This Rap News Webcast Is Keeping It Real By Using Ivorian Street Slang

Digital Content

“Au port ya un vrai championnat: l’argent de dédoua même, ça met drap sur prizo de ton djoho!”

“In Abidjan, when you want to import your car, the bribes you pay to the custom officer are so high you could buy a new one instead!”

The Ivorian rapper, Nash, is decrying the daily corruption that’s part of life in Abidjan on her YouTube series. Unlike other shows, this newscast is presented entirely in rap verses. Welcome to the first episode of Journal Gbayé, a news show proving popular among Ivorian youth. With only 25 episodes, it has more than 3,000 subscribers on YouTube, who come for its mix of comedy and daily news delivered as an extended hip-hop track.

Nash delivers the news in Nouchi, a slangy Ivorian street dialect that has exploded in popularity in recent years and is finding converts from across the French-speaking world.

Its method of delivery is a lively creole of indigenous and European dialect that, while popular with young Ivorians, hasn’t entered mainstream broadcasting yet. Despite its lack of official recognition, Nouchi has long been a way for working class Ivorians to express themselves. Lately, it’s spread across Ivorian pop culture, helping to bridge the gap between classes.

In 2013, Xuman, a Senegalese artist and social activist created a rapped TV segment on 2STV, a Senegalese TV channel, using both of Senegal’s official languages, Wolof and French.

By delivering the news as an extended rap-song in two languages, Xuman brought a unique point of view and humor to news broadcasting that helped young people relate more to the issues around them. Following its success, Xuman decided to export it to Ivory Coast and contacted Nash, one of the most popular Ivorian rappers known for her deft use of Nouchi in her rhymes.

“Xuman, wanted to bring a specific Ivorian touch to the news segment by using Nouchi,” Nash explains. “He thought about me, since I’m putting Nouchi on the forefront with my music.
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