DJ Nana, York Alumnus, discusses the hip-hop and R&B trivia event RAP SHEETS

Photo Courtesy of RAP SHEETS

On April 29, RAP SHEETS will host their next hip-hop and R&B trivia night at The Theatre Centre Café/Bar on Queen Street West.

Nana Gyamfi-Kumanini Jr. (DJ Nana) moved to Toronto from Waterloo in 1999 to pursue a music career while being a cultural studies student at York. He explains that during the pandemic, his younger sister Victoria commented on how there were few R&B and hip-hop trivia board games, and encouraged DJ Nana to get involved and further develop these events.

“I was aware that there had been some past hip-hop trivia events in the city, and in my constant move to be unique while understanding that there is no such thing as reinventing the wheel, I started developing my own idea while secretly sourcing the right venue for what developed into RAP SHEETS. 

“In July 2023, my good friend Liza Paul, the associate artistic director of The Theatre Centre, gave me a call saying that she’d like me to produce an event for The Theatre Centre. I then pitched the hip-hop and R&B trivia idea. She liked it and eventually helped me narrow down the name choices, and the first RAP SHEETS was held on September 11, 2023,” explains DJ Nana.

Victoria Gyamfi-Kumanini, DJ Nana’s sister, is the office manager and executive assistant to SVP Streaming & Content Licensing Paramount Global Canada. She attributes their love of hip-hop to their parents, who exposed them to a variety of musical genres growing up. 

When encouraging DJ Nana, she felt that Toronto needed new ways to interact with hip-hop and R&B that didn’t necessarily entail late nights and bar tabs. “Toronto already has a strong ‘lounge’ culture, meaning you can find plenty of laid back/casual environments that are inviting, but offer a unique flair that, more times than not, draw from the hip-hop and R&B culture. So for RAP SHEETS to come into fruition, it only makes sense and it’s right on time,” says Gyamfi-Kumanini.

The 50th anniversary of hip-hop was celebrated in 2023, which eventually lead to the culmination of RAP SHEETS. It has quickly become a significant community event described as inclusive, welcoming, and safe.

“DJ Nana is a tastemaker — he has a unique knack when it comes to music, specifically blending different genres that are both relatable, yet sensory/stimulating, and speak to a diverse crowd. From groovy mom and pop types, to trendy millennials, nostalgic 80’s babies, and the die hard ‘golden years’ aficionados, he knows how to draw in, build, and maintain a crowd with his musical taste. I feel these elements reflect heavily in the team he selected to help nurture and develop RAP SHEETS gracefully,” says Gyamfi-Kumanini.

DJ Nana continues, stating that he strives to create a “playfully competitive” environment for participants competing over prize packs, and that he focuses on expressing and honouring the energy of all generations of hip-hop and R&B. 

To learn more about this event and to purchase tickets, click here.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor

Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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