Upcoming Projects

Come see the King of Freetown LIVE on Sunday, December 11th at the Kent Beach Hip Hop Festival! There Kao will drop his latest album – Obey Now Complain Later. The compilation will feature new singles from Black Leo himself, performed for the first time worldwide. It’s a can’t-miss nonstop party, so get yourself to Freetown ASAP!

Tickets available at the gate – first come first served.




The name KAO DENERO is synonymous with innovative, dance-worthy hip hop in the developing West African country of Sierra Leone. Known for his descriptive lyrical content and advanced rhyme style, Kao’s music captures the emotions associated with the daily life and tribulations of young Africans. His music has been described as a blend of tough, conflict-laden lyrics backed by afro-beats with a familiar hip hop twist.

Music has always been home for Kao Denero. His father, an avid Congolese musician, played African music from all over the continent as his young son took note. When Kao started performing his own music he was initially known as “Sloop Cow”, aligning with a more American style of music. Later he decided to re-brand his image with an African flair, acknowledging where he came from even as he looked to the future. Today, Kao Denero blends hardcore hip hop influence with a strong African twist in his music. His first album was “Black Leo 4 Life”, which he released in 2003. Afterwards he released “Stories From Freetown” which spurned the hit single “Emonah (feat. Big Joe)”. This album marked the beginning of Kao’s rise to prominence in African hip hop. He won “Best Hip Hip Song” for Emonah at the Premier Music Awards in his home country. Kao, who had also lived in Conakry, Guinea, released the highly controversial “King Of Freetown” in 2005, his third album. Other albums include “Freetown’s Most Wanted“, and 2008’s “A New Beginning“.

Sierra Leone Civil War

His native country of Sierra Leone was engaged in civil war from 1991 to 2002, a period that transformed Kao into a refugee fighting for survival in nearby West African countries such as Guinea. He later relocated to the United States where he started relentlessly writing and recording demos and mixtapes – eventually carving out a local fan base and cult-like following among his fans.

His musical style can be described as a blend of 90s hip-hop and today’s Afrobeat sound with a strong message of survival and hope for young Africans everywhere. This hardened sensibility was on full display in ‘Ghetto Struggle’, a song he collaborated on with Jamaica’s dancehall heavyweight, Busy Signal.

Kao is a force to be reckoned with on the international stage, having collaborated with the likes of Shabba Ranks and Ghana’s Sarkodie in recent years.

Kao Denero’s Presidential Honor

As Peace Ambassador – a title given to him by his country’s president to highlight his positive influence on Sierra Leone’s youth – Kao has worked to create a community of fans and artists representing West Africa to a world that knows little about their culture.

Commonly tagged as the Hip Hop King, Kao has sold out concerts at the national stadium in Freetown number of times over the course of his career. Now, with a new management team and a strong vision for the future, Denero is gearing up to take over the world with his unique brand of world-influenced music.

“When I realized the response from the youth, it was just incredible: I saw that over 80% of the young people in the country were representing my Black Leo brand. I know there are many artists with a large following in Africa but my fans are creating something bigger.”


Over the years, Kao Denero has maintained the most loyal fan base in Sierra Leone by consistently churning out hit after hit, captivating the streets and the club scene alike. Kao’s highly successful album “New Beginning” was released in 2008, giving rise to hit singles such as “Salone Borbor” and “The Day (feat. Emerson).” After he was awarded the honor of becoming a Peace Ambassador by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in a high profile ceremony at the Presidential State House, Hollywood’s Isaiah Washington famously compared him to a modern-day African version of the late Notorious B.I.G.

One of his past releases, “Da Blood Diamond Kid Story” paints a robust picture of one of the most challenging periods in his country’s past – the blood diamond conflict. The struggle is highlighted on standout tracks “From the Horse’s Mouth” and the YouTube smash hit “Moonlight Dancing“.

Other projects from Sierra Leone’s most respected lyricist include 2013’s “Back to my Roots” and a hotly anticipated new album in works to be titled “Now or Never“. It’s safe to say that the time has come for hip hop listeners all around the world to open their ears and embrace one of its brightest talents – Kao Denero.