The hip-hop generation in Africa: Ghana and Ivory Coast

Afropop Worldwide, April 2007

Produced by Siddhartha Mitter. Follow link for audio. We explore the current pop music of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, two countries where elements of hip-hop and international pop music have grafted themselves onto local styles to create whole new genres-ones robust enough to not only take over the local youth culture but also spread beyond their borders. In Ghana, hip-life–a synthesis of hip-hop and highlife–dukes it out with gospel music on the airwaves. In Cote d’Ivoire, music has blossomed despite a stubborn political crisis. The idiosyncratic local music of social comment, zouglou, has morphed into coupe-décalé, a dance-driven style that has supplanted Congolese soukous as the sound of the moment in Francophone Africa and its Diaspora.