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Category: African Hip Hop Blog

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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This devastating tune from dj Mujava is about to be released worldwide on the renown Warp Records (and This Is Music Records for the UK). Despite high expectations (and opportunities like the Tsotsi movie soundtrack), kwaito and related music from South Africa has not yet led to a worldwide craze in the way Brazilian favela funk has.

Maybe this one is a step in the right direction... It's already being picked up already by trendsetting radio deejays in the UK.
Release dates are September 15 (12 inch) and August 11 (digital).

       



Hip hop culture, as we know, has made a major contribution in unearthing obscure funk and soul music from the 1970s and 80s. Numerous jazz musicians have rebuilt their careers over being sampled by A Tribe Called Quest, Gangstarr etc.

The art of digging for rare records that came to life in the late 70's Bronx through people like Afrika Bambaataa a.k.a. the Master of Records is now a worldwide culture led by 30-plus funk and hip hop heads who have the history, knowledge and money to go out and buy stuff. One of them is Frank aka dj Soulpusher, a German dj (and 'vinyl archeologist' as he calls himself) who migrated to Guinee-Conakry in 2005 with the prime purpose of digging for rare vinyl and then playing them in clubs back home, making online mixes and selling some of the doubles (and these records may easily sell for over a hundred euros each).

While many producers in Africa are still sleeping on the sampling and inspirational potential of afrobeat, afrofunk etc, Frank's blog has become really popular with an international crowd, and consequently a lot of lost classics get rediscovered and sometimes compiled or sampled.
Now Frank recently moved back to New York where he lived before, but his web updates are still on. Have a look at this trailer for "Take Me Away Fast", a documentary in the making on his digging all over West Africa.

If you are in NYC you can catch him tomorrow night (July 12) playing his tunes during Bumpshop at club APT, 419 West 13th St.

       



Anybody who visited or lived in Kenya in the early 90's? One thing that you won't be able to erase from memory is the abundance of matatu's, the preferred and cheap public transport. The mini buses that tended to take way more people than they were supposed to were also instrumental in the spread of hip hop and dancehall. Buses with names like 'Black spider' (painted to live up to its name) drove around with heavy bass speakers under the chairs so that Shabba Ranks' tunes (favorite around 1993) would be felt to the bone even by the elders whose complaints did not always result in the lowering of the volume. Today, much of matatu culture is still alive, but the government has tried to regulate the industry a bit by introducing speed limiters, seatbelts for passengers and registered personnel. Apparently safety has improved since 2003.

Have a look at this video by radio presenter Jimmy Gathu from around 1992 - not only is it one of the first ever rap videos in Kenya, it also gives a unique view into matatu culture as it was back in the days: 'Look, think, stay alive!' And the music? Well... let's just say that Gathu did his work as one of the pioneers in local rap. Speaking of which: in UK at the MCs for Life conference we ran into veteran producer Andrew 'Madebe'! In the 90's he was among the first to produce local hip hop in Mombasa with kina Fundi Frank. Earlier this year he moved back to UK for health reasons.

       

       



Enjoy this rough video taken with our phone at Q-bert's performance in the heart of Johannesburg, on the 19th foor of a building in the middle of the Central Business District, 1st March 2008. Let Q's hands speak for themselves (if you want to see more, there's a part 2 on Youtube).

By the way, if you didn't know exactly who Q-bert is: he is one of the greatest turntablists alive, rumoured to have been banned from participating in the DMC world finals in 1995 because he was unbeatable (a false rumour, by the way).

       

Gabon's finest Lord Ekomy Ndong returns with a video shot in the projects of Libreville. This track can be found on the album 'On detient la harpe sacree tome 2' by Movaizhaleine which is already out in Gabon; in Europe it will be available on Lord Ekomy's forthcoming second solo album.

       

Not too often do we find hip hop videos shot in Cape Town's townships, located on the massive Cape Flats on the 'other side' of the mountain. Terror Mc is from Ravensmead, located not far from the airport, and his new single 'Liberate yourself' was shot in both Ravensmead and the township of Lavis.
Album coming up this year, for now watch the video to 'Liberate yourself' which does show that with a simple handheld camera, a few hours spent filming and some imagination in the editing suite, a lot can be done. This was directed and edited by Mustafa & Juma4 of Africanhiphop.com.


       

       

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