In order of appearance: Larry Gaaga, Boity, Tshego / Nadia Nakai, Cassper Nyovest, Nasty C / Ricky Tyler, Vector, Tellaman.
Universal Music Group has announced the launch of Def Jam Africa, a new label group created exclusively for the promotion of African music talent.
The news of the launch was made public in a press release earlier today with information that the label is to champion hip-hop talent and culture across the African continent.
The label launched with a flagship roster of nine African acts who are Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector (Nigeria).
Def Jam Africa will initially be based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria and run by multiple teams reporting to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa. Announcing the launch of the new label, he said, “Many of us in Africa grew up on music from legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records, the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more. For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, Disturbing tha Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide. 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.”
South African rapper, Nasty C, is already poised to release his forthcoming album, ‘Zulu Man with Some Power’, this summer, in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S.