Hip hop music has been popular in Africa since the early 1980s due to widespread American influence. In 1985 hip hop reached Senegal, a French-speaking country in West Africa. Some of the first Senegalese rappers were M.C. Lida, M.C. Solaar, and Positive Black Soul, who mixed rap with Mbalax, a type of West African pop music.
An early South African group was Black Noise. They began as a graffiti and breakdance crew in Cape Town until they started emceeing in 1989.
There also have been groups in Tanzania and other countries that emceed before 1989, although it is not very well known. During the late 1980s-early 1990s rap started to escalate all over Africa.
Each region had a new type of style of hip hop. Rap elements are also found in Kwaito, a new genre based on house music which developed in South Africa in the 1990s.