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Category: News articles

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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This coming sunday (May 16), the Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania will host a free music festival. With a line-up consisting of Mad Ice, AY, Mandojo & Domo Kaya, Manyani Nani, Tricia Mugisha, Deux Vultures, Ali B and DJ Rico, the B-Connected festival is sure to attract thousands of people to its premises.

The festival is organized as part of a string of events taking place in the various Music Mayday countries Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania and Holland (more countries are added every year). Each local chapter of Music Mayday organizes regular cultural events while the different offices are in close contact. While in this year's B-Connected the focus is on Tanzania, Dutch-Moroccan rapper Ali B and his band will perform in Dar es Salaam, and the festival is linked up through the web.

At the <a href="http://www.globalstage.tv" target=_blank>Global Stage tv website this sunday, everyone will be able to chat with people from the Tanzanian audience.

See <a href="http://www.b-connected.to" target=_blank>B-connected.to for the full program.

       



International audiences may be familiar with Nigerian hip hop artists blending different styles, such as the Germany based Bantu or JJC who lives in the UK. A new name to many is Jazzman Olofin. Our Lagos correspondent visited him recently to find out what the buzz is all about.

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    In January this year we ran a competition to celebrate the release of the Rough Guide to African Rap. This resulted in 30 entries, which doesn't sound a lot but is impressive when taking into account that the competition question required a bit more than just googling for an answer. We only had three copies of the cd to give away, but we could have sent out ten if we were to honour every meaningful answer.

    The question: Why do you think it's important for African hip hop heads to know what's happening in the hip hop scenes of other African countries?

    As could be expected, no contestants dared to contradict our assumption that lies embedded in this question - everyone agreed that it's indeed important to know your neighbours. Still, the different answers brought up some interesting insights. The best entries managed to picture hip hop in Africa as a vibrant, unifying movement which goes beyond merely entertainment.

    As one of the winners Wilson Wahome put it: 'Africa never spoke as one, never had one single unifying language... then along came hip hop. ' He adds the argument that for hip hop in Africa to grow into a succesful business, it will have to cross national borders.

    Michael Boma also describes hip hop as a platform which can be used for people to get to know each other better:
    'The thing which separates us is ignorance, if we can share what we have with each other and embrace all the words of our african hip hop counter parts then I'm sure we can get a better understanding of each other.'

    And Khadhija Shariff claims that hip hop is a continuation of oral tradition which had an educational purpose, while at the same time bridging the gaps that modern ambassadors and leaders leave open. From her submission:
    'Hip hop in Africa today is just continuing that ancient oral tradition that kept our people all over the continent, informed, and guided. The youth of today are carrying on that tradition.'

    We gave honourable mention to an entry from America that came in after the closing date of the competition. Brother See describes how hip hop has come full circle, the traditions travelling on slave ships to the Americas where they surfaced as hip hop:
    'Only that warrior spirit of freedom, self determination, and high culture, visited us, in the most entertaining way... We need to link up family.'

    Thanks to everyone who participated... this is not the last competition so next time you are welcome to participate.

  • Winning entries: the full story

      Read full article: 'Pan African Hip hop competition winners'  (1116 words more)
       

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    Before we expand our vision towards central Africa in next week's multimedia special on one of Congo-Kinshasa's finest hip hop crews, here's one more artist profile in our Nigerian hip hop series.

    Their name CCF might remind the French speakers among us of the French Cultural Centers which in countries like Senegal have been important stages for young and veteran hip hop crews, but to the duo from Nigeria's south eastern region it simply stands for Coal City's Finest, reflecting the nickname of their city Enugu. CCF have finished 7 tracks of social satires in English, pidgin and Igbo for a full album they hope to put out. Meanwhile they are both working a 9 to 5 job.

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    Hip hop in the motherland has a history of over twenty years, not counting the lineage of rap as a form of oral tradition which can be traced back to precolonial Africa. Only in recent years has some of the huge amount of rap produced throughout these two decades started to surface on the international level. At last in 2004 the first truly pan-African rap compilation cd becomes available as the Rough Guide to African Rap drops on 2nd February.

    Over the past ten years or so we have been blessed with a handful of international album releases of artists who usually represented the tip of the iceberg of a lively hip hop scene. But it's taken remarkably long for the pattern of hip hop developing across the continent to be noted by record labels in the west. Labels specializing in hip hop for long have been focusing mostly on English or French spoken raps recorded by western artists.
    Typically it's not a rap label which has come to release the first pan-African hip hop compilation cd but World Music Network, an English label responsible for the eclectic Rough Guide series of compilations. Related to the travel guides under the same brand, the Rough Guides are more or less authoritative introductions into musical styles such as highlife, rai and soukous. There's also a number of Rough Guide books giving an indepth introduction to reggae and other styles.

  • Read more: African Rap - the Rough Guide

           



  • In Nigeria's hip hop scene, perseverance is about the most important quality an emcee should possess. In this update our Lagos correspondent profiles four groups & solo artists who have been around for more than a while.

    Dr Fresh started writing lyrics in 1991, at a time when many of today's new wave of emcees had just entered primary school. Abdulrahaman Ibrahim aka C.O.D.E.D. was even earlier, entering the hip hop zone in 1987 when rapping as an artform was a novelty in the country. We also visited Ruff, Rugged & Raw (see photo above), a younger duo but no less popular with their hit songs 'Kasala go bus' (1999) and 'Omode meta'. Marvellous Benjy started out as a rapper in high school but later decided to switch to dancehall, and with the release of his debut album last year he's made a mark in the Nigerian tradition of the likes of Ras Kimono and Daddy Showkey.

    Read the bios:

  • CODED
  • Dr Fresh
  • Ruff, Rugged & Raw
  • Marvellous Benjy

           

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