News

Jovi Tackles Tribalism & Stereotypes In Cameroon On 'Et P8 Koi'

Cameroonian pidgin rapper and New Bell Music founder Jovi discusses tribalism and stereotypes on his new trap song, "Et P8 Koi."


In September Cameroonian pidgin rapper and New Bell Music head honcho Jovi delivered on the dance contest video clip for "CA$H," a roller coaster blend of Bikutsi hip-hop to follow up his five-track electro-pidgin rap Kankwe Vol. 1 EP. This month Jovi and Le Monstre (his production moniker) return with a new Cameroonian trap single, "Et P8 Koi" (which roughly translates to "so what"). According to a press release, the multi-lingual song tackles themes of tribalism and stereotypes in Cameroon. We asked Jovi to shed some light on why he felt the need to address these issues and what he's trying to say about them in his new song:

"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."

Listen to Jovi's new single, "Et P8 Koi," below, and look out for its video to drop soon. For more from Cameroon watch our picks for the best Cameroonian tracks and videos to come out in July/August/September in our quarterly "Cameroon By Night" series.

Music

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.