TANZANIAN POWERHOUSE: ROSA REE

Rosary Robert, who goes by the name Rosa Ree, is a self-proclaimed Tanzanian rap Goddess who has taken the local hip hop industry by storm. She’s currently one of the only women who’s been able to successfully puncture the hip hop scene in Tanzania as cultural stereotypes in the country have created the rhetoric that hip hop should be a male-only genre. Rosa was born in Tanzania but later moved to Kenya for school. Rosa states that she’s been passionate about music since she was very young and would sing Puff Daddy and church songs by herself while she did her chores. As she got older, she started posting videos on social media sites, which drew the attention of professionals in the music industry.

She was primarily a singer before signing to her first record label in 2015, who’s owner,Maximillian, led her to discover her love for rap. While East African music defines her sound, her energetic delivery is aligned with New York City-style rap. She also incorporates a lot of techniques you would find in laid-back gangster rap of the West coast. When discussing her writing and producing process, she talked about how she likes to make sure that her music sends a raw and unfiltered message. For instance, in my favorite song by her “One Time” the instrumental is funky with a laid-back beat, very much like a soundtrack you would find on 90’s west coast rap album. She uses explicit and aggressive language within the song to express her struggles of being a woman trying to pursue a career in an industry that doesn’t welcome her. She aims her self-written lyrics specifically at the men who have tried to deter her pursuit in hip hop and her quick success goes to show that she was right to not listen to their opinion. The music video for the song is very much filmed in the same way as an American hip hop video and features her in different scenes dress in designer clothes and fur. Her sexual dance moves and explicit lyrics goes against the traditional stereotypes of what an African woman should be, making her a powerhouse for promoting and empowering Tanzanian women to be whoever they’d like to be.

Loud and proud with an impressive discography to go with it, there is hope that Rosa will be an inspiration to all Tanzanian women who would like to pursue their love for hip hop.

Go check out her music on Youtube

Go check out her Instagram

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