Trends in African Pop Culture

5 Min Read

It is fascinating to see elements from African pop culture joyously spreading throughout world. Thanks to social media, people can easily access the newest fashion, music, movie and beauty trends from the continent of Africa and the African diaspora. These influential trends are are not going to die out anytime soon!

Being that I am a Liberian American Fashion Designer developing my Afro-chic and cosmopolitan fashion brand called House of Rubi, I have to be aware of what’s hot and what’s next!

Here are 5 hot topics  in the fashion, music and entertainment industry.

1. The Dashiki Print 

I’ve always loved learning about the abundant kaleidoscopic arrays of textiles, their historical origins and the rich traditions associated with their development. It’s my responsibility as a fashion designer of African heritage to educate and share these stories.    

The Dashiki print (also known as the Angelina print) is one of the most popular textiles on the fashion scene today.

Throughout New York, Atlanta and other major cities in the United States, the Dashiki has made a comeback! People are using the print for dresses, shirts, jackets etc. It seems like everyone wants to rock a Dashiki.

The ” Logan Dashiki Hoodie” is one of the most popular items from the House of Rubi brand.

The House of Rubi Logan Dashiki

 This unisex top is a long sleeved hooded tunic which features a quilted lined hoodie and yolk. There is a functional black placket at center front embellished with 4 gold buttons.  The V-shape embroidery print is strategically placed at the front and back neckline, staying true to traditional West African Dashiki aesthetics.

The print continues on to the sleeve opening to create an embroidered hem effect. My favorite part of this Dashiki are the black triangular inserts, with centered,  functional gold zippers located at the side seams!

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West African dance music, especially music from Nigerian musicians such as Iyanya, D’banj, Don Jazzy Davido, and Tiwa Savage are stacking up millions of viewers on YouTube. Many of these jams comes with modern new age dance steps that evolved from traditional dance moves.  Check out this video showing new and old styles of dance from ” The Dance Hall ” on YouTube 

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3.  Jidenna one of the hottest new artist on the scene!

African music has always influenced soul, hip hop and rap.  Today, new artists have emerged bringing their culture and heritage at the forefront.  On November 29th  2015, Nigerian American artist Jidenna won the “Best New Artist” award at the Soul Train Music Awards.

Nigerian American Musician Jidenna. Image from Yohaig Nigerian News

4.  Web series An African City

One of my absolute favorite web series is An African City! Of course us ladies watch this for the juicy storyline and fashion. All the ladies in the know chat about An African City at brunch.  This popular show, which channels the unforgettable HBO series Sex and the city, tells the tales of 5 très chic independent and gorgeous single ladies navigating their way through love, sex, career, society and self discovery in Accra Ghana.

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5.  Appropriating African pop culture

African culture adaptation by the masses has brought up the very sensitive topic of culture appropriation. There are those who disagrees with non-Africans wearing prints, symbols and clothing referencing African traditional culture and ceremonial artefacts.

The topic hit a nerve with many this summer when journalist Zipporah Gene accused Black Americans of appropriating African clothing. After reading the article ” Black America, Please Stop Appropriating African Clothing and Tribal Marks”

Flocks of black American women hit twitter, facebook and blogs to express their anger.  It leads one to question if the surge in African Pop culture popularity around the world is a positive influence.

Image by Omar Victor Diop. Image from article ” Black America Please Stop Appropriating African Clothing and Tribal Marks”

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