you talk about Ethiopian Rap/Hip Hop, these are the people who have given us its true meaning.

To be an artist, especially in Ethiopia, is a difficult task to undertake.

One needs to be dedicated to the point of obsession with their work.

Love of producing only the best works is the hallmark of a truly great artist.

Ethiopian Hip Hop Battle Rap

Battle Rap is a relatively new phenomenon hitting the streets of Addis Ababa, and as of late has been gaining in popularity, with the crowds, as well as the number of Ethiopian battle rappers increasing daily.

Rapper Kapo Israel, one of the main pioneers and unofficially crowned king of battle rap, is leading the way, organizing shows and more.

Click to watch a battle rap in Addis Ababa

It is our hope that the following list shines a light for all those hard working Ethiopian Hip Hop artists and rappers that deserve the honor of being 10 of the best Ethiopian rappers/Hip Hop artists in 2022.

1. Lij Michael

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Lij Michael, also known as Faf is considered one of Ethiopian Hip Hop's first initiators.

(Video) 10 of the Best Ethiopian Rappers/Hip Hop Artists in 2022

He began his career with musical shows organized by institutions of higher learning then went on to Dj.

He found success as a Dj and began to get a name for himself.

By 2007, he released his debut single "Arada L'arada" which became an instant success with over 300,000 views on YouTube in its first 3 months.

His latest album has also reportedly sold over 50,000 copies.

With his unique flavored style that infuses Hip Hop and Ethiopian music, Lij Michael, the singer, song writer, producer has became the proverbial King of Ethiopian Rap.

2. Teddy Yo

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Teddy Yo, an Ethiopian rap god began with the group Gamo Boys, but went solo and exploded into the lime light.

His unique style of using rhythms from different parts of Ethiopia, as well as having thought provoking lyrics has earned him legions of fans in Ethiopia and abroad.

Teddy Yo's second album, to be released in 2018 is entitled Prisoner and he claims the title refers to those who are a prisoner of culture.

The album will have 18 tracks with different, and more stronger beats than what he is used to.

Prisoner will also feature hip hop celebrities such as the Jungle Crew and reggae star Jah Lud.

Teddy's love of country and history has put this super talented rapper on the map as one of Ethiopia's Hip Hop greats.

3. Mc Mike

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(Video) Henok Getachew - Endeza New - ሔኖክ ጌታቸዉ - እንደዚያ ነው - New Ethiopian music 2022 (Official Video)

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Mc Mike a relatively new entrant into the Ethiopian rap scene, exploded with his hit song Gondergna, which was about the ancient city of Gondar and the heroic Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros.

His quick fire style of rapping has been lauded by fans everywhere of Ethiopian - Amharic Hip Hop.

We expect to see a lot more from this talented rapper who infuses Ethiopia's proud historical heritage into his music.

4. Skat Nati

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Another rising star in Ethiopian Hip Hop is Skat Nati. His single Sera, blew up all over the radio waves, clubs, etc.

His hit single Sera could literally be taken to mean this artist started working seriously on his skills both as a songwriter and a rapper.

His style is unique and his confident style of rapping has earned him a spot as one of Ethiopia's best rappers.

5. Amine

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This first-generation Ethiopian-American rapper, director, song-writer is proud to be displayed as a multicultural artist.

Amine is Portland's (Oregon, USA) first international Hip Hop artist, but they have to share some of that credit with Ethiopia.

Amines approach to music has always been different and not as a traditionalist Hip Hop artist from the States.

He followed up the amazing Caroline track with Baba, which means dad in Amharic, Ethiopia's official language.

The tracks outro is also rapped in his parent's native tongue, it is this cross cultural style that has made Amine appeal to a large global audience.


We expect a lot from this rapper and we can be sure the future will be bright for this Ethiopian rapper.

6. NOS

Nos maybe somewhat new to the Ethiopian rap game but the effort he puts in his music and the business that accompanies it has made him look like he has been here for a while.

His deep lyrics and word play have earned him a spot as one of Ethiopia's premiere Hip Hop artists.

One should not be mistaken and take this ultra talented and smooth flowing artist for granted.

This true Ethiopian hustler is getting a name as one of Ethiopia's hardest working rappers.

So keep an eye (and ear) out for this exceptional artist.

7. MC Siyamregn

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MC Siyamregn deserves a spot among the best rappers in the Ethiopian rap industry.

Over the years, he has released a multitude of tracks that made him very famous among Ethiopian rap enthusiasts, both locally in Ethiopia and abroad.

He may not be as popular as Lij Michael but he has definitely cut a niche for himself as a great rapper.

We look forward to many more entertaining tracks from this enterprising Ethiopian artist.

8. Lola Monroe

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Lola Monroe got her name from Marilyn Monroe, who similar to Lola, both models and acts.

This beautiful woman was born in Ethiopia and raised in Washington DC.

She says she was influenced by artists such as 2pac and Lauryn Hill.

(Video) Shewit Mezgebo & Semere Mezgebo - Bietey (ቤተይ) - New Tigrigna Music 2021 (Official Video)

Her aggressive and dexterous flows over club heavy beats led her to a nomination in the 2011 BET's Best Female Hip Hop Artist category.

She was also the first female to join international superstar Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang label.

We look forward to an actual win and not just a nomination from Ethiopia's best female rapper.

9. HaHu Beats

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10 of the Best Ethiopian Rappers/Hip Hop Artists in 2022 — allaboutETHIO (22)

Hahu Beats has been in the Ethiopian rap game for over 8 years now. He started with English lyrics but is now rapping in Amharic.

This multi talented artist, makes beats, as well as films through his pioneering company Fidel Productions.

As a youth, he was heavily influenced by artists such as DMX, Nas and Busta Rhymes.

Today, he is one of the leading people in the Hip Hop music industry.

10. Kapo Israel

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Kapo the Kapstone better known as Kapo Israel is a Jamaican national that is a FM radio presenter, and has been unofficially crowned king of battle rap in Ethiopia.

Many believe Kapo Israel is one of the most underrated Ethiopian rappers.

Although, this may be because he raps primarily in English, he is still as gifted as they come, without a doubt.

Kapo has a way with words that enables him to compose great raps that are memorable and leave you nodding your head.

His style can be compared with Eminenm, although not so similar they are alike.

He has his own unique, awe inspiring and thrilling punch lines that make him unforgettable in the minds of his listeners.

He is also a great freestyler, with a sharp mind and sometimes hilarious lyrics.

Kapo Israel is definitely underestimated and we all look forward to see him rise up as one of the best in Ethiopian Hip Hop.


Who is the best rapper in Ethiopia? ›

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.

Who is Ethiopian best artist? ›

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.

What rapper has the most hits 2020? ›

As Genius pointed out, the top 9 artists with the most Billboard Hot 100 hits entries are all rappers. Lil Uzi Vert sits atop the list with 36 Hot 100 entries at the mid-year mark, following his chart-topping album Eternal Atake, which spent it's first two weeks atop the Billboard 200.

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.

How tall is anime The Rapper? ›

The 27-year-old is said to be 5 ft 11 inches tall.

Who is famous in Ethiopia? ›

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.

Who is the richest man in the Ethiopia? ›

1) Mohammed Al Amoudi

Considered the richest person in Ethiopia, his business comprises Oil & Gas, Real Estate and Technology. Worth $8.3 billion, Al-Amoudi's fortune is derived mainly from closely held companies in Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia.

What kind of music is popular in Ethiopia? ›

Music in the Ethiopian highlands is generally monophonic or heterophonic.
Music of Ethiopia.
Ethiopian music
Typical instrumentsKrar masenqo saxophone washint begena
Zema / Ethiopian-Eritrean Christian Liturgical Chant
Local scenes
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What rapper is number 1 on YouTube? ›

NBA YoungBoy Passes 10 Billion YouTube Video Views, Has Been Platform's Top-Ranked Artist All Year. YoungBoy Never Broke Again has officially passed 10 billion views on YouTube, where he has been the platform's #1-ranked artist every single week in 2022.

Who is the number 1 rapper right now? ›

1. Drake. Following the release of his much anticipated Certified Lover Boy album, Drake has verified yet again that he unarguably belongs to the league of the best of all-time rappers.

Who is the top rapper right now? ›

They're the world's best rappers, and they're the main men responsible for turning hip-hop into a global phenomenon.
  • Eminem.
  • Kendrick Lamar.
  • Kanye West.
  • Travis Scott.
  • J. Cole.
  • Drake.
  • Snoop Dogg.
  • Jay-Z.
19 Apr 2022

Who is the top 10 rapper? ›

Top 10 Best Rappers of All Time
PositionRapperTop Strength
2Tech N9neFlow
3Chali 2naMultisyllabic Rhymes
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4 Aug 2022

Who has the most 1 hits? ›

The Beatles have the most No. 1 hits of all time: 20.

What is Aminé used for? ›

Amine treating is a type of gas sweetening that refers to a group of processes that utilize solvents to remove acid gases, H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), from process streams. It is commonly used in refineries and gas plants to improve safety, prevent corrosion and meet environmental regulations.

Is Aminé 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 do you name amines? ›

Simple 1°, 2°, and 3° amines: common (trivial) names are obtained by alphabetically arranging the names of the alkyl substituents on the nitrogen and adding the suffix -amine (e.g., ethylmethylamine). Amines in the IUPAC system: the “e” ending of the alkane name for the longest chain is replaced with –amine.

When was anime created? ›

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 ...

What anime started all? ›

Astro Boy, created by Osamu Tezuka, premiered on Fuji TV on January 1, 1963. It became the first anime shown widely to Western audiences, especially to those in the United States, becoming relatively popular and influencing U.S. popular culture, with American companies acquiring various titles from Japanese producers.

How much is Drake net worth? ›

Drake is Worth $180 million
NameAubrey Drake Graham
BirthdayOctober 24, 1986
Birth PlaceToronto, Canada
Star SignScorpio
9 Sept 2022

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.

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.

Is Ethiopia rich or poor? ›

With about 115 million people (2020), Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, and still the fastest growing economy in the region, with 6.3 percent growth in FY2020/21. However, it is also one of the poorest, with a per capita gross national income of $890.

Is there a billionaire in Ethiopia? ›

Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-'Amoudi (Arabic: محمد حسين علي العمودي; Amharic: መሀመድ ሁሴን አሊ አላሙዲ; born 1946) is a Saudi billionaire businessman. He was born in Ethiopia in 1946 to a Yemeni father from Hadhramaut and an Ethiopian Muslim mother.

Who is the youngest millionaire in Ethiopia? ›

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu (born 1980) is an Ethiopian businesswoman, founder and executive director of soleRebels, Africa's "fastest growing footwear company".

Who is the first singer in Ethiopia? ›

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 is the first Ethiopian rapper? ›

1. Lij Michael. Lij Michael, also known as Faf is considered one of Ethiopian Hip Hop's first initiators.

Who is the King of YouTube? ›

Ten-year-old Ryan Kaji and his family have turned videos of him playing with toys into a multimillion-dollar empire. Why do so many other kids want to watch?

Who is the king of YouTube rapper? ›

Love him or hate him, NBA YoungBoy is one of the most beloved acts in Hip-Hop right now. The unconventional rap upstart has quickly built a cult following and proven himself to be an unstoppable force in the music industry.

Who is the biggest rapper on YouTube? ›

Top 5 YouTube Hip Hop Artists in 2021:
  • Eminem — 4.39 billion.
  • Doja Cat — 4.19 billion.
  • Drake — 3.06 billion.
  • Lil Nas X — 3 billion.
  • Juice WRLD — 2.58 billion.
3 Jan 2022

Who is the top 5 rappers? ›

Best Rappers of All Time
  1. 2Pac. Tupac Amaru Shakur also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper. ...
  2. Eminem. ...
  3. The Notorious B.I.G. ...
  4. Jay-Z. ...
  5. Nas. ...
  6. Rakim. ...
  7. Kendrick Lamar. ...
  8. Lil Wayne.

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.

Who is the top 5 richest rappers? ›

Top 10 Richest Rappers in the World (2022)
1Kanye WestUSA
4Dr. DreUSA
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9 Sept 2022

Who is the goat of rap? ›

Chance The Rapper has been dubbed the goat of rap by Drake. This assertion has been made by The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, and Lil Baby. Do they have a point? To be clear, G.O.A.T. is for best of all time, therefore “greatest” when it comes to rappers means talents, longevity, as well as importance.

Who is the fastest rapper in the world 2022? ›

Twista - 10.87 syllables per second

He is the fastest rapper in 2022. He was previously known as Tung Twista, and he started rapping at 12. Before starting his professional music career, he sold shoes and worked as a security guard.

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.

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.

What is amine real name? ›

How old is amine? ›

Where did amine 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."

How much is Drake net worth? ›

Drake is Worth $180 million
NameAubrey Drake Graham
BirthdayOctober 24, 1986
Birth PlaceToronto, Canada
Star SignScorpio
9 Sept 2022

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.

What is J. Cole 2022 worth? ›

As of September 2022, J Cole's net worth is estimated to be $60 Million. Jermaine Cole, known by a mainstream audience as J. Cole, is an American rapper, singer, and producer.

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."

How rich is ASAP Rocky? ›

A$AP Rocky net worth: A$AP Rocky is an American rapper who has a net worth of $10 million.
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
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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.

The Ethiopian rap scene is on the rise. Peep the best Ethiopian rappers right now, including artists in both the U.S. and Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian rap scene is still relatively young, with most rappers rhyming in Amharic, the country’s vehicular language.. 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.. Coming out of uptown Washington D.C., Ras Nebyu is an Ethiopian-American rapper who's gathered a following in his home base.. But did you know he was Ethiopian?. Other catchy rap tunes soon followed, and Lij Michael soon became popular both in Ethiopia and abroad.. 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.

Who is the best rapper in the world right now? Rap is one of the facets of contemporary music and without any illusions, it has gone beyond a swift manner of using slang. Today, thousands of artists are into rap music and this is why it is quite possible to find rappers in any country you go to.

Currently, Kendrick Lamar is associated with three different record labels including Interscope, Aftermath, and Top Dawg.. Going by the name “Psychological’’, he launched a mixtape titled Logic.. Since he rose into immense popularity in 2009, Logic has maintained his stance among the world’s best rappers.. Regarded as one of the best rappers in the world, J Cole has beautified his music career with notable awards including Best Hot Ticket Performer and Best Mixtape, with both awards coming under the BET Hip Hop Award.. Badass –a 23-year-old rapper –was born in the American state of New York and since 2011, he has remained a talented artiste to reckon with.. As an artist, Lil Uzi Vert combines impressive skills like songwriting, singing, and rapping.. Big Sean produces songs under Kanye West’s GOOD Music –the record label he was signed to back in 2007.. Amongst other awards, Kanye West has bagged Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.. Migos is a band of talented rappers originating in the American state of Georgia.. Born Nayvadius D. Wilburn; Future is a well-known rapper hailing from the American state of Georgia.

Modern Ethiopian music has come a long way since its inception during the 1950s. This text provides an overview of popular music in the East African nation.

The ancient folk music, as represented by the wandering minstrels referred to as Azmaris , started blending with western elements, especially after the arrival of the first European military band, sent to the country by Tsar Nicholas II in 1897.. New Ethiopian big bands, connected to the Imperial bodyguard, the army, and the police force started to spring up and modern urban music begun to take shape.. The emergence of these bands resulted in the dissemination of elements of western music among Ethiopians.. In doing so he helped set the tone for the evolution of Ethio-Jazz, a hybrid of the pentatonic scale-based melodies of traditional Ethiopian music, with the 12-note harmonies and instrumentation of Western music.. The big bands that were instrumental in igniting the experimental spark vanished, though some musicians remained in the country and continued to play, and bands such as the Ethio Stars and the Roha Band , both of which played at various local events during the 1980s were established.. While Aster achieved fame with the release of her 1989 album Aster on Colombia Records, Gigi released singles such as ‘Abyssinia Infinite’ and ‘Zion Roots’ to much acclaim.. One such band is the Addis Acoustic Project , currently led by guitarist Girum Mezmur, which plays instrumental music from the 1950s and 1960s.. Another is the up-and-coming Ethio-jazz fusion bands such as The Nubian Arc, the Zemen Band and the Express Band.. His debut album, Iree Adda , was released at the end of July 2009, marking his arrival on the music scene.. The band has the ambition to transform traditional Ethiopian music and fuse it with the sounds of rock ’n roll.. Unlike other successful Ethiopian artists who tend to migrate to the US, Michael has opted to stay in his home country, where he is at the forefront of its live music scene, playing every Saturday at the Ghion Hotel’s African Jazz Village in Addis.. These and other Ethiopian artists, both at home and abroad, have together helped to re-establish Ethiopian pop music on the international musical map, a welcome return to form following its golden era in the 1960s and its subsequent decline.

In the 80s and 90s, female rappers were essential to hip-hop, unapologetically detailing their experiences of the world.

In 1993, “Ruffneck” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Single, making MC Lyte the first female rapper nominated for a Grammy.. One of the only other female rappers in Native Tongues, Monie Love and Queen Latifah struck up a fast friendship after Latifah and Native Tongues traveled to the UK, where, at a show, they met the British rapper, who had been making noise in the underground scene there for years.. One of Philadelphia’s first prominent MCs, Bahamadia, a former producer, was moved to join the rap game after being inspired by the likes of female rappers Salt-N-Pepa and Lady B. Lyrically dexterous with a smooth, unflappable flow, Bahamadia’s verses serve less bombast than her contemporaries, but are no less verbally crafty.. One of the most distinctive female rappers of the 90s, Foxy Brown entered the scene at a mere 15 years old, and first appeared on LL Cool J’s album Mr. Smith , rapping over the remix for “I Shot Ya.” She was signed to Def Jam in ’96, the same year she appeared with Lil’ Kim, Total, and Da Brat on the Bad Boy Remix of “No One Else.” It was also the year her debut album, Ill Na Na , dropped.. She was quite literally the first female rapper recorded on vinyl, and she was rapping during a time when female MCs just weren’t accepted in any meaningful way.. Way back in 1998, Trina was studying to get her real estate license, when she caught the attention of Miami rapper Trick Daddy, who serendipitously recruited her to appear on his track “Nann Ni__a.” The song was released as the lead single from Trick’s second studio album, www.thug.com in 1998, reaching No.3 on the Rap Songs chart.. Da Brat’s debut album Funkdafied was released in 1994 and entered the Rap Albums chart at No.11.. Her biggest hit, “(I Wanna) Make You Mine,” featuring the Good Girls, charted at No.15 on the Billboard Rap Charts, but it was her influence on MCs like Q-Tip and Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, Boys II Men , and more, that resonated so deeply with the rap community.. Though she only released one EP and album during her career, she quickly became your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, a legacy that will live on forever.. Outside of her work as a member of Three 6 – which is as impactful as any rap group from the 90s – Boo’s first solo album, Enquiring Minds , was released in 1998 and reached No.15 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No.46 on the Billboard 200.. As the hip-hop scene continues to star more female rappers, we thought it would only be right to list a few of our favorites, like the groundbreaking Azelia Banks, whose anthem “212” became the official song of New York shortly after it was released.

Woah, center stage, and Jukebox the Illustrious, behind him, perform in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopian rappers face a quandary over which languag

But when voiced in Amharic, the language of the second-largest ethnic and linguistic group in the country and used as Ethiopia’s official language, Ethiopian rap moves out of America’s shadow toward establishing its own unmistakable voice.. Rapping in Amharic remains an underground part of Ethiopia’s music scene, dominated by traditional music yet with Ethiopian rock and reggae gaining mainstream popularity.. Established and up-and-coming Ethiopian rappers face a quandary over which language to rap in, not least because Amharic is just one of scores of languages spoken in the country.. At the same time, “rapping in Amharic limits the extent of your audience to Ethiopia, maybe some other East African countries,” said 33-year-old rapper Woah, best known for “ Walya ” about Ethiopia’s fanatically beloved national football team.. “Amharic rap is where American rap was at the start of the ’80s,” said Jukebox the Illustrious, an Ethiopian rapper collaborating with Woah, who cut his teeth on hip-hop while in college in Texas.. While this is a bit of a setback for the TPLF, which has wanted the world to believe—since the 1990s, even as the TPLF was dominating power in Addis—that a genocide has been perpetrated against the people of Tigray, unfortunately the group still appears to be determined to make genocide a reality.. In the past several months and more so in the past few weeks, we have been gettingtestimony after testimony from allied Amhara forces fighting the TPLF that Tigrayan residents of cities in Wollo have been collaborating with the TPLF by a) attacking ENDF and allied forces from behind; b) forcing ENDF and allied forces to withdraw from towns and cities afraid of committing large scale massacres by firing back at the civilians (Tigrayans) firing at them; c) helping the TPLF locate and execute young Amharas believed to be a threat; and d) in at least one horrifying account by an IDP who managed to escape occupied territories, handing TPLF soldiers a list of women to rape.. We have seen over the past several months the extent to which the TPLF is willing to go to sacrifice ordinary Tigrayans in order to get what it wants: wave after wave after wave of young poorly armed and inexperienced Tigrayans were unleashed upon ENDF and Amhara and Afar forces in order to force the latter to waste ammunition and energy before the more experienced soldiers are sent.. When the war between Ethiopia and the TPLF began in November 2020, Sekoutoure Getachew, a TPLF official, went on TV to tell us that the TPLF’s decision to launch a preemptive attack on the Northern Command was inspired by how the young state of Israel, feeling threatened by her neighbors, launched preemptive attacks against them in the “six-day war” of 1967.. If you have the wealth and the personnel to peddle your preferred narrative, if you have the military power to subdue the people you want to subdue, if you are willing to make concessions to external forces (US, Egypt, etc), you can do unspeakable things to others (much like the state of Israel does to Palestinians) and still manage to portray yourself as the victim.This calculation is so far working for the TPLF, but nothing would seal the deal like the actualcommission of genocide—or something that looks like it—against Tigrayans.. As we have seen over the past twelve months, western governments and organizations have shown their willingness to adopt TPLF’s narratives without scrutiny and can easily reward the TPLF with its much pursued prize, genocide, even if actual genocide doesn’t take place.. If a genocide were to be committed against Tigrayans (or if the U.S. decides to reward the TPLF with the genocide label even in the absence of it), then the TPLF can license itself to impose all manner of drastic measures aimed at “protecting Tigray andTigrayans.” This could be anything from redrawing internal borders (and taking debilitatingmeasures against the peoples whose lands are being robbed—most likely Amharas and Afaris—so that they will never be in a position to assert themselves) to ethnic cleansing and genocide against populations considered to be a threat.


Getatchew Mekuria Getatchew Mekuria And His Saxophone (Philips LP, 1972). The tracks on Ethiopian Urban Modern Music Vol.. Debo Band Ere Gobez (FPE 2xLP, 2016). The 10-piece Either/Orchestra has recorded in Addis with Ethiopian guest musicians including Getatchew Mekuria, Mahmoud Ahmed and Mulatu Astatke, but has yet to release any Ethio-Jazz on vinyl.. Two decades after Francis Falceto launched the Éthiopiques series, crate diggers continue to unearth lost treasures from Ethio-Jazz’s pre-history and belle époque.. Some of the musicians, such as Mulatu Astatke and Alemayu Eshete are well known outside Ethiopia, others less so.

Hip-hop mainstream is embracing country's dominant language while trying not to upset government

Yet there is a limit to how far that voice can go.. “I really don’t know why the government has a problem with our rap,” said 27-year-old rapper Yoni Yoye , who cites American rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Flo Rida as major influences.. By the time he was captured, he had won the emperor’s respect and so was taken to him in chains made of gold, Teddy Yo explained.. “Music is like gold.. But rappers in Ethiopia are not alone in working around restrictions.. Music is like gold.. It seems music is going backward in Ethiopia.”. “Even the media seems to be against us, but I’m going to change this with my new album,” Teddy Yo said.

Read about Ethio-Jazz, the amazing genre of Ethiopian jazz music, developed by Mulatu Astatke in London and NY and brought to Ethiopia in the 1970s.

One of Ethiopia’s greatest innovations, Ethiopian Jazz, termed “Ethio-jazz,” is a unique fusion of traditional Ethiopian music with jazz, Afro-funk, soul, and Latin rhythms.. Being the first Ethiopian, let alone African student at the college, Astatke became enthralled with the idea of combining Ethiopian music with Western jazz and rhythms.. Meanwhile, back in Addis, Emperor Selassie had made many liberal changes following the social turmoil of 1960, and Addis was in full swing.. Completely absorbed by music, Astatke continues to innovate, modernizing traditional instruments, taking up new opportunities for musical cross-fertilization, and tirelessly working on establishing a profound imprint of Ethio-jazz on the history of world music.. On top of participating actively in a number of festivals and speaking at international events, Astatke has also established the African Jazz Village , a music school and jazz club dedicated to promoting Ethio-jazz in Addis.

By Fitsum Getachew Ethiopia has a long and at times tormented history. With that it has an equally long and fascinating history of arts and culture. To write about Ethiopia’s traditional music in one article such as this may not do justice to everyone nor reveal the complete and true picture of the situation. This text should thus simply serve as a launch pad for further study for anyone who would like to venture deeper into the country’s traditional music.

The spirituality of Ethiopians is expressed in the form of music.. Ethiopian traditional music is best expressed with its musical instruments, besides the contribution of the renowned vocalists.. The most characteristic and widely used instruments are the masinko , the krar , the washint , the begena , the kebero , and the tom-tom .. The masinko is a single-stringed instrument that is used in many parts of the country by several people, including the Amhara, the Tigreans and Oromo.. The masinko is one of the most popular traditional music instruments used throughout Ethiopia and one of the fixtures in Ethiopian music and culture.. Although it looks simple, the masinko can, in the hands of an expert musician, produce a wide variety of melodies.. The krar is a traditional lyre [ii] with five strings.. Asnakech Worku [iii] , often referred to as ‘the Queen of krar’ (1933-2011) had the krar as her trademark.. Spiritual hymns are mainly heard during fasting periods for Orthodox Christians when people express their devotion to God.. The Ethiopian drum or kebero is used to accompany the traditional tunes that Ethiopians play.. The drum enriches most songs, which would be not as interesting to listen to without the drum beat.. The various tribes and ethnic groups of Ethiopia have their own distinct music, cultures and traditions.. The best dancer is typically appointed to the leader of the group and/or the best singer.. Traditional music is still alive and well in Ethiopia.

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