|© 2003 by Maluka and Juma4 for Africanhiphop.com
It keeps getting better! Sixteen full albums from all over the continent, that's more than 200 tracks. While obviously not all of it should be rated five mics, there are ever more tunes that deserve the repeat button and a handful of albums that we would classify as true hip hop classics.
The list below was prepublished in our quarterly Africanhiphop Newsletter, click here to go to the free subscription page and enter your mail address.
If you want us to review your cd, please send a copy to the Africanhiphop reviews address (and if possible include a bio, group history or the address of your website):
att. Thomas - Juma4
1015 DM Amsterdam
Lord Ekomy Ndong - L'Afrikain (Most High, Gabon/France 2003)
It's a good thing that we have been postponing the deadline for the current edition of the Africanhiphop newsletter. Today (a month past our initial deadline) the mailman brought a package containing a cd of a Gabonese rapper. To be honest we didn't have a clue what Gabonese hip hop sounds like, because previous efforts to get hold of releases by the likes of Siya Po'osse X and Movaiz Haleine hadn't been very fruitful. Lord Ekomy Ndong is a part of Movaiz Haleine and on L'Afrikain he holds it down on his own, accompanied by guest artists such as Ndongo D (Senegalese group Daara J), Sally Nyolo (Cameroon), his partner from Movaiz Haleine named Maat, and the Nyabinghi Squad. The resulting 26-track album makes you want to replay it from the beginning once it's finished. Lord's got beats: in general the album is well produced with a warm sound but he managed to add a Gabonese touch to it, sampling singer Pierre Akendengue and mixing in some traditional instruments. Lyrics are mostly in French and to those who can't keep up, they are reprinted in the booklet. Everything from his flow up to the nicely designed package is top notch about this release. Like Daara J's latest album, it could really do well on the international level. But for now, outside of Gabon it's only available at Lord's website www.lafrikain.tk for 12 euros plus postage. [J4]
Plain Madnizz - 'What Kine - The Album' (Plain Madnizz/the Worxtation, South Africa 2002)
This crew raps in Cape Flats Afrikaans slang and drop their lyrics peppered with very comedic storylines. Besides rapping about all the fun things happen in their local neighbourhood, they rap about the social conditions in their local community. The storylines jump between stories of racial politics, drugs, unemployment, overcrowded schools, Aids, gangsterism, crime and poverty. You literally get transported to the Cape Flats with the audio backdrop illustrating the eclectic audio landscape which exists there. The songs mix street lingo, samples from popular songs like on the song 'Broke BMX', where they rip apart the chorus from the DMX song 'What's My Name', the chorus now goes 'Cos I ride a BMX, convertible, with metallic rims ...', through abstract industrial sounds. This album is a landmark in Cape Flats Afrikaans language rap. [MM]
Ty (UK/Nigeria) - Upwards (Big Dada, UK 2003)
The last couple of months Ty has been working on one of the most anticipated English hip hop albums of the year. For the last year or so, the London emcee of Nigerian origin was seen performing live all over the place with Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, Fela Kuti's former drummer. Ty's carreer as a rapper is several 12 inch releases and an album deep, and by the time this second album was due for release the critics and audience were hastily making the way to the music store. Ty's sound has changed a bit, seemingly natural progress as could be heard on the 12 inch 'We Don't Care' which came out earlier this year. First heard on the compilation 'Extra yard', it's a fat synth driven track. Then in anticipation of Upwards, UK radio dj's like Gilles Peterson and Benji B started playing Ty's new album tracks on their shows. Peterson with his weekly show 'Worldwide' on BBC radio 1, is known for playing the most progressive tunes in dance music, whether it's nu jazz, hip hop or rare groove, and his appreciation was just the beginning of a general awareness that this album is a new classic.
Groovement, the first 12 inch off the album ('We don't care' is not on the cd) was described as the 'perfect summer anthem' and while it was a bit late for European summer, the description fits nicely - a fat synth riff that seems to have survived the eighties and nineties, and a flow that does get you in an 'upwards' mood. Or else the chorus by Bembe Segue (known from her work in London's broken beats scene) will. Other productions are equally fresh, a crisp and open sound which doesn't seem to follow a particular style though Ty and his producer Drew seem influenced by nu jazz as much as hip hop, afrobeat and whatever else they meet on their travels. Plus they have a battery of old analog synths lined up which gives the whole production a warm soulful feel - and while the term 'analog' is a bit of a cliche these days, it does make a difference. Ty also has a lot to say and his lyrics rarely make the listener wonder what he's on about. He doesn't like to be named a conscious rapper, as he said in an interview he prefers 'not to talk about certain things'. No guns, limos and champaign which leaves room for reflective songs like 'Problems' and 'Dreams'. Mc Breis (pronounce Breeze), also of Nigerian origin comes in on a couple of tracks, and the motherland connection is further maintained with a track featuring Tony Allen on drums. 'The Willing' maintains an afrobeat feel with live instrumentation and a long spoken intro before the rhyme kicks off.
Essential listening, this is deservedly topping listeners' and critics charts around the world! Upwards comes well packaged, the enhanced cd includes two music videos and the triple vinyl version has no less than six extra tracks including 'We don't care'. [J4]
Jamayka poston (Angola/South Africa) - Benga (Making Music South Africa 2002)
This is the first release by the Cape Town based Angolan MC Jamayka. The album kicks off with echoes of Jamayka singing an accapela before the beat comes in on the pounding track 'Zoom Zoom'. The track's chorus resounds with the words 'why you busy killing farm hire' is an attack on Zimbabwean farm killings. Jamayka raps in Portuguese and English and seems to have the local Cape Town culture and slang locked down. On tracks like 'Benga', he comedically makes use of this skill in his pursuit of a lady. The tracks, mainly produced by Cape Town veteran beat maker Caramel, blend a mixture of what is normally called Afribeat or Afro-Funk, Cuban, Spanish, Portugese and Latin sounds and some futuristic, dope ass drop-dead basslines. There are also some notable features on the track 'Relocated' where Jamayka teams up with international cats like Ken, N-Light-N, Tjes Boogie and Clemens (the scandanavian brothers) and Mr Devious 1st, the Cape Flats' reigning rhyme champion. This is the kind of track you want to turn up really loud and listen to ad infinitum, it is bound to become an African hip-hop classic for sure. Overall, the album mixes many different styles of production and Jamayka even adds a romantic side on the track 'Tequero Mama', on which he collaborates with Ray 'Skillz'. This album is tight, go out and get it. [MM]
Wageble - Rap New Generation (Senegal/Norway, 2003)
Driving through the banlieu (outskirts) of Dakar in January 2003 we noticed that there's more graffiti on the side of the 'autoroute' than a few years ago. On asking people if all elements of hip hop culture are being represented in Senegal these days, we were told about Wageble, a crew who were doing just that. Though we failed to meet up, a few months later the post brought a package from Norway containing their first album on cd. Wageble have been around for about 5 years but until recently their only work available on the market were tracks on the compilations 'Yow elek Senegal' and 'Senegal Dufi Yem' released by Studio Yes. Their first full album was produced by a Norwegian crew.
The combination of Senegalese emcees and Norwegian producers might sound a bit odd like Japanese recording a rock album in Albania, but remember that Dakar has previously attracted many international hip hop heads for collabos, such as Djinji Brown (on PBS' 1997 album, see our review), Steven the German owner of Studio Yes, Tony Blackman from the States who worked with Gokh-bi system, and the list goes on. So Norwegian production company Two Thou hooked up with Wageble to put out an album of ten tracks, and a week-long street festival in Dakar last June to celebrate the release. The title track sets the tone here on the production side, a tune that wouldn't be out of place in a dj-set playing DMX or recent Nas songs. Chanted choruses, flows owing to Wu-Tang, turntable wizardry and stomping beats prove that the underground is alive and kicking. No r&b crossover here, but we trust that Senegal has enough fans of a more rugged sound to make sure that the star of Wageble will rise. See http://wageble.free.fr for details on how to get hold of the album. [J4]
SM95 (Nigeria/Spain) - SM 95 (Ag Productions, Spain 2003)
Even if only one in every 100.000 Nigerians was an emcee, Africa's most densely populated country (over 120 million inhabitants) would still have a sizable active hip hop community. But despite the statistics, it has taken a while for Nigerian rap to start hitting abroad. The first wave of artists presenting a Nigerian identity on the international market consist mostly of rappers based abroad such as JJC and Cashino. And they are really all over the world. Over the past years we received a couple of demos and self-released albums by Nigerians in places somewhat unexpected like Korea, Italy and France. The latest in line is SM95 who is doing his thing unsigned in Spain. Originally from Lagos, the rapper started out in the late eighties as a dj, winning his first dj championship in 1989. SM (Steel Motivator) worked in a number of nightlubs in Lagos and from winning another dj competition in 1995 he got a presenting job at Radio Nigeria 2 Lagos.
In 1997 he moved to Zaragoza (Spain) where he worked for the next five years. Somewhere along the line he recorded the current 5-track single. SM95's flow and voice vaguely remind of the lyrical master Rakim and he does mention him and Dr. Dre as major influences. A Nigerian party dj in a Spanish speaking country listening to Rakim: the situation sounds like it could lead to a new kind of hip hop. In the four tracks plus remix, all the elements are present. The production is a bit basic, like a hotel band doing hip hop but the drum machine and synth give it a bit of a moody old school feel which is emphasized by SM95's early 90's flow on the track 'So good'. The party tune 'Fiesta', which also appears as a remix, has a bit of Spanish mixed in. We're waiting for the full album 'God's Time' to drop! [J4]
2Ban (Uganda/UK) - Walk a mile in my shoes (2Ban, UK 2003)
This is an interesting concept in Album marketing. 2BAN's album 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' is free. This is the Open Source version of album releases. You can copy, sell and redistribute the album as many times as you wish as long as you mention the original author 2BAN. All the preceding information aside, 2BAN's story of hardship and struggle is not unlike that of many other African refugees in Europe. Having grown up in London, this Ugandan born MC gives us a taste of his reality. Stories of African history, slavery, Black Consciousness and a dialogue with 'The West' about their past misdoings inform 2BAN's lyrics. On one very autobiographical track, 'Musayi Gwa Musei', 2BAN speaks about his father as he spits:
Mwami musoke / You are always my hero / I talk this big of my daddy / He unleashed this Sebbo / Bukulu me/ I express the life that has / Been lived by a deferent / Generation / He left home after mama died / Age of nine joined as a foreign / Legion to defend this land of mine / Age of sixteen lied his way / To being eighteen / Plus the English that he speak / Mutesasira / Was freshly landed on the scene / Lance corporal / Now he the platoon leader / And where the battle be / Engaging enemies / Early nineteen forties / The battles at gonad / I tell you now these were / The first rastafari soldiers / Defending Bantu people from / Invaders / The enemy was led by / Mussolini / And here to resist was / His imperial majesty / Haile Selasie / Its good for me to be / Omwana wa muzee / With such a rich history / That's why I'm giving enough / Thanks ndi / Musayi gwa muzee / The blood of my father.
This album is richly packed with African historical jewels for your mind. I can't help but think that this is the kind of album that everybody needs to give a listen to, if only for the history lesson. There is not much I can say about this album that is not said by the artist himself, he drops a lot of knowledge. Check for more info on 2BAN at www.2ban.co.uk. [MM]
Metaphysics (Zimbabwe) - Digital Garden (Pyramid Music, Germany 2003)
The fact that Zimbabwe born, Germany resident Metaphysics appeared in our last newsletter with an album and again in the current one, doesn't just mean that we're late with this issue. Metaphysics has got rhymes! After the collabo with fellow Zimbabwe veteran Laygwan Sharkie on 'Migrant Souls' and the solo EP 'Elevated Perception', here is again a new work that shows the emcee's multifaceted talent. During the time between releases, Metaphysics also performed to a diverse audience on tour with German/South African pop idol Xavier Naidoo and he was on the Brothers Keepers project with Nigerian/German duo Bantu.
If the rhymes on Elevated perception sometimes float on a higher level, in the Digital Garden the mc keeps his two feet on the ground and his lyrics cut to the chase. Sometimes he enters into a sort of visionary story telling mode such as the raw 'a hooker'. The storylines are well developed, you can feel the years put into developing the craft of writing in these tightly chiselled lyrics. The intensity of Met's lyrics are enhanced even more by the music. On the track 'rockin it', the production leans towards South African Kwaito and to good, danceable effect. On the beats side the Digital Garden is kept sober, sometimes the rhymes are accompanied by a simple drum track and a bassline. One tightly put together album. [J4/MM]
Amu (South Africa) - The Life, Rap and Drama (Ghetto Ruff, South Africa 2003)
We have been hearing about this mc from Johannesburg for a long time and never really understood the buzz, now we do. The life, rap and drama is Amu's first full album release. A couple of years ago we had heard him drop one the nicest tracks on 'Tha Muthaload' compilation with the track '1Skilz'. He also had a nice verse on the posse track 'Soundz of Murder' with P.O.C. on their 'Ghetto Code' album. This time around we hear a more grown up Amu who has basically been through life and has had to face a whole lot of drama trying to make it as an MC in a Kwaito crazed Post-Apartheid Johannesburg. This album is by far the realest, most heartfelt, most headnodding, dedication to an artist's love for hip-hop we have heard in a long while. It has a distinctly Urban South Africa feel to it with elements of Kwaito production bleeding into the thumping beats. On the track 'Attention', Amu hooks up with fellow Jo'burg veterans Pro-Verb & Selwyn, pushing forward their vision of their mission in life as the bringers of 'true rap'.
This album is a thesis on the trials and tribulations of life in an urban African city with tracks like 'Face the Facts', where Amu deals with criticism he has faced and he even has a heartfelt coversation with Satan on a beat constructed over a dark backdrop of something that sounds like a Soweto String Quartet ballad. On the track 'It's over', Amu drops lines like 'say good buy to my backstabbers' and 'I can't believe in love no more' when talking about former friends who have left him disappointed. Amu also pays homage to the architects of South African rap who were his initial inspiration to get on. He is a cat who has definitely payed his dues and deserves everything good that is coming his way. [MM]
Bideew Bou Bess (Senegal) - Original (Issap/Melodie, France 2003)
2004 is a good year when it comes to international releases of Senegalese hip hop acts. While some people within the Dakar hip hop scene complain that the movement is not as live as it used to be, we have a growing pile of cd's that were released on the foreign market by the likes of PBS, Daara J and Pee Froiss. For the past two years or so we'd expected the trio Bideew Bou Bess to get their product out in France as they had been signed to the label of popular French emcee Passi of Bisso na Bisso fame. Together they recorded the excellent track 'Ex nihilo' for Passi's solo album in 2000, and then followed a long period of silence. We don't even want to know what caused the delay, because Bideew still sound as fresh as they did with their first album in 1999 when they came out with a playful singing-rapping style that made them popular with the Senegalese youth.
Like Daara J on their latest album 'Boomrang', Bideew Bou Bess succesfully manage to balance commercial pop influenced tunes with a more hardcore hip hop approach. We're introduced to these two sides of Bideew in the intro that sounds like a turntablists' anthem, followed by the track 'All Mighty' which is a poppy tune sung and rapped in Wolof, English and and a Spanish: 'yo te quiero corazon' including a catchy Spanish guitar loop. The rest of the album is well produced, musically going from hip hop to r&b, reggae and even dancehall. With the great variety in styles, fluent use of different languages and more collabos with Passi and Ugandan musician Geoffrey Oryema, this album should appeal to a lot of different people and we hope it will at least make it into the French album charts. [J4]
Phat Family (Tanzania/South Africa/USA) - Side A 'The project' (Phat Boy Records, South Africa)
Hip hop in Tanzania is on the height of its popularity and new artists need to be very good or well connected to make an impression on the local market. And with certain stations, paying the dj to play your track is also an option - the concerned parties aren't even secretive about it. Another phenomenon that seems to come with the growth of the local scene is Tanzanian emcees based abroad. Last year, pioneer emcee Mr. II made headlines by quitting his carreer and going abroad, but this summer he announced that he will be back in music with an album recorded in the UK with producer Sir Prestige. Other veterans abroad such as Rhymson (Kwanza Unit) in Canada are also working on albums to be released in Tanzania. Meanwhile, r&b singers TID, Ray-C and rap group X Plastaz went to perform abroad.
Another angle in this internationally connected Tanzanian hip hop scene is presented by Phat Family. Three group members are Tanzanians living in Johannesburg, South Africa. While the other half of the group is made up of Americans and a Kenyan based in Los Angeles, USA where they are known as the Renegadez. Producer Mubarak Simba used to live in Botswana where he was part of the local hip hop scene, started his Phat Boy production company and even did some writing for Africanhiphop.com. With Phat Family in Johannesburg he is dedicated to make an impact internationally by releasing the cd and video in South Africa, USA and Tanzania. In USA, Kenyan-born Richard Mzuri is taking care of production.
We haven't heard the full album yet (said to be a double cd with 28 tracks) but received a promo single with two songs, Tucheze and Salute to the dead. The first track is in Swahili and sounds refreshingly different from all the Tanzanian productions. Phat Family are more dedicated to hardcore hip hop than most groups currently occupying the charts in Dar es Salaam. But music-wise, Tucheze with its chanted chorus 'Piga makofi - njoo tucheze' (clap your hands - let's dance) even borrows a bit from kwaito, the dance music that is huge down in South Africa. With proper promotion this track will really stir the East African radios. The other track on the promo represents the American branch of Phat Family. All rapped in English over a breakbeat that originates somewhere with Paul Simon (for all you beatdiggers), its lyrics are in remembrance of lost relatives and friends. Hopefully the cassette version or even the actual cd of this album will get the distribution it deserves in Tanzania; apparently in South Africa it's already taken care of. [J4]
Various - Putumayo presents Global Soul / Putumayo presents African Groove (Putumayo, USA 2003)
Two compilations from the highly succesful world music label Putumayo, each including a handful of African hip hop tracks. Putumayo has been making compilations for the past decade, mostly rootsy music from around the world packaged nicely and distributed internationally. With no internationally released African hip hop compilations on major labels (though that will soon change, we'll announce more at the site) it was about time that someone picked up on the 'motherland funk'. Putumayo made a modest start with the releases 'African Groove' and 'Global Soul'. As the name implies, the latter isn't really rap but most artists are linked to the hip hop scenes in their countries of origin. Only four African tunes, namely Saf Sap from Senegal, TID from Tanzania (the first track from Tanzania's bongo flava scene to be released on a foreign label), Kaissa from Cameroon and Joy Denalane from South Africa. Other tracks span the rest of the world: Brazil, South Korea, France and more!
African Groove stays closer to the motherland. However it doesn't really tap into the huge potential of African hip hop tracks out there, as nearly all featured rap songs were previously released on western compilations. Our interest was raised by 'Vadzimu' by A Peace of Ebony, Zimbabwe's first rap group and the original crew of Metaphysics who is now succesfully developing his solo carreer in Germany. Vadzimu features Chiwoniso who has also continued solo playing more traditional music. A Peace of Ebony ended third in an international Radio France competition in 1995 - maybe because the chorus of this tune is in French, heheh! Their album has been hard to get hold of and this track was only available on a Radio France promo compilation which we tried to order in vain. It's a bit dated though as it first came out in the early nineties. Then there's the excellent Wouyouma by Positive Black Soul from their tape 'Wakh feign' from 1998. From Kenya comes 'Uhiki' by Hardstone in the dj Pinye remix (you can hear Pinye's shoutout in our Rumba-Kali radio! A video interview will be up soon). Hardstone was the first Kenyan hip hop artist to release a cd but this track is not representative of the current scene - it's a sort of keyboard version of Sexual Healing with a vocoder voice and smooth rapping. Other songs on this compilation are a bit more hypnotic, mostly dance beats evolving around riffs played on traditional instruments by the likes of Issa Bagayogo (Mali), African Rhythm Travellers (South Africa) and even Thievery Corporation (USA).
The sleeve of African Groove says 'technology meets tribal beats on this funky blend of contemporary African dance, electronica, hip-hop and funk' which is an apt description, though the word 'contemporary' doesn't relate to the hip hop tracks offered. Maybe the virtue of these two compilations is that they might get a few western pop chart listeners to start exploring African urban music, but those who are looking for cutting edge hip hop tracks from the bubbling African underground are poorly served. Luckily Putumayo seems more at home with ambient African pop, there's a few excellent tracks especially on African Groove which makes it a nice gift. [J4]
J Bux (South Africa)
Bubbling up from the very deepest depths of the underground, we have an MC from Port Elizabeth on the east coast of South Africa who goes by the name of J-Bux. I have only heard one track online but the buzz surrounding this Method Man look-alike is crazy. The online track is a collaboration between J-Bux and fellow PE mc's Parrisher and Supreme in which they rap about their lives growing up in poverty, mental slavery and being captured in a getto slave ship. One line from the song that sticks in my head goes: 'cardboard beds line the streets like a hostel', just close your eyes and picture the rows of homeless kids in cities across the continent. Keep your ear to the pavement for new tracks from PE massive. These peeps represent the PE Metropole to the fullest. [MM]
Positive Black Soul - New York Paris Dakar (vinyl version, Night & Day, France 2003)
This album in 1997 could have launched PBS into the international hip hop world. After their debut cd 'Salaam' they had been recording for Mango/Island records with a number of known names like KRS-One, Supernatural and Manu Key. But as there was some internal shifting going on at the record label, the effort only made it to cassette in Senegal (and we saw pirated copies of the double-cassette release all the way in East Africa). Now at last it is out, and in a good move to meet demands of club and radio dj's alike, label Night & Day next to putting out the full cd, have made a vinyl version available with the best tracks. Listening back (and we had not heard the album for a few years) the LP sounds like a well preserved document of its time, '97 before hip hop started to really take over the international pop charts to become the new standard pop music. PBS sounded more hardcore than ever before with tracks like Blaw and Capsi which at the time came with a nice video representing Awadi's neighbourhood. On their next album they came up with a more commercial sound. Though there's a large choice of Senegalese albums on the market these days, this is a landmark album in African hip hop, and an essential buy. [J4]
Various (South Africa) - Heal the Hood
Black Noise (South Africa) - Rotational High EP
Black Noise (South Africa) - Circles of Fire
Now four volumes deep, these compilations released under the Heal the Hood banner, have been redefining the way hip-hop gets released in South Africa. Many mc's would not have had a chance to get their skills heard by a wider audience if it were not for them. They have featured artists from places as diverse as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and also rappers from Angola and Zimbabwe. The mix of languages ranging from English, Zulu and Xhosa to French, Portuguese and Afrikaans. What makes these recordings unique is the way they mix studio recordings with live recordings and freestyle battles recorded live at the annual African Hip-Hop Indaba organized by Black Noise. These compilations document an important event in the African hip-hop calendar and deserve to be supported.
'Rotational High', the latest EP release by Black Noise really blew a hole in my speakers. You just can't help moving like crazy to this high speed B-Boy anthem with a screaming chorus proclaiming 'I feel the high, I wanna kiss the sky' followed by 'I wanna go round, I wanna go round and round and round'. I can picture B-Boys around the world getting crazy on the floor to this track, a definite African Hip-Hop B-Boy Classic! As Emile YX?, the oldest active B-Boy on the continent raps, 'keep rotating as long as my body let me'. Well, if the music improves this much with age, my advice is just don't stop. The second song on this EP, 'Stone Garden', speaks about the 'Blair Bush Project' and the 'Stone Gardens' referred to are the headstones left behind after wars end. On the third track, 'I Can See A Day', the crew drop more knowledge about the causes of the current world situation and also remind us all of the day of judgement.
The album 'Circles of Fire', released in 2001, has a lot of capoeira influences. The crew had the fortune of participating in international exchanges with Brazilian capoeira dancers and the results of this experience can be heard on this album. On the title track 'Circles of Fire', the crew join up with veteran graffiti artist and freestyle battle champion Sky 189. The collaboration is a really good surprise since Sky 189 drops some of the tightest lines on the album. One such line goes 'energy comes from within the circles/ awakening you to expose the virtual/ graphic portrait created by the verbal'. Another one of the stand-out tracks, 'DJ Request', also features Sky 189 dropping some lyrical gems like: ' No DJ No energy/Make me feel out of place like Somali refugee/ up jumps the boogy, the boogy jumps me/ make prolific rhymes, focus in 3D/ whether socially or 1200 Technically/ DJ invents tracks nice incredibly/ with Gemini, Lenco/ Tedelex naturally, he always make a Numark unexpectedly/ Don't take a piss you Wino/ play locally/ I play you wax not vinyl/ eject that fake cd/ no universal icon can make me rock steady with full air twists battle squads in Germany'. [MM]
JJC (Nigeria/UK) - Atide (Big Ballaz Entertainment, UK 2002)
Representing Nigeria via London with his first solo release 'Atide', JJC hits us with as he calls it, 'the new flow, hip-hop, r&b, salsa, socca, garage, mixed with an African flavour'. We've been anticipating this release for a while now (also see our last newsletter) especially since JJC had recent success as a member of the chart toping UK crew Big Brovas. The album is self-produced and really tightly put together. It has been released across Europe, USA and Canada last month so keep your ears to the street and jump on it. [MM]