The first signings to come out of the expansion are rappers Suspect 95, Tenor and Omzo Dollar.
In May, Def Jam launched Def Jam Africa, a new division based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria focused on the continent's hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap talent. Just two months later, the division is expanding into three new markets in French-speaking Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon.
The expansion brings additional A&R, marketing and digital resources to parent Universal Music Group's offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Dakar, Senegal; and Douala, Cameroon; operating under the leadership of Universal Music Africa directeur général Franck Kacou. He will work closely with Sipho Dlamini, the CEO of Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa, who leads the Def Jam Africa teams in Johannesburg and Lagos.
"There is a wealth of domestic hip-hop talent here and in the surrounding countries, that has the potential to transcend language and geographical boundaries to appeal to audiences throughout Africa, France and beyond," Kacou said. "I look forward to working alongside Sipho to expand our community of artists across the continent, and to help elevate hip-hop from Africa to new heights."