Nigerian rapper and fine artist Matosan was announced as the winner of Hennessy Artistry VS Class Season 7 this week.
The Hennessy VS Class forms part of the annual Hennessy Artistry programme, a campaign by the French Cognac brand started in 2009 to promote hip hop culture in Nigeria. It is open to unsigned hip hop artists in search of a springboard for their careers.
“Hennessy remains committed in its quest to discover and incubate talented and budding hip hop talents,” Hennessy said. “This year, the mechanics around the Hennessy Artistry VS Class required re-engineering due to the global pandemic.”
Matosan, an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, beat seven other finalists, namely Alaye Proof, Lauda, Dwad, El Rhey, Mickeyfols, Rik Hamale and Escore to win the title, which was previously held by Laud Reyes, the competition’s first female winner. Other past winners include Vader and Holy Field.
“I’m so excited. I thank God, I thank my friends,” the 22-year-old Matosan said about his victory. He also expressed appreciation to Hennessy for the platform, which he described as “the biggest rap cypher in the whole of Nigeria.”
MI Abaga, Falz and Jesse Jagz were jurors for the competition’s final episode, which saw contestants render freestyle sessions acapella and over instrumentation. Matosan, El Rhey, Alaye Proof and Escore Gatti progressed to the semi-finals.
Matosan beats Escore Gatti for the title and a prize package including cash, an opportunity to collaborate with an A-list producer and mentorship by a veteran rapper.
“I cannot for the life of me wait to see your eventual evolution – your hair, your style, your undying energy and your go-getter mentality,” Jesse Jagz said.