HITS Daily Double


Def Jam Africa artists, top row, L-R, Larry Gaaga, Boity, Tshego; middle row, Nadia Nakai, Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C; bottom row, Ricky Tyler, Vector, Tellaman.

Universal Music Group is starting Def Jam Africa to present hip-hop, Afrobeat and trap talent from Africa. Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa, will oversee the label.

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, it will be supported by dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital teams from the UMG teams in both Nigeria and South Africa.

The label’s initial roster features six artists from South Africa— Boity, Cassper Nyovest, Nadia Nakai, Nasty C, Tshego, Tellaman, and Ricky Tyler—and two from Nigeria, Larry Gaaga and Vector. Nasty C will release his forthcoming album Zulu Man With Some Power in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S. during the summer.

“For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam,” Dlamini said. “It is a historic achievement that we’re now able to bring this iconic label to Africa, to create an authentic and trusted home for those who aspire to be the best in hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap. Together, we will build a new community of artists, that will push the boundaries of hip-hop from Africa, to reach new audiences globally.”

Def Jam interim Chairman & CEO Jeff Harleston said, “we enthusiastically welcome the launch of Def Jam Africa as an opportunity for audiences worldwide to discover the incredibly talented hip-hop artists emerging from across the continent.”