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Category: News articles

The news items published under this category are as follows.

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To celebrate the launch of the first international album release by Sugu (formerly known as Mr II or 2 Proud), Africanhiphop.com in association with Social Misfit Entertainment and Sterns Music presents the Sugu Remix competition. Also listen to our exclusive 20 minutes long mix of non-album tracks where Sugu features alongside R&B legend Mark Morrisson, etc. Finally, the winning entries to the Sugu album competition of May 2004 have been announced.

Remix competition
We have uploaded two acappella versions of tracks from Sugu's new self-titled album, his current single "Moto Chini" and the upcoming single, "Alright". Your mission is simply to provide one of the two acapellas with your own original dope beat, and send us the final version.

In order to allow more producers to send in their productions, we decided to extend the deadline of the competition to the 1st of December, 2004! So give it a try, and send in that remix!

What can you win?
The first prize is a voucher worth 100 UK pounds (that's about 175 U$ or 145 euro!) which can be used to order music anything from Sterns African Music, the well known London based African music store. You can get at least 8 CD's for that!

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    The South African emcees of Godessa have kept the crowd waiting but they have finally dropped their debut album 'Spillage'. Female rappers Ej von Lyrik, Shame and Burni delivered a 13-track cd with all new songs. Produced by Grenville Williams and EJ, the tunes sound as fresh as a Godessa live performance. A full review is soon to follow along with our 22 other new African hip hop album picks.

    At the time of writing, the three Cape Town emcees were still on a visit to Switzerland, but Shameema (Shame) reported that they will be back home soon enough, with the official album launch to take place in Johannesburg and 'planet' Cape Town. If you are anywhere near, don't miss it and catch Godessa in full gear with the backing of their live band.

    7th July 2004
    Colour bar, Melville, Johannesburg

    15th july 2004
    Mercury Live (the former Jam), Cape Town

    Listen to 'Nguwe'
    The album's first track 'Nguwe' is already a hit on South African radio station YFM. You can download the (legal) mp3 here (hosted by SAmp3)


    On Wednesday, June 16th 2004, as South Africa celebrated its national youth day, a memorial was erected to the memory of Mr.Devious, a rapper from the Cape Flats who got killed in January 2004. The fact that the local government felt he was important enough to erect a memorial in his honour lays testament to the power that hip hop and hip hop activists like Devious have in their local communities. There were no big name rappers or record industry-types there to mourn his passing and celebrate his life work, instead the people present were the people closest to the rapper, his wife, kids, parents, brother and sister, rappers he had trained in the art of rhyming and various members of his community.

  • Read more: full story & photo report


  • In June 2004, the Committee of Censorship in the Democratic Republic of Congo censored all Congolese rap groups and foreign music. This decision was taken by the Attorney General of the Republic. Thus the clips and music may no longer be broadcasted in Congo, with the example of ndombolo. The program director of Kinshasa's private television chain Tropical Channel TV, mr. Kabeya Pindi Passi, was held during several hours last thursday for 'having broadcasted foreign clips and Congolese rap'. It took the intervention of president Joseph Kabila to set him free.
    The reason given for banning rap is that it is 'obscene and violent, and causes the youth to behave badly' (where have we heard this before?)
    For more background, read <a href="http://www.digitalcongo.net/fullstory.php?id=38685" target=_blank>this story at Digitalcongo.net (French).

    This situation brings to mind the ban of rap music and clips on the islands of Zanzibar, Tanzania which came into effect around 1999 but was lifted when the new government came into place in 2000. Ironically it was our documentary 'Hali Halisi - rap as an alternative medium' which got the attention of the local government as it featured critical comments of emcees about the political elite. A copy which landed at the state television TVZ catalyzed the ban, and needless to say TVZ never broadcasted the documentary. By now, locally produced rap videos can again be seen almost daily.

    Emergency call from Congo
    Guderian Bakielemeso a.k.a MAD, representing the groups PNB and KMS and currently studying in Europe, received an emergency call from various Congolese emcees who asked him to seek support from Africanhiphop.com in fighting the censorship. All Congolese rappers (including PNB, K-Melia, KMS, Bawuta Kin, Keep Kwyte, Fofo, NMB, Section Bantou) are trying to assert their rights but nobody's listening. MAD's take on the situation:

    "We are no more in the 1980s, when Congo was under the influence of dictator Mobutu. Right now Congo has a democratic constitution, we are in the age of development and evolution. Nowhere in the world has a nation censored 'foreign music'. Variety of culture allows development in a country. While rap is now in full development in Congo and growing to be among the best scenes in the whole of Africa, the national commision decided to censor all these groups. These people do not understand that they put our talents in danger. If they are to censor, they should censor a person and his music but not everyone. Congolese youth need amusement because they have suffered too much. If right now Congo listens to foreign music it's a good thing, it explains how Congo has developed.
    Why censor foreign music - described as unhealthy - and not foreign movies, which show much more eroticism and violence? It's a shame in the face of the international community to see a large country like Congo not agreeing to international music, how are Congolese youth supposed to integrate into the world? Instead they are limited."

    So what can we do to help?
    For a start, Africanhiphop.com has put a petition online which you should all sign (in French or English) so that we can send it to the Committee of Censorship. We'll update you about the situation as the last word certainly hasn't been spoken.

  • <a href="http://archive.africanhiphop.com/congoact/" target=_blank>Petition: Fight against censorship in DC Congo


  • The all-new compilation cd 'Kilio cha haki' (a Swahili phrase meaning 'a cry for justice') features no less than 38 emcees from Kenya backed by beats from Amsterdam's deejays and producers collective Rednose District, plus vocals by American female hip hop artist RhaGoddess.

    An initiative of <a href="http://www.uptoyoutoo.com" target=_blank>UpToYouToo foundation and Youth Initiatives Kenya (YIKE), the release is part of a bigger project which should result in the establishment of a permanent hip hop recording studio in one of the poorer parts of Nairobi. The album stands out for its sound which is definitely more hardcore than the average Kenyan tune heard on the airwaves these days, where dance tunes seem to rule.

    On sunday June 13, the cd will be launched at <a href="http://www.bitterzoet.com" target=_blank>club Bitterzoet in Amsterdam (Holland) which happens to be right around the corner of the Africanhiphop.com office - so we're sure to check it out.
    Special guests are Kenyan emcees Kah, Oteraw and Damu Moto who participated in the recording of Kilio Cha Haki. Other performers that night are Amsterdam's deejays/producers Stevendepeven, Aardvarck, MrWix, Clyde, BartFader, Antal and others.

    Soon we'll have a full review in our album review roundup among 20 other new African hip hop releases! Also, details about online ordering of the Kilio Cha Haki cd will be announced here.


    The five-man Nigerian collective known as Da Thoroughbreds is determined to keep it real, keep it basic: phat beats and a message. In a special feature, our Nigerian correspondent takes a closer look at the individuals who make up Da Thoroughbreds: IllBliss & Obiwon a.k.a Coal City's Finest, Amaka, Elajoe tha funk wizard, B-Elect and MGB. Among their plans for the near future is a recording project titled 'Fela was Hiphop' which pays homage to the life and music of the Afrobeat maestro.

    The sound on Streethop is definitely different from most other Naija hip hop you heard so far. Check for yourself: we have all songs from their 5-cut EP to be listened to online!

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  • One of the most productive emcees from the African continent, Sugu also known as Mr. II or 2Proud from Tanzania, is back with a new album. After a break of about a year in which he stayed in the UK, the emcee whose popularity at some point in his carreer rivaled that of the Tanzanian president, is back in the motherland promoting his eight album release since 1995.

    The album, simply titled 'Sugu' after the artist's new stage name, is available in Tanzania on tape and cd but finally fans abroad will also be able to get hold of a copy. Most of the beats for Sugu were done by Kenyan born producer Sir Prestige from who has a studio in South London. Guests on the album include Sugu's long time rhyming partner Dola Soul, Samia X from the Kwanza Unit foundation, and UK singer Tina Roberts. A difference with previous albums is that on 'Sugu' most of the choruses are in English while verses are still in Swahili, which makes the music more accessible to an international audience. The cd will be released this summer through his label Social Misfit entertainment - keep an eye on the website <a href="http://www.sugumusic.com" target=_blank>www.sugumusic.com

    Listen to portions of Sugu's tracks (about 1 minute each, mp3 format):
    1. Alright
    2. Moto Chini
    3. Mamtoni

    2004 will be good for the international recognition of Tanzanian rap. First of all, artists from Tanzania are increasingly getting popular in neighbouring countries Kenya and Uganda. Then there's a number of tracks and full albums that will be available abroad, apart from Sugu there will be a compilation of Tanzanian hip hop and the album by X Plastaz, both on the German Out Here records. A couple of Tanzanian emcees abroad are working on solo projects, including Rhymson from Kwanza Unit and even Saleh J, the first Swahili rapper to release an album back in 1992. But Sugu is up first and backed by the Social Misfits he will surely be heard this year.

    Africanhiphop.com give-away: 3 SUGU cd albums
    Social Misfit Entertainment sent us three cd's to give away in a contest open to all Sugu fans around the world. To enter, all you need to do is explain to us what makes Sugu so special in today's competitive Tanzanian hip hop scene. Is it his legacy of 8 albums? His conscious rhymes? His flow...? You tell us, and the most original and motivated answers will get a copy! Send your answer to sugucontest@africanhiphop.com and write 'Sugu Contest' in the subject line of your mail.

    Also stay tuned for our Sugu remix contest and - if all goes well - an interview with the man himself!



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