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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Nigeria's rappers embrace Jay-Z
Jay-Z performing in London
Jay-Z wants his message to get to young people
A number of Nigeria's top hip-hop stars have been expressing their excitement ahead of a gig by rapper Jay-Z to be held in Lagos on Saturday.

The rapper and Def Jam label president included Nigeria among a number of African countries in his world tour, with gigs in Tanzania, Angola, Ghana and South Africa all taking place through the week.

It has been described as a huge development for the country's already thriving hip-hop scene. Nigerian artists such as Rugged Man, who is one of Nigeria's most celebrated rappers say they are as excited as Jay-Z's fans.

"It's going to be my first time seeing him," he told BBC World Service's The Beat programme.

"I'm hoping he will give Nigerians their money's worth... this is a different crowd to what he's used to."

Price controversy

It is in contrast to the response that fellow rapper 50 Cent received on his tour of Africa, when he was accused of not paying African artists due respect.

For Jay-Z's Lagos gig there will be nine Nigerian artists on the bill, including Word MC, a female rapper currently top of the Nigerian charts who will appear alongside Jay-Z on stage.

"To be mentioned alongside him at all - I feel privileged," she said.

"I just want to go out and sell Word MC and sell Africa with the best of my ability. I want it to be a crazy, Afrocentric multimedia experience.

"I want people to come and go, 'wow' - we went to Nigeria and this is what we saw."

Jay-Z with Kofi Annan before his world tour
Jay-Z launched his tour with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Journalist Henry Ekachegu said that Jay-Z's gig has created a "a huge media buzz" in Nigeria, with the country feeling it has been recognised as a showbusniess centre.

However, Jay'Z's visit has not been controversy-free, with the ticket prices being seen as too expensive and beyond most Nigerians.

"A lot of people have chosen to call it selective audience participation," said Ekachegu.

It costs almost US$800 for a VIP ticket, and almost US$200 for the regular tickets.

"How many people can afford this? People are struggling to get through daily living and the prices are like this."


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