Africa Rap Awards

2021 Africa Rap Awards Nominees And Winners

Africa Rap Awards (Formerly Creative-Africa Hip Hop Awards) focuses on celebrating deserving individuals in the African Hip-Hop space. We will be handing out virtual awards based on audience engagement across Rapaesthetics’ websites and social media platforms.

To help us settle on a list for our year-end awards we speak to different hip-hop writers, producers, and fans from all around the A continent.

Editors note: The nominees are largely made up of artists and songs we’ve covered on our platform. You have to be in it to win it.

Introduction: Africa Rap Awards 2021

Despite the challenges brought by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it was business as usual for some of the continent’s biggest rap names. Sarkodie dropped his ninth studio album No Pressure, Priddy Ugly tried his hardest to create chaos while Emtee embraced fatherhood with Logan. East African rappers Dominant 1 and Holstar uplifted black minds on African Diamond, and Blaqbonez spoke his truth on Sex Over Love.

Unfortunately, the year was not without its losses. Nigerian hip-hop producer Victor Chujor-Idowu popularly known as Beats By Jayy died from Covid-19 complications on the 21st of November. He was 28. 

Beats By Jayy

Overall there’s still a lot to celebrate as regards hip hop on the A continent and we’re just getting started.

Below is the schedule for the 2021 Africa Rap Awards.

Preceding the inaugural awards will be our annual end-of-the-year list.

(Winners will be announced on January 21, 2022).


Top 50 African Rappers Of 2021

Top African MCs Of 2021

Best African Hip Hop Songs Of 2021


East African Rapper Of The his Year.

West African Rapper Of The Year.

South African Rapper Of The Year.

Lyricist Of The Year.

African Hip Hop Song Of The Year.

Best African Hip Hop Collaboration Of 2021.

Best African Hip Hop Album Of 2021.

African Rapper Of 2021.

Hustler Of 2021.

Without further ado, these are our nominees for the 2021 Africa Rap Awards (ARA). Whether you agree or disagree, please be respectful with your comments.

East African Rapper Of 2021

The East African rappers included in this year’s list have been covered numerous times on our website. Tucker HD is currently one of the best rappers in Uganda, and Khaligraph Jones needs no further introduction. Dominant-1 remains an unsung hero and Holstar keeps finding new ways to keep East Africa on the map.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards East African Rapper of the year award goes to…

The Holstar

The Holstar was an easy choice for East African Rapper Of 2021. In March the Zambian rapper teamed up with Dominant-1 to release their African Diamond EP, which was one of the standout projects of the year. About three months later, he dropped another collaborative project, this time teaming up with R&B/Soul singer Ariel, for ‘Throwbacks and Heartbreaks’. Then in November, he delivered his first solo project of the year, an experimental EP titled Dreams Never Die. Holstar didn’t just kill it with the projects, he also offered cognitive commentary on African Hip Hop, while also using his platform to promote music in East Africa. Holstar has finally assumed the position of an OG, and will only continue to get better.


  • Dominant 1 (Malawi)
  • Holstar (Zambia)
  • Khaligraph Jones (Kenya)
  • Tucker HD (Uganda)

West African Rapper Of 2021

Ladipoe spearheaded the west African hip-hop revival this year by restoring the feeling. A-Q lived his life like it’s golden, Kwesi Arthur took no losses, and Blaqbonez was a menace, making himself, and his music hard to ignore all year long.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards West African rapper of the year award goes to…


There’s so much to say about Blaqbonez, but one undeniable trait is his work ethic. In 2021 the 25-year-old went from a viral social media rapper begging for streams to a genuine rap star. Blaqbonez leveled up in 2021, but his successes are the product of years of preparation and hard work, rather than sheer luck or his affiliation with M.I. Abaga and A-Q. After carving out one of rap’s most loyal followings, the Nigerian artist unleashed his debut album “Sex Over Love” to a public that was more than ready to receive it. The album touched on his fear of commitment and highlights Blaq’s vast understanding of the Nigerian music market. His unorthodox approach, accessibility, and humorous rapping style endeared him to the younger generation, and in no time earned Blaq co-signs from top Nigerian acts including the likes of Wizkid and Burna Boy. Blaqbonez has forced himself into the conversation and can no longer be ignored. He’s a marketing genius, a menace on the mic and in the tweets. No West African rapper made as much noise as Blaqbonez in 2021, making him our West African Rapper of 2021.


  • A-Q (Nigeria)
  • Blaqbonez (Nigeria)
  • Kwesi Arthur (Ghana)
  • Ladipoe (Nigeria)
  • Sarkodie (Ghana)
  • M.anifest (Ghana)

South African Rapper Of 2021

Southern Africa continues to set the bar when it comes to hip hop on the African continent. The competition was at fever levels in 2021 with the likes of Priddy Ugly, YoungstaCPT, and A-Reece holding it down for the pen rappers. Blxckie continued to elevate his status and 25K proved he’s the real deal. These are your nominees.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards South African rapper of the year award goes to…


Blxckie is arguably one of the most in-demand South African rappers out now. His breakout moment came in 2020 when he dropped “Big Time Sh’lappa” featuring Lucasraps and the Durban native hasn’t looked back ever since. With all eyes on him, Blxckie built on the success of his breakthrough year and was named Apple Music’s Up Next artist in early 2021. That same year he won Freshman Of The Year at the South African Hip Hop Awards.

With public perception of him at an all-time high, Blxckie released his debut album “B4Now” which was nominated for album of the year at the 2021 South African Hip Hop Awards. It included hit records such as “David” and the Nasty C assisted “Ye x4.” In 2021 Blxckie also dominated the feature game, appearing on more songs than I can count. A year into the game and Sihle Sithole is well on his way to stardom in 2022 and beyond.


  • A-Reece (South Africa)
  • Blxckie (South Africa)
  • 25K (South Africa)
  • Priddy Ugly (South Africa)
  • YoungstaCPT (South Africa)

Lyricist Of 2021

In 2021 these rappers put bars first. They ignored the noise and chants to dumb down their music, even when it might have been profitable. These are the nominees for Africa Rap Awards lyricist of the year.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards Lyricist Of The Year award goes to…


The award for best lyricist goes to A-Reece for his impressive display of lyricism on his 2021 mixtape Today’s Tragedy, Tomorrow’s Memory. Released after the death of his father, the tape finds the South African rapper grappling with thoughts of mortality and its effects on those who are left behind. The Gauteng native brings a refreshingly honest approach to the mixtape, serving up his vulnerability and woes in a platter. Described as a “transition from grey clouds to a clear sky”, Reece is joined on the 13-track project by a host of collaborators including Wordz, BELO SALO, and Ayanda Jiya.

Congrats to A-Reece for winning Lyricist of the Year.


  • A-Reece (South Africa)
  • A-Q (Nigeria)
  • Dominant 1 (Malawi)
  • Loose Kaynon (Nigeria)
  • Priddy Ugly (South Africa)
  • Wordz (South Africa)
  • YoungstaCPT (South Africa)

African Hip Hop Song Of 2021

Covid-19 and all its variants couldn’t stop the music in 2021. Sarkodie brought his lavish lifestyle to the forefront with Rollies And Cigars, K.O embraced his position as an African hip hop legend in “K:HOVA,” and Ladipoe teamed up with BUJU for one of the biggest songs of the year.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards Hip Hop Song Of The Year award goes to…

Ladipoe Feat. Buju ”Feeling”

Ladipoe’s “Feeling” provided the feel-good distraction fans needed in 2021. While everything around us was seemingly going to shit, The Buju-assisted track encouraged listeners to focus on the happy times and ignore the distractions of the outside world, a befitting message considering the challenges people had and continue to endure due to the lockdowns brought by the Covid pandemic. Ladipoe has ARA’s song of the year.


  • Sarkodie – ‘Rollies And Cigars’
  • A-Q Feat. Chike – ‘Breathe’
  • Blxckie – ‘David’
  • K.O. – ‘K. Hova’
  • 25K Feat. A-Reece – ‘Hustler’s Prayer’
  • Ladipoe Feat. Buju – ‘Feeling’

Best African Hip Hop Collaboration Of 2021

Some of the biggest moments in African hip-hop this year came in the form of collaborations. They were exciting, lyrical, and created a lot of talking points. From Khaligraph Jones and Sarkodie trading flows or YoungstaCPT spittin’ dictionary bars alongside Priddy Ugly to Loose Kaynon, M.I Abaga and A-Q morphing into Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman.

Kwesi Arthur brought out the sharpest bars I’ve heard from Vic Mensa in a minute, and M.I and Vector put aside their differences for the greater good. So many to choose from but these were some African hip-hop collaborations that stood out this year.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards African Hip Hop Collaboration Of The Year Award Goes To…

Loose Kaynon Feat. M.I. Abaga & A-Q “98 Bulls”

The Bulls 90’s dynasty, led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman is regarded as the greatest assembled NBA team of all time. While that’s debatable, what’s not debatable is the legendary status of this track. Loose Kaynon reunited with his Lamb Cyphervengers to disrupt the rap ecosystem. Using double, triple entendre, and mind-boggling NBA references, the trio metaphorically proclaims their greatness. “We the 98 Bulls… what’s better than us,” asks M.I. Congrats to Loose Kaynon.


  • Kwesi Arthur Feat. Vic Mensa – ‘Winning’
  • Priddy Ugly Feat. YoungstaCPT – ‘The Pen’
  • Sarkodie Feat. Cassper Nyovest ‘Married To The Game’
  • Blxckie Feat. Nasty C – ‘Yex4’
  • Dominant 1 x Holstar – ‘Lost Generation’
  • 25k Feat. A Reece – ‘Husters Prayer’
  • Khaligraph Jones Feat. Sarkodie – ‘Wavy’
  • Loose Kaynon Feat. M.I Abaga and A-Q -‘98 Bulls’
  • Shane Eagle Feat. YoungstaCPT – ‘Ammo’
  • M.I. Abaga Feat. Vector – ‘Crown Of Clay’

Best African Hip Hop Album Of 2021

Best African Hip Hop Album Of 2021

In 2021 African rappers continued to prove they are on top of their game as the albums just kept coming. Sarkodie stayed calm under pressure, 25K channeled his inner 2Pac, Loose Kaynon, after a brief hiatus returned with Survivor’s Remorse, Blaqbonez planted seeds of polygamy, Gigi Lamayne delivered her self-reflective project and Blxckie carried his 2020 momentum into the new year.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards African Hip Hop Album of the year award goes to…

Blxckie ”B4Now”

Blxckie is arguably one of the hottest African rappers out right now. His debut album B4Now served as an introduction to his life before ‘Big Time Sh’lappa.’ Switching between passionate crooning and fast-paced bars, the Durban native opened up about his challenges and subsequent victories. Whether it’s rapping about the struggles he faced after moving to Johannesburg on “Mama It’s Bad” or declaring his commitment to overcoming all obstacles, Blxckie excels at every turn and comfortably shows why he’s rated so highly.

Recorded while in lockdown, B4Now comes with twelve tracks and includes guest appearances from Lucasraps, Flvme, and Nasty C.


  • A-Q – ‘Golden’ (Nigeria)
  • Sarkodie – ‘No Pressure’ (Ghana)
  • Blckie – ‘B4Now’ (South Africa)
  • Priddy Ugly – ‘Soil’ (South Africa)
  • Dominant 1 x Holstar – ‘African Diamond’ (Malawi And Zambia)
  • Gigi Lamayne – Mermaids And Stuff (South Africa)
  • 25k – ‘Pheli Makaveli’ (South Africa)
  • Emtee – ‘Logan’ (South Africa)
  • Blaqbonez – ‘Sex Over Love’ (Nigeria)
  • Loose Kaynon – ‘Survivors Remorse’ (Nigeria)

African Hip Hop Artist Of 2021

The rapper of the year is reserved for African rappers with great artistic output (singles, guest verses, projects, and freestyles) in the year under review. Our best African rappers for 2021 include rappers from across the continent, from the East, West, and South. So many African rappers were on top of their games this year, but these are our picks for the best of 2021.

The Africa Rap Awards African Hip Hop Artist of the year award goes to…


Blxckie was touted as the next up in South African hip hop and he took it in stride. The Durban newcomer delivered one of the most well-received albums of 2021 in “B4Now.” The album’s eclectic sounds earned him nominations at the 2021 SA Hip Hop Awards and helped ensure Blxckie stayed in rotation. His presence was felt on features as well as The Big Time Sh’lappa was arguably the most sort-after African rapper of 2021, appearing on songs with AKA, Priddy Ugly, Nasty C, Ckay, Gigi Lamayne, and a whole lot more.

Blxckie’s honor is well deserved. Congrats


  • Sarkodie (Ghana)
  • Loose Kaynon (Nigeria)
  • A-Q (Nigeria)
  • Blxckie (South Africa)
  • 25K (South Africa)
  • Holstar (Zambia)
  • A-Reece (South Africa)
  • YoungstaCPT (South Africa)
  • Blaqbonez (Nigeria)
  • Priddy Ugly (South Africa)

Hustler Of The Year

Hustler Of 2021

Live shows took a big hit as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which means rapers had to find other ways to secure the bag. The Hustler of the year category focuses on rappers that made major moves this year and found other ways to level up.

In 2021 Blaqbonez delivered a master class in content curation and promotion. He hawked his music all over social media and when it came time to rap he didn’t miss. Sarkodie sold out another Rapperhaloic and Cassper Nyovest continues to be the standard when it comes to securing major endorsements.

The 2021 Africa Rap Awards Hustler Of The Year award goes to…

Cassper Nyovest

Was there a bigger hustler than Cassper Nyovest this year? The South African artist is no stranger to big wins, but in 2021 he couldn’t be stopped. While the music wasn’t as forthcoming as fans would’ve liked, Cas used the year to level up. It all started in May when he released Siyathandana, from his Amapiano-themed album, Sweet And Short 2.0. The song featuring Abidoza and Boohle was a massive hit and earned Cassper his first-ever number one record on SA Radio. Outside of the music world, Cas was in his mogul bag. The “Any Minute Now” rapper signed an alleged 100 million Rand deal with Drip Footwear, launched Billiato, his own premium tequila beverage, became the host of SABC1’s popular cooking program The Braai show, bought a Franck Muller (just to flex), won his first professional fight and was crowned the Artist Of The Decade at the 2021 South Africa Hip Hop Awards. He literally took no Ls.

The 31-year-old has earned the title of a marketing genius and should be treated as such. He’s also one of the greatest entertainers the African continent has ever produced. You may not like his methods, but you gotta respect the hustle. Cassper Nyovest was inarguably the African Hip Hop Hustler of 2021. Congrats, Refiloe.


  • Cassper Nyovest (South Africa)
  • Sarkodie (Ghana)
  • Blaqbonez (Nigeria)

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