Hip Deep December 5, 2011
The Hip Hop Generation in Africa: Ghana's Hip-Life and Ivory Coast's Coupe-Decale

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.