Music
Ariel Sheney.

10 Musicians From Côte d'Ivoire You Should Be Listening To

Get into the highly-infectious Ivorian sounds of DJ Arafat, Shado Chris, Bebi Philip, Kiff No Beat and more.

The year 1999 marked Ivory Coast's first military coup as well as the birth of the genre Coupé-Décalé. The genre was pushed forward by DJs in France and on the continent, namely Douk Saga, DJ Arafat, DJ Debordeau and DJ Mix. Coupé-Décalé's rise helped calm tensions and unite the politically-divided country. It's lyrics addressed relationships, money, and brought on the creation of distinct dance moves. It's songs were distributed throughout nation and beyond.

Coupé-Décalé still reigns supreme with it's percussion, West African samples, bass, and repetitive arrangements.

The mid-90s also saw the birth of Zouglou. The satirical music told stories about the social realities of the youth. The music delivered life advice and political messages. The most prominent musicians behind this trend were the group Magic System—their song "1er Gaou" is a notable classic. The genre used hints of french folklore, reggae, and even rock, and musicians often wrote in French and local languages. Today, it's found in music like J. Cole's "Can't Get Enough" in which he samples "Paulette" by Balla et ses Balladins, a Guinean folklore group whose sound is one of early Zouglou.

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