Ugandan rapper Judas Rapknowledge Da Akbar makes an overt political and musical statement with his song “African Warrior”. The song, and his overall discography heavily employ old school hip-hop themes and styles. He raps hard and consistently aligning his songs with a tradition of MCing concerned with substance, technique, and lyricism. By rapping this way, Judas Rapknowledge is making a statement on the current state of Hip-Hop. His approach is a more traditional one and differs heavily from a lot of modern Hip-Hop
The approach to song making is political itself. As is the presentation of the song, its hook and the album cover. Judas Rapknowledge is advocating for unity. A unity for Africa that embraces tradition. By rapping in a traditional style, Judas Rapknowledge is using his style as a means of reinforcing his stated goal. The beat also uses a traditional drum pattern. The fusion of this drum beat with Judas Rapknowledge’s rapping continues the themes of African unity and an embrace of tradition. The lyrics of the song further illustrate Judas’ point. His declaration of his status as a “Rap Warrior” works as a two-fold reminder of his mission and status as a musician and a man. While he wants more unity, he does still take aim at competitors and doubtors throughout the song.
His bars throughout the track are relentless as he name drops African tribes, biblical figures, and his producers. Judas Rapknowledge celebrates his status as an underground rapper and takes aim at European colonialism saying they want the innate qualities he possesses. These lines serve to make clear his status as a rapper with confidence and a lot to say. He also name-drops Zulu warriors, aligning himself with his own warrior status. The message is clear- Judas Rapknowledge is for the upliftment and embrace of Africa, but he is also an individual whose ability and style makes him powerful and unique.
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