Posted in Africa, Artist Profiles, Senegal

Keyti: Music Review

Keyti is a Senegalese rapper who rose to fame through the group Rap ‘Adio. He initiated his career by expressing his ideals as to what true hip hop and rap should be. He intended to take rap back to its roots, that of which were of a political and socially critical driven nature. Keyti has repeatedly expressed his love for language and how important he believes it is for a people’s to maintain it. Through language he has found a way to express himself and thereupon believes everyone else should do the same.

Keyti, much like very many other people, believes rap music is a politically inclined work of poetry. Although the majority of his serious music is delivered by the use of the Wolof language, his showcasing music performed on Journal Tele Rappe or Journal of Rap, which is played throughout Senegalese television broadcasts and You Tube channels, contains a mixture of French, Wolof and at times, some English verses.

In terms of the Journal Tele Rappe, Keyti delivers his verses with a sense of dry humor. The most obvious of which may be found within and episode in which President Obama takes the primary focus due to his visit to their country. Within the song the verses are passed off between various of his associates and from the very few English verses garnered in the production it became apparent that said verses were used to express their supposed admiration for the President and his country, and maybe even slight jabs in between.

In the art of rap, lays a thick layer of poetic homage. In which case it became apparent that Keyti’s poetic verses tend to clash with his actual rhymes. As a result, Keyti’s “Poetry in the Street,” which is posted on You Tube with a verse by verse English translation showcases Keyti’s excellence with word play and drive for rhyming.

The production showcases Keyti in a populated neighborhood voicing his hopes for his people and a better tomorrow. In summary of his message, the rapper voices his want for people to go after what they want, and not to sit around and wait for the changes to be made for themselves. They must in effect pursue change in order to achieve it. In concluding his ideas he acknowledges those who do in effect pursue change, and accomplish it if only for themselves. He then goes on to make a call to action directed at the youth. Stating that the must continue to pursue better lives, rather than sit around and wait for them. It is interesting to witness a rapper who acknowledges his people’s grievances and also manages to see that blaming and pointing fingers to an unjust system does absolutely nothing to change it. He expresses his thoughts clearly without seeming repetitive or belittling.

Rappe, JT. (2013 June 21). Journal Rappe EP9 avec Xuman et Keyti [Video File].

Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHevxCIF4d4#t=60

Wax, N. (2011 March 11). Keyti: Poetry in the Streets [Video File].

Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/7EG3Z1VhYhw

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