Rapper with Poetic Licence: Youssoupha

French – Congolese artist Youssoupha, who brought the track Entourage into the world is easily one of Africa’s greatest rap exports. He is critically acclaimed and recognised thanks to his steady career and powerful fourth studio album “NGRTD” (Negritude) released in 2015.

But don’t be fooled by Youssoupha’s dark designer shades and smooth talking voice and mistake him for a hard core bad-boy rapper; the truth is that this multi-talented artist is an unexpected mix of several talents. He is a writer, poet and philosopher and regards himself to be a wordsmith like no other. In fact, at school he was the geek who would always reinvent his own use of language. He is known to rap extensively on topics like politics, injustice, romance and of course, beauty.

On Coke Studio Africa 2017 Youssoupha is paired with one of Africa’s top vocalists, Yemi Alade (Nigeria). The Johnny singer returns to Coke Studio Africa for her fourth time this year. On the show, the two orchestrated the original song Hustler under the guidance of Ghanaian heavyweight producer Killbeatz, who recently co-produced Ed Sheeran’s mega hit Bibia Be Yeye.

Speaking on his Coke Studio debut, Youssoupha, says: “This Coke Studio experience has brought me a lot of joy, it’s a lively experience! I was convinced that the language barrier would be a handicap but in the end, music and passion are much stronger languages. Because it’s my first time on the show, I was afraid that I would be uncomfortable but on the contrary, the audience and crew liked the fact that I was a newcomer.” On working with Yemi, he stated: “To meet and share music with Yemi inspired me and made me want to learn more.”

Youssoupha says that he has learnt at Coke Studio to mingle with different cultures more than ever before. Born in Kinshasa to a Senegalese mother, Youssoupha studied in France where he also started to write music. He now lives in Ivory Coast with his Chadian wife. Despite all his travel, his Congolese fans never considered him a stranger and for good reason—he is also one of the sons of the founding fathers of Congolese Rumba, Tabu Ley Rochereau; the kind of stuff legends are made of.

Learn some French and get to know Youssoupha, the poetic gangsta on the new season of Coke Studio Africa. Watch all music performances on www.YouTube.com/CokeStudioAfrica