After 25 monthly shows recorded at Red Light Radio in Amsterdam’s red light district, African hip hop radio continues as a non-stop online stream playing 100% hip hop from the motherland, without any ads or announcements, and (in the near future) with dedicated slots focusing on hip hop from a particular region or country.

The monthly 2-hour show on RLR will continue, but Amal & J4 (aka dj Gioumanne) decided to rename the program to reflect its broadened horizon. Africa Is Hot plays new tunes and vintage grooves from a wide range of genres. Expect hip hop alongside 80s Nigerian funk, coupé décalé, Angolan house, kwaito, Ethio jazz, rumba, benga, azonto, zouglou and any other style the team feels like playing. The common thread is that the groove is on fire…. because ‘Africa is hot’ – and you may interpret the name as you like, but we’re not jumping on any bandwagon.


What does the eclectic approach in Africa is Hot have to do with (African) hip hop? We believe that it’s essential for the prospering of the global hip hop culture that we keep our eyes and ears open to the enormous musical wealth originating from the motherland and the diaspora. While hip hop music was built on the foundations of contemporary black music, including jazz, funk, disco, soul, reggae and African music, we have now reached an era in which hip hop is among the most wide-spread musical genres in the world. So it’s easy and probably tempting for a hip hop artist to only be influenced by other hip hop, but do we want hip hop to become an artifact stored in formaldehyde? Innovation was at the heart of the movement that the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Jazzy Jay and Busy Bee helped take shape, and an open outlook on musical styles was a large part of it.

So in the first episode of Africa is Hot we open the gates for many different genres, countries and artists. Starting off with some old school sounds, exploring some new Southern African hip hop, a new coupé décalé-rap fusion by Ivory Coast’s female president of the Nouchi slang (watch her video below!), and then we’re joined by IT consultant and pioneering African promoter Ousseni Zongo, who in the 1990s was the first to hire host J4 to deejay at his parties. Ousseni is now working on a new project web streaming modern music made in Ivory Coast.

Amal and J4 also play ‘Haffi deo’, a rare groove from the 80s by Tabu Ley, which is on a new Dj Gioumanne mix that we are premiering next month at our friends, in the Africa in your Earbuds series. Until then, enjoy this show (use the embedded player above to listen)!

Playlist Africa Is Hot #1
The Starlights – Mao Mao
Kine Lam – Diouma Diakhate
Safi Abdullah- Africa is Burning
Nikki Giovanni- Egotripping
Mr Maliq – Phakamisa (feat. Black Moss)
Zone Fam – Ntete
Jovi – CA$H
Nash La Go Cracra du Djassa – Gué dans Gué
Pambou Tchico Tchicaya – Meditation
Mac Gregor – Nan ye li kan
Johnny Rodrigues – African woman
Joel Lawani – L’amour est fin
Sarkodie – Adonai Remix Ft Castro
Patoranking & Tiwa Savage – Girlie ‘O’ Remix
Blitz the Ambassador ft Nneka – Love on the run
Gery Mendes – Memories
Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako – Make it Funky
Abumba du Zaire – Esongo Mingi
Tabu Ley – Haffi deo
Mickey Lightfoot & Darq e Freaker- Lost
Chimurenga Renaissance – Wow
Driemanskap – We Are Not The Same Ft iFani