The narrative in Christian rap is changing gradually. As each year passes by, we get to see new faces doing big things for the culture and putting CHH on the radar with their music. This week on Rapzilla, we’ll be highlighting some Christian rap acts with Nigerian descent doing well with taking the gospel global with their music in 2019.
One artist that comes to mind when we talk about Nigerian descent is Nigerian-American rapper ‘Tobechukwu Nwigwe’ popularly referred to as ‘Tobe Nwigwe’.
Tobe has proven so much consistency the past few years with his #gettwistedsundays releases and this year is not any different. He made more moves this year and broke several records.
Starting the year with the announcement of his tour tagged ‘Tobe From The SWAT Tour’ (The Extension) which was sold out in several cities like Seattle, Durham, Oakland, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, Philadelphia, and his own city Houston. In addition to that, he was celebrated on the final lap of his tour as April 20 was announced Tobe Nwigwe’s day by the Mayor of Houston ‘Sylvester Turner’.
Tobe received recognition and was featured by different media strongholds like Houston Press, Houston Chronicles, Forbes, 247HH, 97.9 (The Box), All hip hop, MLB The Show, Uninterrupted, Texas Monthly, Vibe Magazine, and Billboard.
He also spoke about a lot of issues and his music at Harvard University, Temple University, AskDrJess, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). He performed at various top events like ‘Root Picnic (which has 21 Savage, Lil Baby in attendance), Broccoli City Festival, Verified Conference, One Music Fest, BET Experience, and Tiny Desk. Nwigwe also appeared in an advert commercial for the brand ‘Boise’.
His track “I’m Dope” was included in the 2019 NBA 2K20 soundtrack.
With the birth of his first child Ivory, Tobe has decided to get creative with it as he has announced the second tour of the year alongside his wife/child (Fat/Ivory) and producer (Nell). The tour tagged ‘The Ivory Tour’ will kick start on the 1st of November.
So far this year, Tobe has dropped three EPs – Three Originals, Live Experience EP and he has just released the third one in the year titled Fouriginals.
Wande Isola is no doubt definitely one of the top female rappers with making a buzz in Christian rap.
The Nigerian emcee has proved herself to be one of the top artists in 2019 with her singles and her signing to top CHH label Reach Records.
Wande’s popularity and relevance in Christian hip hop didn’t just come overnight as she has been in the music space for a while. She has released multiple singles including collaborations with Parris Chariz, Byron Juane, Not Klyde, and others before she got signed in 2019.
Wande worked with Reach Records as an A&R got officially announced in April as the latest signing of the label during the 2019 Unashamed Tour.
Since then, she has released several chart-topping singles, featured on different songs and even performed at different events such as Unashamed Tour, WHATUPRG’s ‘Saint Holy Tour’, RCCG North America Youth Convention, and at the 2019 Kingdom Choice Awards taking home the award for the Best Female Rap Artist at the event too.
In addition to these, her track “BAND$” with Byron June on the recently released 116 Summer Nineteen playlist was listed No. 9 on the Billboard Christian Hot chart. She was one of the Christian artiste included in the recent article by USA Today alongside Lecrae, Andy Mineo, NF, Social Club Misfits, and nobigdyl.
Wande has also featured on Voyage ATL, Praise 102.5, and Reddit etc. Her debut single “Blessed Up” under Reach Records has gotten over a million streams on all platforms since it’s release and her weekly show #WandeWednesday explains more about her heritage and life as an artist.
Another rapper of Nigerian descent is S.O (Seun Otukpe). Originally from England, he now resides in the United States. The rapper has proven much versatility this year with two projects so far in the year and numerous music videos.
With much hard work in the year, the rapper released the Shine EP, a five-track project which got over a million streams on Spotify in its first month. According to him, he made a majority of the tracks in two days.
His long project Augustine’s Legacy was released on the 9th of September. It’s a project which was born out of him wanting to leave behind a good legacy for his kids and an entire generation. An album with many lovable and controversial tracks like “White Jesus,” “Goals,” “Headwrap Diaries,” and “Opa” (a track which sees S.O. experimenting with his rap skills on an Afrobeat).
S.O. didn’t just stop at releasing projects but is presently on tour for his new project. Few of the cities to be visited include Houston, San Antonio, New York City, Boston, Connecticut, and many more.
Canadian based rapper Shopé is also another act in the diaspora making the country proud. Shopé makes his roots known even in his music as he fuses his language (Yoruba) in the songs he makes. This year has been a great one for him as he has broken bounds. Although Shopé has not released much music this year, he has wowed many by climbing on big stages in Canada.
Earlier this year, Shopé emerged winner of 2019 CBC music searchlight contest, a competition that has thousands of entries. This earned him a spot at the Canada Music Awards named the JUNO Awards and also the Allan Slaight Juno Masterclass.
In May 2019, Shopé also performed alongside many top acts such as Rhye and Alvvays at the CBC music festival.
His latest single “When You Land” has been doing well and has been placed on several platforms like CBC rush hours and Earmilk.