Vector The Vipers Signs Record Deal With DefJam Records

Universal Music Group yesterday announced the launch of Def Jam Africa, a new label division within the continent. According to the announcement, the new label is dedicated to representing “the best hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent in Africa, and will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label,” one of the most important hip-hop/R&B companies in history.

The label will initially be based in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria, but will identify and sign artist talent from across the entire continent.

The label launches with a flagship roster of African rap star Vector who just released his new EP under the imprint.

Last week, the world woke up to two Billboard Music covers, one featuring Davido and Tiwa Savage and the other featuring Mr. Eazi. This kind of exposure is unprecedented but well deserved, reinserting African popstars into the global music conversation the way K-pop dominated music conversations in 2016 – 2018.

Rap in Africa has always had an outsize impact on the culture of the continent whereby American rap stars are treated as global super stars and African born British rappers Skepta, Stormzy, Notes and SantanDave, have all retraced their roots to their home countries and built secondary fanbases across the continent. Rap’s domination is global, with at least half of all top 10 billboard songs in 2020 being rap songs or songs that feature a rapper.

This is the leverage that Def Jam is hoping it can convert into bankable stars. Its starting lineup is already impressive and with the return to purist rap and the recent show of force that Nigerian rap legends Naeto C and M.I Abaga showed over the weekend, it is only right to capitalize on the potential now.
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