Universal Music Announces The Launch of Def Jam Africa

Published: Tuesday 26th May 2020 by Sam

Recent years has seen the African music scene make waves on a global scale; a trajectory that looks set to continue following a major announcement made by Universal. 

For, the industry giant has formally unveiled Def Jam Africa. 

Full story…

The freshly revealed division will serve as a for base Hip-Hop, Afrobeats and Trap talent in Africa.

It’s the latest expansion of Def Jam Records, which – for more than 35 years – has been at the forefront of Urban music in the US and beyond.

Def Jam Africa will dually reside in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa, but will take a holistic approach to spotlight and champions from across the entire continent.

Inaugural talent signed to Def Jam Africa include Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector (Nigeria).

Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa said in a statement:

“Many of us in Africa grew up on music from legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records, the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more. For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam.

It is a historic achievement that we’re now able to bring this iconic label to Africa, to create an authentic and trusted home for those who aspire to be the best in hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap.

Together, we will build a new community of artists, that will push the boundaries of hip-hop from Africa, to reach new audiences globally.”


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  1. A&R May 26, 2020

    Camila Cabello will be their first artist ☺️

  2. tyty May 26, 2020

    The white man has figured out how to milk Afro beats 🥴 I expect it will be a massive money making genre soon. Once it’s been watered down and filtered to resemble nothing close to authentic afro beats that is.

    • Are You Kidding Me? May 26, 2020

      Shape of You with Ed Sheeran was the beginning smh I still don’t get how people think he sounds right singing that song. We’re in the Twilight Zone. Next Taylor Swift will have braids, animal print and recycling Rude Boy, What’s My Name, conflating genres because they don’t know any better and don’t let them find out about Soca. UGH!!!!

    • Are You Kidding Me? May 26, 2020

      Ed Sheerhan’s Shape of You was the first test for The Great White Hope.

  3. Susan May 26, 2020

    Guys! Charli XCX new album just got THREE #1’s!!! She debuted at #111 with 8k sold 🤣😭😂🤣 Where’s that one Charli fan that’s always on here

    • Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

      U are coming for charli xcx who has a number one song, and has written 2 number 1’s

      She has written several top 10 hits also
      Same old love
      I love
      Boom clap

      Ur faves f******* can never relate.

      • Susan May 26, 2020

        I don’t like Normani either 🤣 You obsessed lunatic.

      • Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

        Weirdo, what does charli xcx have to do with this?

        U better drink ur meds.
        It’s only Tuesday

      • Susan May 26, 2020

        What does Normani have to do with this? I posted this to summon the one Charli xcx fam that I always get into it with, and you appeared. I wasn’t looking for you, nutsack

      • Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

        Bìtch u stan normani
        Denying ur flop faves

        Ur not the first normani stan that I have seen denying normani

        She has flopped so hard nobody wants to claim her. Lol

        Charli xcx ended ur faves.

      • Bogus May 26, 2020

        Wow didn’t you say Camila wrote Senorita??? On Spotify they labeled it as Shawn Mendes song. You always have to bring up Normani. She’s such a flop that you have to bring her up. If she’s a flop and forgettable you sure can’t go without mentioning her 🤣🤣🤣

  4. Jh May 26, 2020

    I’d be more excited if Def Jam were still black owned. This is not good. Here comes erasure, colonisim, vultures, and stealing all over again. Rock n Roll, Trap, Hip hop, Jazz, Blues, Reggae have all been high jacked and its original Afro descendants have been erased… there will be Euro Beat and Latin Beat just like Reggae is Reggae-ton and AA trap is Latin Trap. These acts can start their own labels. Dont fall for thus!

    • D May 26, 2020


    • Are You Kidding Me? May 26, 2020

      Somebody noticed it. I still don’t get how K-Pop jacked 90’s R&B Boybands and nobody says anything.

      Mindless Behavior should’ve been as big as One Direction, but no we need Black music in a White package smh

  5. Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

    After the latino raggeaton music explosion, the next genre is probably afrobeats

    Let’s all pretend that awful horrible beyonce’s sound track album the gift never happened
    That is not afrobeats music.

    The songs are bad BAD
    Beyonce doesnt know how to make music.

    • Bogus May 26, 2020

      Stfu those are African Afrobeats artists on that compilation. You’re an imbecile you don’t even listen to Afrobeats to say that lmao

  6. Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

    Here comes ariana Grande, queen of afro-pop

    Watch as the culture vulture gonna jump on this genre real quick.

    I wonder why black people stan ariana
    She is a culture vulture,

    • Susan May 26, 2020

      You’re a sad little man.

      • Clarks0o0ñ May 26, 2020

        Describing ur self

    • Bogus May 26, 2020

      I wonder why you stan Camila then? My Flop My was culture vulture behavior

  7. Only Facts May 26, 2020

    Jimmy Fallon is now trending for wearing blackface. Where’s the post about that TGJ? Doja you’re still canceled.

  8. D May 26, 2020

    I’m conflicted. African artists will be given a platform that will (hopefully) lead to wider exposure, but it would be nice if an African label (owned and operated by someone on / from the continent) were the ones providing the platform. Major labels (white & j3wish owned) sign the most problematic ‘musicians’ and promote music that is actively harmful to black people and other people of colour—those same owners are the ones who profit most whilst the artists destroy their own communities with violent, sexist, and self-harming messages for a paycheck. Ughhhh

  9. Kitoko May 26, 2020

    This imperialism is out of control. This move is so arrogant, what is there to teach about music to African artists of all people, really ?
    What is also problematic is the fact that they will only launch english speaking artists when another large part of Africa speaks french, portugese etc.

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