'Rap Ivoire' genre of music soars in popularity in Ivory Coast

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After the Zouglou years and the resounding success of 'coupé-décalé', rap, or "Rap Ivoire", is emerging as a new major musical genre in Ivory Coast, with artists hoping to breakout beyond the country’s borders.

At the Palais de la Culture, one of Abidjan's largest concert halls, a long line of several hundred people stretches out, hours before the start of a highly anticipated concert.

The star of the evening is called Didi B, "the Ivorian Booba", according to his fans who came in large numbers: the concert is sold out.

Until the late 2010, 'coupe-décalé' largely dominated the musical landscape in Ivory Coast, but since Arafat, the star DJ, died in a road accident in 2019, rap has gradually won hearts.

According to a French rap specialist Jean Morel, “Abidjan is becoming a global music hub, and it sets the pace for a number of initiatives. There is a bridge that has been created between Paris and Abidjan a bit like the one between London and Lagos".

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