Jovi Tackles Tribalism & Stereotypes In His Yaoundé-Shot Video For 'Et P8 Koi'

Cameroon's pidgin rapper Jovi releases a video for his socially-conscious single "Et 8P Koi."

Jovi, one of Cameroon's hip-hop pillars, recently released the video for his socially-conscious single “Et P8 Koi" (which roughly translates to "So What"). The track sees the Cameroonian pidgin rapper flexing his rhyming habits and synth-lead production skills, under his alter-ego Le Monstre. The at-times eerie visuals for "Et P8 Koi" show Jovi tackling cultural stereotypes in Cameroon from the country's capital. When the audio came out this fall, Jovi delved more into the song's subject matter and told us:

Well, my country is really facing this problem due to the fact Cameroon is a country with over 200 Ethnic groups, speaking different languages and sometimes have a different culture. You have neighboring villages that don’t even understand each other because their language and culture is different. And you have two languages that we inherited from our colonial masters: English and French. So this difference in culture and language can sometimes create a lot of division and prejudice.”

My message is you don’t classify people based on their origins or cultural difference, religious beliefs. People are really different. Everyone is unique in his own way, and everyone deserves a chance. This song is my way of helping to bridge the gap that exists between the Anglophones (English speaking Cameroonians) and the Francophones (French speaking Cameroonians). If they can listen to my song together that’s a good start.

Directed by the rapper's younger brother Ndukong, of February 16th Pictures, the music video features aerial shots of Yaoundé with Jovi — posted up on rooftops, streets and in the cut — tackling stereotypes that stem from cultural differences in Cameroon. Keeping in theme with the song's menacing sound & 808 drums, the video comes full circle with its message when a woman in a misplaced TV screen unapologetically questions peoples' intolerance of others. "Et P8 Koi" serves as a more somber follow-up to Jovi's recent electronically-laced album Kankwe Vol. 1," but it still boasts his witty punch lines and social commentary over original productions. Watch Jovi's "Et P8 Koi" below while we await his sophomore full-length.

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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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