African Music Roundup

What is African hip hop? From Nairobi to Dakar hip hop has caught the imagination of the youth producing so many rap crews, breakers and all round b-boys. Some argue it's roots go back to the days of the African Griot, others argue its a unique African American experience. Whatever hip hop's roots one thing remains the same. Beats and Rhymes. My name is Obi and I blog as soul on ice. Welcome to my African Music Roundup.

Complicated Fun posts on Kenyan hip hop and Afrofuturism and talks on the Kenyatta Day '05 celebrations in Minneapolis (October 10).

“While Kenyatta Day offers a glimpse of Africa's future in hip hop and cinema (see below), the local exhibit, discussion, and events surrounding Afrofuturism at the Soap Factory (near St. Anthony Main) peer forward into the future of the African Diaspora, and use the sci-fi imagination to satirize the past”

Complicated Fun goes on to talk about the local premiere of a documentary called Hip Hop Colony by Kenyan director Mike Wanguhu.

Bob's blog talks on Senegalese hip hop crew Daara J:

“If Africa is in the midst of a hip-hop renaissance, the Senegalese trio Daara J could be the movement's foremost statesmen. Earning accolades worldwide for their vibrant 2004 record Boomerang (Wrasse Records), the Dakar-based MCs Faada Freddy, N'Dongo D and Aladji are keen to explore the links between worlds old and new, and their music lies at the crux of what they call an emerging “hip-hop civilization.”

Bob's blog provides a link to an interview with Faada Freddy and a link to some of their music (kexp seattle).

The African Cup of Nations is on and Naija Jams reminds us of Nigeria‘s failure to qualify for the world cup. On the eve of their opening match against Ghana words of encouragement come from US-based musician and self-acclaimed soccer nut, Pa-J:

“When it comes to Nations Cup,
Ghana Go Hear Wien…
Na den, them go sabi what’s up
Ghana Go Hear Wien…
Shebi na 3-0 dem go chop
Ghana Go Hear Wien…
When the green white green enter the green grass
Show time, make we skata anything dey waka pass”

Naija Jams look forward to some excellent football and provide an mp3 link to Pa-J‘s song, Ghana go hear wein.

The Best Ambiance blog introduces us to:

“New music tonight from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Mahotella Queens from South Africa, as well as music from Brazil, Madagascar, Angola, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and much more.”

The Best Ambiance blog has posted a link to the online radio show (kexp seattle) and provides a playlist for the music. You can also find links to archived shows in the blog. I find the Real Audio links work the best. Excellent music.

BluePie Artists blog posts an interesting interview with Thomas Turino, a professor of musicology and anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

After conducting extensive field work in Zimbabwe during the 1990s, he published
“Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe” (University of Chicago Press, 2000). A complex work examining the role of music in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and establishment of statehood, Turino’s book provides an excellent account of the social, political, and historical circumstances in which Thomas Mapfumo rose as a composer, singer, and bandleader.

Thomas Mapfumo was and is still very popular for his musical stance against the then Rhodesian government. In the interview Professor Turino talks on his research work and time in Zimbabwe.

WFMU's Beware of the blog highlights a very interesting music project by DJ Doug Schulkind's called Culture Shock.

“Dont pass up this amazing collection of jaw-dropping, mind jarring cross-cultural music hybrids. Eighty minutes of melodious map-melters that set the world on its ears”

Culture Shock features music from a number of African (Ali Farka Toure, Babba Maal), Indian and Chinese artists. Doug has provided all the mp3s free for download with information about each song as a gift to his listeners. He also hosts an online music show called Give the Drummer Some . Past shows are archived on his page.


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