How Hennessy is keeping the Rap culture alive in Nigeria
From the likes of Junior and Pretty, to Weird MC's Allen Avenue, to Rap cliques such as Thoro Breds, Ruff, Rugged and Raw, Trybesmen, and stand-alone artistes like Nigga Raw, Cyrus Tha Virus and Black Masqueradaz from the late 90s.
This also gave rise to more rappers like Ruggedman, Modenine, Terry Tha Rapman, SixFootPlus and Pherowshuz of the early 2000s, and the genre has continued to grow stronger especially with the infusion of indigenous elements atypical of the Rap styles of the late Dagrin, and Phyno.
However, Rap music wasn't always celebrated in Nigeria. In the era of the 80s when the genres of Highlife, Fuji and Juju music were mainstream, the emergence of Rap music in Nigeria was like a fish out of water.
Research shows that Rap music made a debut in the Nigerian music industry in the 70s with Ibrahim Salim Omari, a member of a defunct American music group Sugar Hill gang, was exiled to Nigeria.
His style of Rap was not highly acknowledged due to the existing music genres of the 70s, but with time, Rap music became a more accepted genre in the Nigerian music scene and grew to develop a unique personality of its own.
Many platforms have helped promote the art form that is Rap music in Nigeria. From Sprite Triple Slam which combined the edginess of a Rap battle with basketball and dance, to Coke Studio. However, none of these platforms have been able to hold their own like Hennessy, which is the embodiment of urban and pop culture in Nigeria.
Hennessy, through the Hennessy Artistry platform celebrates urban lifestyle which identifies with the distinguished edginess that is Nigerian Rap. The focus of the brand on Rap music is due to the genre's association with urban culture, and because it is one of the quadruple touchpoints (Deejaying, Rapping, Graffiti and B-boying) of Hip-Hop.
The platform was launched to celebrate the best of musical talent, spur the growth of Rap music in Nigeria and discover budding Rap talent.
Hennessy Artistry has become a respected platform in the Nigerian entertainment industry because it gives exposure to new talent and creates collaborations across various music genres via the Hennessy Artistry Cyphers, Hennessy VS Class, Artistry Club Tours, and the Hennessy Artistry Finale Concert.
Though a Luxury brand, Hennessy identifies with the innate edginess and vibrant spirit of the Nigerian people. The brand bears testament to the ever-resilient spirit of Nigerians and is at the front burner of championing the Nigerian urban culture while creating unforgettable consumer experiences via the Artistry platform.
This has made the brand an integral part of Nigeria's social fabric, which is bold, lively, and optimistic in its orientation - just like the Nigerian people.
The Hennessy Artistry Cypher is a platform for artistes aimed at spotlighting the best Rap talents from the country. It consists of an edgy display of freestyle rap in its rawest and most creative form to give exposure and a deep appreciation to the unique rap styles of iconic Rap artists.
The Hennessy Artistry VS Class is open to undiscovered Rap artists who have an ambition to further their Hip-Hop careers. The Hennessy Artistry Club Tour features a lineup of artists usually voted in by the audience who are taken on club rounds to perform to the delight of their fans.
The Hennessy Artistry Finale Concert is a culmination of all the Hennessy Artistry platforms into a concert night that plays host to all of Nigeria's biggest acts.
In these ways and more, Hennessy continues to keep this iconic art form that is Rap music relevant and emblazoned in the hearts and minds of Nigerian music lovers.
Catch the 2021 Hennessy Artistry Cyphers on YouTube @HennessyNigeria. For more information on Hennessy Artistry 2021, join the conversation using #HennessyCypher2021 and follow Hennessy Nigeria on YouTube and Facebook.