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Category: News articles

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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In December 2004, Africanhiphop.com attended the Senegal Hip Hop Awards in Dakar. Graffiti took a prominent place in the festival with live spray painting going on during the opening ceremony at Place de l'Obelisque. And at the awards ceremony, one of Senegal's most prolific painters by the name of Docta took the prize of Best Graffiti Artist.

In 2003 we already featured a gallery with work by Docta (see here) but this time we focus on a different side of the award winner. Docta is also an emcee, and a philosopher who has a lot to say about politics, life in Senegal etc. American researcher Owen Kohl and filmmaker Ozren Milat from Croatia made a short documentary called Docta Know in which the artist takes us on a ride through Dakar, showing some pieces along the highway, explaining about the Dakar graf scene and giving his opinions on world politics. Africanhiphop.com is proud to present the film in its entirety.

Click to watch Docta Know (9 minutes) in streaming video:

&middot; Realvideo

&middot; Windows Media

You will need a reasonably fast internet connection (cable or adsl).

       


Photo: X Plastaz, from top-left to bottom-right: Yamat, Ruff-Nell, Ziggy, Steve, Diney, Gsann

As could be expected, 2004 was the year for Tanzanian hip hop to catch the attention of audiences abroad. With tracks from 'Bongo' on a couple of compilations, the full albums of Sugu (MrII) and X Plastaz, and a compilation dedicated to Tanzanian hip hop, the world suddenly noticed what's happening on the East African coast. While the Tanzanian scene has witnessed a lot of development in the past years, the international attention may well trigger some new projects to happen. There's talk of the next Black August festival to take place in Tanzania, and Tanzanian emcees are collaborating with major artists abroad.

For now we take a closer look at the two first Tanzanian releases by Germany based label OutHere, which are now available in stores around the world: Maasai hip hop by X Plastaz, and the compilation Bongo Flava - Swahili HipHop From Tanzania.

&middot; Read our reviews: X Plastaz and Bongo Flava

       



A few months ago we were introduced to ModeIX (pronounce: Mode Nine), emcee based in Abuja, Nigeria, also known from the Swatroot crew. Not long after, we received his album 'Malcolm IX' which has been among the pile of favorite African hip hop albums ever since.

Our correspondent takes a closer look at the 20-track deep lyrical grenade. For now the album is only available in Nigeria, but we have no less than five of the best tracks available for download in mp3 format!

&middot; Read more

       

With the upcoming holidays we would not want to leave you without some new tunes to listen to. Coming in early January is a new edition of our African hip hop radio show, this time with live presentation. But in the meantime we offer complete downloads of some tracks in mp3 format and even a full album! Also check out the update below about Nigeria's ModeIX, with five more tracks.

The return of Ra
Ra (formerly known as Rhymson) is one of the pioneers of the Tanzanian hip hop scene who started out in the early nineties. He started the group Kwanza Unit, who in the early and mid 90's set the trend for hardcore hip hop in East Africa. Now based in Canada, he recorded these two tracks which show that he's still in the game, and with a message to the younger generation. A full album is in the making.

&middot; Ra - TMK seh ya pili (mp3, right click and save as... to download)

&middot; Ra - Zengwe (mp3, right click and save as... to download)

Metaphysics - The Black Butterfly Project
A free download of an entire album by Zimbabwe's big name Metaphysics. These days Metaphysics lives and works in Germany, where he's part of Sohne Mannheims, one of Germany's top selling groups which also features South Africa born singer Xavier Naidoo. But as usual he's working on more than one project at a time, and soon coming are his collabos with two of dancehall's greatest: Metaphysics featuring Buju Banton 'Over There' and Metaphysics featuring Mr Vegas 'La La Move'. The latter will be released on the new Zimbabwean Label Acropolis Records.
Meanwhile check out the Black Butterfly Project, a full length cd dropped as promo for Metaphysics' current Germany tour.

&middot; Click here to download (files are in WMA or Windows Media, should play fine on any Windows pc)

NB the album is packed in a ZIP file, you should unpack it with the windows Zip program (in XP) or by installing the free program <a href="http://www.winzip.com" target=_blank>Winzip.

Want more Metaphysics? You can buy his latest cd 'A collection of suppressed thoughts' from the South African <a href="http://www.afro-lution.com/" target=_blank>Afrolution Records.

       

During the month of December, Africanhiphop.com and Baobabconnections.org are organizing an online lyrics writing competition. Make sure you register before 30 November to be allowed to partipate in the Baobab Online Slam!

As you may know, Baobabconnections.org is an online community in which young people from Africa and other parts of the world share info and discuss topics that are important to their everyday lives. The late mr Devious, the South African emcee, was one of its regular contributors but there are more heads out there, just check out the Baobab forum.

The Baobab Online Slam also comes from the angle of conscious lyricism. The theme is Urban Youth - Urban Truth: Safer Cities through Youth Development and Participation. What does this slogan mean to you?
Your lyrics should address the experiences & challenges of city life, and possible questions to ask yourself when writing include: What is life like for young people in urban Africa? Do you see a future for yourself and your friends? Do you have any thoughts on city politics? Have opportunities really changed for women?

How to participate?
After registering for the competition, you should send your rap or poem e-mail before the end of each week in December and you could win 1000 Euros (that's about 1300 U$ dollars)! This means 4 weekends in 1 month: 4 opportunities to mail your lyrical insights, 4 chances to create that winning masterpiece of rap/poem. All you have to do is write about 20 lines (or so) per week and send them no later than midnight Friday of each week.

Read the full competition details at: <a href="http://www.baobabconnections.org/competition.php" target=_blank>http://www.baobabconnections.org/competition.php

       

The documentary Hali Halisi - rap as an alternative medium in Tanzania by Madunia, the people behind the Africanhiphop.com website, has won an award for Best Short Documentary at the fourth edition of the <a href="http://www.h2oiff.org" target=_blank>H2O (Hip Hop Odyssey) film festival which took place in New York in the first week of November 2004. It's the first time for an audiovisual production on East African hip hop to receive major acknowledgement outside the African continent.

Female emcee Jean Grae (daughter of famous South African jazz musician Abdulla Ibrahim a.k.a. Dollar Brand) handed the award to co-producer Thomas Gesthuizen (a.k.a. Juma4) during the Awards ceremony which took place on November 7 in the Symphony Space hall in New York. At the same occasion, honors awards were given to pioneers Kurtis Blow, Queen Latifah, RZA (Wu-Tang) and Russell Simmons (Def Jam).

The ceremony was attended by many hip hop legends including Afrika Bambaata, dj Kool Herc, MC Lyte, Grandmaster Caz (Cold Crush Brothers), UTFO, Dres (Black Sheep) and Lord Jamar (Brand Nubian) as well as younger artists and presenters like Jojo (KC & Jojo), Murs, Keith Murray and Tanzanian rapper Dola Soul, who also features in Hali Halisi.

Madunia received congratulations from many people at the awards including pioneering filmmaker Melvin van Peebles and the legendary female emcee Roxanne Shante.


About Hali Halisi
In June 1999, Madunia foundation filmed Hali Halisi, a 30-minute video documentary about rap in Tanzania (East Africa). Hali Halisi (a Swahili expression meaning "the real situation") portrays rap as an alternative medium in Tanzania. Rappers and experts give their views on the emerging hip hop scenes of Dar es Salaam and the island of Zanzibar, and their thoughts on the importance of rap as a medium for communication and an instrument of change. The film centers around the most popular emcees at the time, including Mr II (Sugu), Deplowmatz, Gangwe Mobb, GWM, X Plastaz and Bantu Pound.

&middot; Read the full story

       

It's time to get organized! While the big media and international record labels are now waking up to the sound of the African hip hop drum, luckily within the various scenes there's enough movement to get together and build something big. What about the Hip hop summits that are happening all over right now. There's the World hip hop summit in Paris which was supposed to happen in November but which has been rescheduled to take place in April 2005 (and Africanhiphop.com will be on one of the panels there, too!)

Then in December, Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) will be the scene of the Tanzanian Hip Hop Summit. In the same month, in Dakar (Senegal) the 4th edition of the Senegal Hip Hop Awards will take place, and we will be there to cover the entire event - stay tuned for the full program.

Meanwhile in October the 2nd Annual Hip Hop Summit was organized in Kampala, Uganda. The Uganda Hip Hop Foundation provided us with a photo report.

&middot; Read more...

       

       



Photographer Lydia Martin from the UK spent some time in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar where she met with many of today's big names in rap. The photos she took at different occasions give a good insight into the dynamic hip hop scene. The radio friendly tunes from the new school of rap are better known as Bongo Flava, and depicted on our two-page exhibition are some of its most famous exponents.

  • Read more

           



  • To say Nigeria is a nation blessed with an abundance of human resources is to state the obvious. But what is most admirable about it's people is their ability to distinguish themselves in any sphere of life and in any clime they find themselves. This is the case with Vienna (Austria) based MC/producer, Item 7.

  • Read more and download an mp3 of the track '100%'

           

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