Back in the days, we had rappers in Cameroon we could nominate to go compete at the Olympics if they had a category for “Rap Competition” or some sort of “Battle of The Bars” The likes of Stanley Enow, who’s success in music today kicked started with his hip hop hit song titled « Hein Père » released in 2013 is no longer looking towards the direction of rap. The Tenors who came to the spotlight in 2016 with his hit song « Do Le Dab » had to switch as the music industry kept growing. Now we see him reciting lines in songs like « Bad Things » and one of his previous singles off the Nnom Gui EP released in 2018.
This forces me to ask the following questions because it taking forever for us to witness another rap song become a hit in Cameroon. Why are these rappers switching from rap to Afro Beats and Afro Pop ? Do their actions come as a result that rap music doesn’t pay in Cameroon ? I mean take a good look at Ko-C’s journey from « Ici Au Kamer » with his former group PIM Boys when they jointly released their first single produced by Sango Edi, he was barely known, and the music could hardly speak for itself back then. Although he struggled to drop a few freestyle which contained some really amazing rap lines, things changed when he dropped « Caro, Bollo C’est Bollo and his latest single Sango. »
These previous releases by Cameroon’s fastest rapper is what skyrocketed his musical career to the level where he is at the moment . With such successes and exposure recorded gained and acquired by Stanley Enow in My Way, Caramel, Adore You, Good Day and Ko-C’s Sango , Tenor’s LVMH, do you think these once hardcore rappers will one day decide to switch back to what we knew them to be ?
If these once hardcore hip hop and rap hit makers can today switch to Afro Beats, then it’s obvious rap music doesn’t pay in Cameroon. If you ask me, I will also declare that if Jovi didn’t double as a producer, he would have also joined the list of today’s choristers. Notwithstanding, we see the likes of Younger rappers coming up like 8 year old KOWAN, Young Holiday and Bamenda based rapper Mr Impeccable who aren’t distracted by the decisions taken by their role models.
All in all, rap music in Cameroon today is moving in a wheelchair. Almost all it’s best rappers have turned singers and their music careers have been set to commercialize mode! Some are influenced by their labels, some just feel defeated while others after tasting the results of Afro Beats have promised never to look back ago. Which hit rap songs like Sokoto, Bella, Kumba Market, Belinda would have burst out to grab awards today if Magasco continued his career as a rapper ?