The Influence of Hip-Hop on Afrobeats: A history of Cultural Connection

BY Dora Abena Dzaka October 9, 2023 10:15 AM EDT
POhoto Credit: Jay-Z @ Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter Foundation Carnival 02.jpg - Wikimedia Commons and Wizkid at Iyanya's album launch concert, 2013.jpg - Wikipedia

Hip-hop is, without doubt, a dominant musical style and one that has impacted many cultures globally. The genre first emerged in 1970 in the streets of the Bronx, New York. The popular genre is not only responsible for a multi-billion-dollar global economy, but it has also influenced global culture as we know it, including language and fashion.

This musical genre, following its hardcore origins, has evolved over the past 50 years to become the sound that has changed the world and can be found practically everywhere.

Afrobeats, Africa’s latest sound form, is a blend of African pop music styles that originated in Nigeria and Ghana in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

These two genres have managed to get along quite well and have complemented each other when necessary. There is something special about the way hip-hop’s vigor and energy balance Afrobeats’ brilliance and sparkle.

Afrobeats singers may easily ‘hop’ on numerous hip-hop sounds thanks to the apparent versatility and willingness to collaborate. Artistes have continually produced fascinating songs in light of the fact that they are aware of the magic that occurs when the two genres are combined. The chemistry is always flawless, whether an Afrobeats singer tags along with a hip-hop artiste or conversely adds a verse to an already-existing hip-hop tune.

The two genres not only have a significant impact but have also produced super-rich entertainers. Entertainment titans like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Diddy, Burna Boy, Rema, Davido, Wizkid, and Tiwa Savage have all benefitted from their respective genres.

This article will now go on to briefly examine the historical cultural connections between hip-hop and Afrobeats.

Afrobeats is currently transitioning towards its established global entity phase. Currently, the American and European markets remain the deciding factors for the commercial success of the African creation. These are the same markets that contributed to the popularity of the hip-hop genre.

Billboard’s charts in recent years are a testament to how Afrobeats is expanding its presence in certain markets. These events are occurring more quickly than usual, which is unequivocal evidence that the genre is becoming more popular. However, it is not surprising that the songs Pain Killer by Sarkodie Ft. RunTown, Run by Ladipoe, Fireboy, and DML, and Bad Energy by Wizkid and Skepta demonstrated a great fusion of an Afrobeats musician and a master of hip-hop.