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PsychoYP. Image courtesy of the artist.

Interview: PsychoYP Wants to Lead the New Wave of Nigerian Hip-Hop

We speak to the fast-rising Abuja-based rapper about his new project YPSZN2 and his take on the future of Nigerian hip-hop.

PsychoYP is easily one of the brightest stars to watch in the Nigerian hip-hop scene right now.

At only 21-years-old, YP has already amassed a healthy catalogue of music including two solid mixtapes and several collaborations with various artists in and out of Nigeria. His rap-sung melodious trap style resonates incredibly well with the younger generation and sets him apart in a hardcore-rap leaning rap scene. His 2018 debut project, YPSZN, placed him as one of the most prominent voices in the new wave of African hip-hop. It also earned him nods of approval from his peers as well as the veterans who paved a way for him.

His recently-released sophomore project YPSZN2, displays the rapper's growth and versatility as a song maker. "City of Kings," an ode to his hometown of Abuja, kicks off the album in high gear. Wavy cuts like "Strip Club" and "No Chaser" are the kind to bump loudly in the car or club, while "Superpowers" and "i&u" take you deeper into the rapper's earnest thoughts and emotions. The songs on YPSZN2 flow effortlessly into each other, giving the listener an enthralling and diverse experience.

The 16-track mixtape includes features from stars like Terri, LADIPOE, Blaqbonez, Skales and BOJ. Along with his Abuja-based hip hop collective Apex Village (including Zilla Oaks, Marv OTM and AYÜÜ) , YP is one of the key figures pioneering trap culture in Nigeria and steadily pushing melodic and experimental trap sounds within the country and beyond.

We spoke to the fast-rising rapper about his new tape, inspirations and his take on the future of Nigerian hip-hop.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Solo C.Plenty.Dreams cover artwork detail.

The 20 Best South African Hip-Hop Songs of 2019

Featuring Solo, Yanga Chief, Hanna, A-Reece, Indigo Stella, Shane Eagle, Priddy Ugly, Flame and many more.

The general notion is that South African hip-hop had a dull year. Maybe 2019 didn't have as many mega hip-hop hits from SA rappers, but it doesn't mean there weren't some great tunes.

2019 saw the new wave—featuring artists like Flame, The Big Hash, Indigo Stella, and more—dominate and demand every fan's attention. The older generation didn't sleep either, as strong songs from the likes of Solo and Stogie T make our list.

OkayAfrica contributors Sabelo Mkhabela and Mayuyuka Kaunda keep their ears to the street and sift through every release to bring you the 20 best South African hip-hop songs of 2019.

The list is in no particular order.

Follow our MZANSI HEAT playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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