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Category: News articles

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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This month, Africanhiphop.com's webradio is turned into a sonic wrestling arena with two opponents who haven't faced each other before. One of them is from the west of Africa. He represents Senegal, a country known worldwide for its bustling hip hop scene that has even spawned some internationally succesful groups. Standing on the other side of the ring is a fighter from Tanzania, a country with a large hip hop scene supported by several hip hop recording studios that serve the whole of East Africa. Each opponent takes his turn, playing a track while the other is preparing to strike back with another tune.

Senegal and Tanzania are in for a friendly fight and with the international audience listening in, they better come prepared! In recent years, both countries have produced a massive amount of local rap albums: in the Africanhiphop.com archives we have over 100 officially released local rap cassette albums from Senegal and roughly the same amount from Tanzania. There are many signed and unsigned emcees, in Senegal counted (by the French Cultural Center, apparently) to be well over 1000 (some say 3000) while in Tanzania nobody has done the maths but emcees are found on every streetcorner. Radios in both countries play local hip hop rather than foreign tunes, special club nights host live events with homegrown talents, and emcees have stepped out of the hip hop scene to feature on local pop artists' tracks.

With so many similarities between the hip hop scenes in Senegal and Tanzania, we better just listen to the tracks to find what makes these countries think that they can go for the title of African hip hop capital. We let the audience judge in this one-on-one. Track after track, the fight goes on for exactly four hours. What skills are brought to the table? Rumba-Kali radio brings you a unique opportunity to listen to Senegalese and Tanzanian rap back-to-back for the duration of fifty songs that were mostly released in 2002 and 2003. The whole thing is overseen by singer Youssou N'dour but while he is from Senegal, he's not taking sides!

  • Listen here - you will need a free subscription to Live365. Just follow the guidelines in the pop-up and you'll be listening within a minute.

    Featured artists incude: Aumar, Big D, Bill Diakhou, PBS, Daara J, Daddy Bibson, Djoly Bou Alto, DLG, Doug-E tee, Fatah & Jupiter, Gokh-Bi System, Kempess, Marr-a-bout, Nigger L's, Nix, Pee Froiss, Shaka Babs, Tundu Wundu and Bideew Bou Bess (Senegal) and Gangwe Mobb, Jay Moe, LWP, Mr Ebbo, Professor Jay, Sista P, Wagosi wa Kaya, Zay-B, Artful Dodgers, Cool Para, GK, Hard mad, Jay Moe, Joni walka, Juma Nature, Mr2, Mwanafalsafa, Solo Thang, Suma G, Uswahilini Matola, Wachuja Nafaka, X Plastaz and Phat Family (Tanzania).

    About Rumba-Kali Radio
    Our webcast is the mother of all African hip hop webcasts. Our first program, a compilation playing tracks from all over the continent (partly based on a mixtape we did in 1996) was online in 1998 at Rumba-Kali, the pioneering website that later became Africanhiphop.com. The first five Rumba-Kali shows, and more recently our non-stop playlist at Live365, have been major influences to international radio stations, album compilers and people working on international exchanges. The main aim of Rumba-Kali though is to present to artists and their fans alike, a chance to hear tracks from other African countries which usually won't get airplay from their local stations. The current Senegal-Tanzania clash is an effort to get the two scenes to listen to know each other a bit better. We don't intend to fuel any eastcoast-westcoast type of animosity! It's all love.

           



  • If you're a regular visitor to this website, the name of African Hip Hop Indaba should sound familiar (and you may recognize the beautiful logo above which was done by ICE for a tshirt in 2000). The annual festival which was initiated in Cape Town by Black Noise and friends, has turned into a nationwide range of events. This year's climax takes place at the end of August with battles representing all elements of hip hop.
    If you happen to be around Cape Town, don't miss it - the Indaba is a good opportunity to catch the lively local hip hop vibe, and it's all organized by people who have been in hip hop since day one.

    The program:

    Afrikan Hip Hop Indaba national eliminations
    5th - 9th August in Guateng
    10th August in Bloemfontein

    Finals in Cape Town
    29th August 2003, 8 PM until late - MC and DJ Battle @ Mercury Lounge
    One on one freestyle MC battles, dj technical skills battle. Hosted by Ray Skillz & Thee Angelo.

    30th August 2003, 6.30 PM - Battle of the year 2003 @ Good Hope Centre
    National breakdance championships, team selection to represent SA at the world champs in Germany. Workshops during the day will cost an extra R20 for B-boying, capoeira, dj-ing and graff writers bench. Also Black Noise official album launch

    31st August 2003, 8.30 AM - 6.30 PM - Battle with Vapours Spraycan Art Battle @ Boogaloo Skate Park, Tyger Valley
    Style and bombing battle, two on two b-boy battle, give aways.

    For tickets or more details about the event call Emile at 7060481 or 082 3958125 or Tanswell at 082 4744750 or email emiley@mweb.co.za

           



    On 1st and 2nd August, the Maison Culture in Meknes (Morocco) will host the first Hakma African Hip Hop Concert. The program consists largely of Moroccan artists living in the Netherlands. One of the main attractions is the show of Salah Edin whose Arabic language lyrics have attracted the attention of a crowd in different countries. The show will also see the first Moroccan appearance of dj's Saif and Bless. The event is organized by Kucu.

    More information: <a href="http://www.kucu.nl" target=_blank>www.kucu.nl , info@dimedia.nl, or tel. +31 6 47844931 / +31 6 27433198.

           

           


    Pic: producer Prosper (right) with some local emcees, Arusha 1999

    Aang Serian studio in Arusha, Tanzania is one of the new generation of low-cost recording studios which pop up all over the world (we've seen similar examples in Dakar, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam... and you may have one at home). Originally built around a simple pentium I-pc with basic recording software, its technicians knew how to get the best out of their limited equipment in crafting hip hop beats for the Arusha hip hop community. Producers Prosper (from the group High V) and Gsann (X Plastaz) started constructing a studio about 2 years ago after they learnt the basics of software like Fruityloops, Acid and Soundforge.

    The new inexpensive spot which was run by their non-profit organization Aang Serian, soon attracted dozens of emcees per month eager to record a track there. At the time, local rappers had no place to go for recording their songs; the studios of Dar es Salaam are an 8 hour bus drive away and their recording fees are too high for many groups. So the Aang Serian studio gave a big boost to the scene, and Arusha's particularly 'underground' style which grew from its pioneers being inspired by east coast acts like Das EFX and Black Moon.
    As the producers increased their skills, recording local music samples to merge with their beats, the workload got higher. They were planning on putting some money aside to buy better equipment and already got a Radioshack mixer and mic. Then in April 2003 their pc just stopped working. Beyond repair, the pentium-I needs to be replaced. But the producers nor their organization have the money to afford going to Nairobi and getting a new pc.

    Since this situation leaves two talented producers out of work (the modest income supported them and their families) and a large base of talented emcees without a place to record, Africanhiphop.com decided to help to raise funds for Aang Serian to replace their pc. We have donated a little money and we ask that you do the same, if your budget allows it. In return, you will receive a promo cd with a 30 minute mix of tracks previously recorded at the Aang Serian studio. You can pay by cheque or credit card, see our special page with info on Aang Serian and how to receive your cd.

  • Read more

           

  • We never complained about lack of new African hip hop releases but the last months have left us with lack of space on the shelves. Apart from hundreds of locally released cassettes, there were more than a handful albums that received international distribution. We did get many demos and official full releases sent to our studio address, and started to feel a bit guilty for lacking the time to review all of it. Luckily our new reviews section has started to take shape, and this month we kick it off with no less than 23 reviews! Most of it is compiled into one page but in two seperate articles we focus on recent South African hip hop releases by a young label, African Dope from Cape Town, South Africa.

    Read along and try to order some of this through your record dealer or straight off the web. During the weeks to come you should also keep an eye cos we just got 13 new tapes in from Burkina Faso, and still have shoeboxes of tapes from Senegal and Tanzania from recent trips, waiting for a mention on the web.

    A tag!
    First to send in a tag for Africanhiphop.com (something we asked for in the forums) is <a href="http://www.casroc.tk" target=_blank>Casroc, a graffiti artist currently living in Antwerp (Belgium). You can see the tag in the graphic to the right. Thanks!

  • Reviews: Twenty-one new releases - May 2002
  • Godessa - Social ills (single)
  • Compilation: Cape of Good Dope

           



  • In steaming Maputo, Mozambique out on the south eastern coast of the African continent we end up at the French-Mozambican Cultural Centre for a hip hop gig on Good Friday. Starting out with local hip hop, the main act this night is... Positive Black Soul from Senegal! The fact that the mic masters from Dakar are here on stage, thousands of miles away from home, shouldn't come as a surprise because they are on a long tour which also took 'em to South Africa and Zimbabwe these last weeks. Proudly wearing their Festival Senerap t-shirts they confirm their status of African rap embassadors. Our correspondent spent Easter weekend going around the lively Maputo hip hop scene, meeting with the G-Pro family and taking some pics of PBS in the studio.

  • Read the report

           

  • Expressions: South African hip hop, spoken word and r&amp;b compiled
    Last year, Black Rage productions (the people behind the Rage.co.za site) started out with their own label Outrageous, releasing South African music (hip hop, r&b and kwaito). April the compilation 'Expressions' came out. We received a copy, and a first listen suggests that this is probably the best South African hiphop collection on the market. It's been a while since other highlights like Motherload (the 1995 Johannesburg compilation) or the early 90's tracks on 'Cape Hip Hop Classics'.

    Rage did their best to unearth the raw talent of unsigned crews that is often left untapped. Some names are familiar - Skwatta Kamp, Amu, Spex and Neo Muyanga for example, but there's room for newcomers. The whole cd is well produced in a Talib Kweli/Roots/nu jazz vibe. There's a slightly melancholic mood throughout with plenty of soul and a wealth of lyrics in English and what sounds to us like Xhosa or Zulu. There's also poetry and r&b mixed in. This album should please die-hard hip hop fans who might not have bought the first Rage compilation last year as it was a bit more jiggy.
    Outrageous is well branched, and we should expect their product to reach far - and it deserves it. The listeners of YFM (popular radio station in the Gauteng area) seem to love the compilation, too.
    Check out <a href="http://www.rage.co.za" target=_blank>rage.co.za and contact them if you want to get hold of the album.

           

    Over the past 16 months we were hosted by <a href="http://www.Featureprice.com" target=_blank>Featureprice.com, an American web hosting company. They let us pay for 12 months ahead. The first year everything was cool, but during the past months our server has been offline more than often. As it turned out, they had become known as one of the most dodgy hosting companies.

    Now on April 20th, they have announced that they are out of business. Sadly a similar thing happened with the company we hosted with before... yes it seems bad times for the industry.

    As we have paid until november 2003, this presents us with a problem. We will have to start paying another monthly hosting fee!
    Also we will need to move - again - the entire Africanhiphop.com site and all its subsites (Eyepluseye's web, Poa records and more) to a new server. So bear with us, this means a lot of work and some more time offline.

    [Update: while the Featureprice site was showing an 'out of business' sign for a few hours, now they seem back to normal, however we will be moving to a new host anyway]

           


    Photo: The early days of Bush radio's hip hop broadcast, early 90's. This pic is part of our upcoming exhibition of old school materials from the archive of dj Shamiel X, who is featured in this photo on the left front. Check for other familiar faces!

    This year Bush Radio celebrates its 10th anniversary with 10 days of special broadcasting.
    The community radio station based in Cape Town, South Africa is the longest standing of its kind. It serves as a breeding ground for other stations - many radio makers in SA started their carreer at Bush.

    The radio station, with a large listener base in the townships, is also home to Cape Town's most popular hip hop show Headwarmers which has brought many talented emcees to the surface and helped to spread the word of conscious hip hop. People connected to the show at one time or another include Shamiel X, Hamma, Ready D, Shaheen (ex POC), and dj Dre.

  • Check out the campaign program

           

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