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Category: News articles

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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Ty, one of the UK's best emcees to release an album in the new millennium recently got involved in a couple of projects bringing together African music and hip hop. Doing rap workshops in Tanzania with dj Pogo, recording and touring with Afrobeat legend Tony Allen, and engaging in the African Consciences exchange, all roads seem to lead to the motherland. Recently we got the chance to hook up backstage before a concert with Tony Allen in Amsterdam. Ty, the son of Nigerian parents, talked for over an hour about many issues, including the need for African emcees to come up with a distinctive style:
"See the best result of globalisation is when you see kids turning their back on their culture, don't wanna sample those records, rapping American accents. It's saddening me... I understand it, I am not against it, but it's saddening cos it's like you are wasting time. You are almost saying that your culture is no good".

Back in the UK, Ty does not make his African heritage a selling point but he also never saw the need to hide it:
"I have always been trying to say look, I am an artist, apparently I am hot to you, and I am African - deal with that!"

Other topics in the interview which at times resembled a monologue are the collaboration with Tony Allen, the Lyrical Lounge tour to Tanzania, the UK music industry, and the uniting force of hip hop.

  • Read the interview

           

  • We never thought of doing it, but it's been the hottest topic in our forum these last days: a real Anthem for our site and its community. It started out with this posting in early January:

    It appears as though this site is the only one without a track dedicated to it even though it's probably the only highly active pan-afro site compared to the rest....so why ain't the emcees that reside and continue to drop rhymes on this site show some love and drop some audio lines....what do you all think???????agree with me or not

    This suggestion developed into a plan between emcees from all corners of the earth to record a track together, exchanging the beat and vocal files through the web. To be continued...

  • Check out what the latest plans are (multiple page topic in the forum)

           

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    Dakar is often cited to be the capital of hip hop in Africa. There's plenty of rap and a couple of skilled dj's, but where are the other elements? A superficial visit would make you believe that there is no breakdance or graffiti in Senegal. But a drive along the autoroute into the suburbs provides a view of some tags or BMG44 and Gokh-Bi System pieces. Some recent album covers showcase the work of local artists, and crews like Wageble embrace graffiti alongside rap and breaking.

    The most familiar name in Dakar's graffiti scene is Docta of Doxandem Squad. The Medina based graf writer and illustrator is well known for his printed work: the hip hop awards flyer, covers for Yat-Fu and Daddy Bibson, and the full design of the Bibson ak Xuman tape - it's all his. Despite the fact that spray paint in Senegal is either of poor quality or hard to get hold of, he has also done a number of walls around town.
    In January 2003 we met with Docta at his place in Medina (Dakar) and he gave us access to his sketch books and on mural snapshots. Check out our Docta gallery: six pages showing Docta's brand of Senegalese graffiti asit developed through the years.

  • Docta gallery/biography (English)

  • Docta gallerie/biographie (Francais)

           

  • One of the first African hip hop tracks to be released on vinyl was 'Doing damage in my native language', a promo-only 12 inch that was released on the American label Hollywood Basic in 1992. You may know this tune cos we played it in our first broadcast of Rumba-Kali Radio in 1998.

    At the time when Afrocentric rap was still in vogue, the Zimbabwean students who made up Zimbabwe Legit hooked up with Black Sheep's Mr Lawnge (at the time a celebrity) to record this 12 inch. It so happened that dj Shadow, at the time an unknown producer/dj, did the b-side remix to this tune. A few years later when Zimbabwe Legit was largely forgotten by the crowd, the track resurfaced on the compilation 'Headz 2' of the English triphop label Mo'Wax. And when dj Shadow got more popular with a large audience, the promo vinyl of Zimbabwe Legit got the status of valuable collectors item, selling for lots of cash on ebay.
    Luckily someone now decided to rerelease the 12 inch, in its original sleeve with the sticker 'Real African lyrics, from real Africans'.

    Not sure whether it's legitimate or bootlegged but we have already ordered our copy, and if you have the means you should try to get it. Try <a href="http://www.turntablelab.com" target=_blank>Turntablelab or <a href="http://www.720records.com" target=_blank>720 Records (USA) or <a href="http://www.juno.co.uk" target=_blank>Juno (UK), otherwise look for it through the gemm.com database (don't confuse the vinyl release with their EP compact disc, which is still available second hand).

           

           


    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Mina, Oumy from the trio Alif, photo &copy; R. Bijl

    Like all hip hop scenes around the world, the Senegalese rap metier is dominated by men. But quality can't be counted, and the few female artists out there do shine bright and they are indispensible to the very foundation of local hip hop. The three-girl crew Alif and rapper Baby Fatim (one half of Jef wareef) are probably the most well known female emcees on the western tip of the motherland. Alif put out their first album in 1999 which was well received at the time. They have announced that they will go abroad next year to record a cd. Baby Fatim is also still in the game. She was invited to an international festival this coming month (see below).

    But trying to find more info about these artists on the web is harder than marketing 2step in Tanzania... just can't be done! So we set out to talk to these women at their homes in Dakar (early 2002). Take out your French dictionary and go listen to the interviews (10 and 15 minutes in realaudio format).

  • Go there

           



  • Finally a new show: Rumba-Kali, our non-stop webcast in Realaudio format plays hip hop from all over the African continent. Nowhere in this world will you be able to get such a wide selection of African hip hop! We have new tracks from Senegal, Cabo Verde, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Madagascar, Algeria and elsewhere... artists include Shaka babs, Metaphysics, MBS, Godessa, Cabo funk alliance, Hashim, Terry tha Rapman, Kaddo, and Ty & Tony Allen.

  • Listen now: click here and a pop-up will open containing the live titles of tracks as they play, and the listening links for Realplayer or Winamp.

    New videos
    New Tanzanian music videos! In the current bongoflava craze, many artists try to come up with a video. Watch these exclusive productions by our team (Realplayer required):

  • X Plastaz - Aha!
    Maasai hiphop: the story of urban hiphop heads who rediscover their traditional culture. Shot on location in the hills around Monduli, Maasai land - northern Tanzania and featuring live Maasai chants by group member Yamat and his friends during a gathering in Olpuri, a secret place where Maasai warriors usually hang out, eat meat and drink traditional medicine.
    Other locations are the back of a jeep driving from the village into the bush, and inside a Maasai mud house.



  • Mack D - Mja wako
    A unique video for more than one reason, this was shot mostly during Mr2's farewell party at his house, just before he left Tanzania in May 2002. Many local rap vedettes showed up including the late Cool James, plus Master J, D-Chief, Zay-B... Also footage from one of Mr2's last shows in Morogoro (he quit making music) where Mack D was present, in the studio, and at Slipway, a luxury hangout in Dar es Salaam.


  • Cool Para - Hawapo Serious
    Zanzibar's longest standing rapper Cool Para (pioneer of the taarab rap style) is back with new songs. This video about the fight against drug abuse was shot in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) where hard drugs are a huge problem, just like in the poor parts of Zanzibar town.

           

  • On 1st of December, World Aids Day, emcees from three African countries will be at the heart of 'A luta continua: Hip hop against HIV/Aids', an evening on youth and Aids in the Royal Tropical Institute of Amsterdam, Holland. Together with Dutch rappers they will present their views and experiences of spreading knowledge about the virus and of the ways people back home deal with it. Africanhiphop.com assisted in the production of the evening.


    X Plastaz with mc Ommi at Slipway, Dar es Salaam

    X Plastaz
    The six member crew from Tanzania has in the past recorded several tracks on Aids. The three rapping brothers perform with their little brother and sister (the 'Fortune Tellers') and Maasai singer Yamat, whose traditional chants from Northern Tanzania merge in with X Plastaz' east coast style hip hop.
    This night they will also be interviewed to shine a light on the rapid spread of HIV within the Maasai community, a hazard which hasn't yet been recognized by the Maasai elders. Their first cd 'Maasai Hip Hop' will be launched on the occasion. Xplastaz will also perform in Rasa, Utrecht on december 14 with Das Primeiro (Angola) dj Precise and dj Juma4. More info about the group at <a href="http://www.xplastaz.com" target=_blank>www.xplastaz.com


    Left-right: Devious, Baby Fatim, Fortune Tellers

    Devious
    Solo artist Devious from Cape Town, South Africa has built a name with his contributions to local Aids awareness campaigns. Other than being a hiphop activist, Devious is also a top notch entertainer who immediately captures the attention of the audience with his flow and rhymes which come straight from the heart.

    Baby Fatim
    Female rapper from Senegal who recorded an album as a half of the duo Jef Wareef in Dakar. She mixes hiphop, reggae and r&b singing and has also previously recorded a track about Aids.

    The African rappers will arrive a week before the show to prepare a new track on the way youth deal with HIV/Aids together with Dutch emcees Skate the Great and 2Tall (Dutch Masters/Brainpower).

    Other elements of the 1st December program include a film about HIV in South Africa, the presentation of the winning entries into Baobabconnections' lyrics competition, and an open mic circle session in the historical settings of the institute's Marble Hall.
    More info about the program is also available from the <a href="http://www.kit.nl/tropentheater/html/programma_y_p.asp" taregt=_blank>website of the Tropical Institute.


    Urban Culture
    On this night, the Dutch-language educational website Urban Culture will be launched. Designed to be a virtual (web-only) African hiphop festival, Urban Culture presents lyrics, interviews, audio and video of African emcees from five different countries who rhyme about topics such as Aids, unemployment, neocolonialism and drugs. Featuring Reggie Rockstone, Lord Kenya, Pee Froiss, BMG44, Devious, X Plastaz, Cool Para, H20, and others.

    See <a href="http://www.africaserver.nl/urbanculture" target=_blank>www.africaserver.nl/urbanculture

           




    Social consciousness has been part of hip hop for ages. Old school pioneer Afrika Bambaata in the mid-seventies organized his parties from the knowledge that they were an alternative to gang participation. And ever after Brother D rapped in 1980: 'How we gonna make the black nation rise?' there have been lyrics analyzing the problems of society, and it wasn't hip hop if the emcees didn't come up with solutions as well.

    A young example is Watulivu Camp, a Tanzanian crew of emcees of schoolgoing age who recently participated in a project focusing on neighbourhood development. We take a look at the project while Dola Soul breaks down the lyrics.

  • Read the article

           

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