Nigerian Hip Hop Grows Up

May 5, 2011  |  

(AP) — Nigeria’s most talked-about hip-hop video exhibits all the excesses of its American counterparts — beautiful, scantily clad models, a mansion and a bathtub full of hundred-dollar bills.  But the biggest surprise? America’s own Snoop Dogg playing back up to Nigerian star D’banj, embracing him as his nephew and taking a Nigerian passport before leaving the rest of the remixed “Mr. Endowed” to the Yoruba-singing heartthrob.  Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 150 million people, long has been a leading cultural influence across the continent. Its low-budget “Nollywood” films can be found everywhere, while its music plays in taxicabs and minibuses far beyond its borders.  Now, however, Nigerian artists who once mainly imitated U.S. hip-hop proudly include African beats and their local languages on their own energetic songs. That combination appeals to both Nigerians, who are now proud of so-called “Naija” music, and to a growing foreign following as well.

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