Cameroonian Rapper Jovi Releases 'Mboko God' LP

Cameroonian hip-hop artist Jovi drops the 12-track 'Mboko God' album just in time for Cameroon's National Day.

Cameroonian rapper Jovi has released his highly-anticipated sophomore album Mboko God today, on Cameroon's National Day. After dropping album single's like "CASH" and "B.A.S.T.A.R.D. (feat. Reniss)," Cameroonian hip-hop's golden boy eclipses cultural, linguistic and geographical boundaries in this new LP. The socially-conscious rapper recruited help from Reniss, Shey, Tilla and Pascal for the LP tracks, which see Jovi in form, rapping in Pidgin, English and French. Jovi's signature Mboko rap style, interlaced with (his producer alter ego) Le Monstre's electro-trap production create a unique soundscape in Mboko God for an album that should resonate with hip-hop heads worldwide.

“The cover art is Adinkra cloth from Ghana, originating from the Akan of Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, with the center symbol being 'gye nyame' in the Asante Twi language meaning 'except God' or 'supremacy of God',” a label statement explains. In addition to celebrating West African culture, the album is also carried by American genres like Atlanta trap music, which can heard in "Top Level" and "Et P8 Koi." Mboko God, with its blend of dialects, rhythms and sounds, encompasses traditional influences from across the continent to create a Cameroonian hip-hop treasure.  Download Jovi's new album from New Bell Music and check out his latest video for "Big Vulture ft. RCHL" below.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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