Change Starts Within: A Message from Positive Black Soul

Positive Black Soul is an eclectic hip hop group from Dakar Senegal. The group is composed of a collaboration between Didier Sourou Awadi, formerly with Didier Awadi’s Syndicate, and Doug E. Tee (born: Amadou Barry), formerly with the King MCs. Accompanied by the rhythm of traditional Senegalese instruments including percussion, kora, and balafon. PBS graced the music scene for the first time in 1992 showcasing their raw talents at the Dakar French Cultural Center’s music festival. Later they were invited to be the opening act for the Dakar debut of French rap star MC Solaar that October. Solaar was so impressed by their performance that they were invited to tour with him in France and thus their music career was born.

The group released their first album in 1993 featuring songs with sick beats and smooth rhymes that made their music a major attraction to Senegalese youth. This blog highlights their masterpiece “Respect the Nubians.” This song discusses the stigmas that surround Black people within the Diaspora both internally and externally. In the verse below PMS critiques those who contribute to the negative stereotypes of the motherland by claiming it when convenient but dissing it when it’s not.

“Suckers are talking about the motherland
Just like they love her, get the hell out of it
‘Cos I can see that’s only sell out shit
Saying there proud to be this and that
But if you call them African
They certainly have a heart attack
Not because they’re not, but they’ll hate to be
(Called like that)”

In America, there is often a sentiment among Black people to be “from-from” somewhere, or at least have some recollection of their indigeneity so this verse hits home. PBS is not urging their audience not to claim roots in the motherland, they are insisting that they continue supporting Africa when it counts. It’s easy to make claims but defending or advocating for the continent if necessary is what PBS believes is more important.

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