It’s 2018. Let’s get a few things straight.
Firstly, we all know Kigali’s sound is sprawling, and for lack of a better work, weird. Let’s accept this and stop pointing it out in every single write-up of anyone loosely connected to produced beat. Similarly, we’re all sick and tired of golden-era rap purists chiming in about how rap (or their beloved hip-hop, elements and all) just ain’t the same any more. That should have stopped long ago.
No, it’s not the same – it’s developing and splintering just as every great genre has. If you don’t like Riderman that’s fine, but if you think rap should still sound like Arasharamye over two decades later then you’re deceiving yourself. In 2018, rap is more diverse than it’s ever been and just as crucial.
We’ve done our best to pick out 10 of the genre’s most interesting new faces who we think are going to be well worth following over the next 12 months (foregoing acts like Sogokuru and Marvin that have received plenty of plaudits, both here and elsewhere, in the last year).
Follow our Rap Round-up for in-depth reviews of the week’s hottest mixtapes and albums.
1. SOGOKURU He is also known for his hit Songs like “Mayibobo”. The Mayibobo singer started the year with his new single called “2018”, if you’re looking for a little more traditional songwriting in the same oldball vein. Look no further than sogokuru.
2. DERRICK MARVIN The young rapper or the “HOT BLACK MALE” as he calls himself has already embarked on the journey of building a name for himself with the release of his first Music Video for his hit single “COUNT” that made waves this past December. One thing we can tell you expect more from this young artist.
3. LION KING Known best out in “CYACYANA”as a poet. Lion streets has been grinding as a rapper for a few months. He recently dropped “TSUNAMI” has his first single so far.
4. BUSHALI THE TRIGGER Bushali best known on his song “TABATI” despite the usual label interest (His is in Kigali City, after all) Bushali is still staunchly independent, and while you might see his face more frequently right now, we have a feeling he’s gonna play thing he’s own way in 2018.
5. PRIME His name is Prime best known in SKANK NATION. Prime is a Rwandan rapper who raps in English. Signed to Green Ferry Record, Prime is one of those rappers Rwanda should watch out for in 2018. With a New MIXTAPE VOL3, one should expect bigger things as we enter the new year.
6. ANGEL MUTONI Angel Mutoni made a big, ahem, splash in 2017, Angel first popped up on our radar with 2016’s Own It with over1565 streaming on soundcloud , but looks like 2018 could be her year.
7. OLD JAY Old Jay known for his hit single “Vestina” Only God knowns what will happen if i call him upcoming?. but that’s just by the way. OLD JAY is a Rwandan rap star, whose delivery is similar to that of rappers like Mike Kayihura, Chase. He actually raps like he’s just talking. in 2018 OLD JAY might just be the guy of the moment in Rwanda.
8. G-LLAIN G-llain started dropping his music on sound cloud in 2014, with his first song titled “Turn Up”, growing up in Kigali City. G-llain dropped a mix tape titled”Life of substance” in September 2017. His aesthetic, however, is what garners the most attention from fans.
9. KENNY K-SHOT Not much information about Kenny k-shoot is available online. The Kigalian native is soon releasing a mixtape this year titled “DISCLOSURE” also known for his visual music “TOO MUCH”
10. CHASE After dropping his album titled “Wait 2 Wait” last year. Chase is also building up quite the Kigaliciousmusic streaming, nearing 13 tracks as of date. Three countries, 163 fans, 27 hours. Expect more from this artist.