Omzo

 Coming from Dakar, Senegal, is the young Omzo who has been rhyming since the age of 14 from deep within the ghetto of Dakar learning through experience what he raps about in all of his hard hitting albums that still have a smooth, laid back style to them. He made a name for himself on the underground scene in Dakar and eventually began to tour throughout Senegal. He speaks from a place that the people can relate to and delivers a message about life, in the street, with all of its major issues, crime, politics, money, religion. According to his website upon his release of “POLITICHIEN” “(Political Dogs)”(Fitna Prod) , “With this compilation Omzo was propelled into nationwide popularity with his legendary track “Kunu Abal Ay Beut” (The Hand That Leads is the Hand that Rules). The song was a scathing attack on corrupt leaders, the IMF and the World Bank and demanded Senegal’s leaders to take responsibility for their actions. The song was one of the first hip-hop tracks in Senegal to be embraced by both the young and old alike and was said to have had a direct influence on the elections in Dakar in 2000.”

Many newer songs http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/681591
Few songs on myspace http://www.myspace.com/omzo
“Dakar Buntu Afriq” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alenbkpUB6U
“Goor Yombul” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HetB96hZESA&feature=related
Check out his and other contributions to the album  “African Underground – Depths of Dakar”

Kudakwashe Musasiwa

The artist Kudakwashe also goes by the alias B. Sun for Begotten Sun which is a ode to his father who, as a christian minister, can see his own influence in his son’s music. He was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe and he now often resides in London but reps Zimbabwe throughout his music. For the most part Kudakwashe is a powerful voice for oppressed and poverty stricken, abused people of Africa and the world, however his music has undergone some changes. As Begotten Sun he worked with Munyaradzi Nota and formed the group DKR for Divide Kingdom Republic. They were very ambitous, fearless, and angry and Begotten Sun released the album Rise Up which ignited a fire. The song “Revolution” is an expose of the entire system , from crack being distributed in the streets and it effects on people like Huey P. Newton to education, the police, health care, religion, AIDS, guns, politics, colonialism, violence coming to the conclusion of the need for Revolution now. Since then he has taken what some call a “lighter” way to enlighten that is some what toned down as can be seen in popular songs like “Wilderness” and “Wipe Your Tears” and “Seeds of Serpents.” While his songs are highly politicized and charged with educated rebellion, he increases his religious message and has very much so toned his views down from Revolution, possibly to continue expanding internationally.

“Revolution” http://www.musik-mp3-download.com/song/revolution-artist-begotten+sun.html at the bottom click on the second video abspielen
Musodzi/Wipe Your Tears”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq5PNPwr4eQ
Myspace with other songs “Wilderness,” “Seed of Serpants”
http://www.myspace.com/begottensun
For a Few others http://kynrecords.com/dkr/index.php

X-Plastaz

Out of the rapidly expanding hip hop scene in Tanzania is the group X-Plastaz. The group is made up of several rappers and singers of different age groups and genders, as they also employ female emcees like in the powerful anthem “Furaha” as well as others. It is a goal of the group to keep in mind the purpose of hip hop and to truely create a unique and useful artform out of African culture with world wide influence. They refer to their music as Maasai hip hop which utilizes traditional Maasai musical elements as well as hip hop styled beats. They speak to the youth concerning subjects of everyday life in Tanzania like prison, AIDS, economics of working like job issues and unemployment. One of the most outspoken in category of rapping with a mind for the oppressed was founder Faza Nelly. He was stabbed and died in 2006 but not before recording an X-Plastaz classic “Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki” Their music does a great job of blending cultures, showing the importance of tribal values and traditions as well as appealing to a globalized youth. They are one of the biggest groups in the Tanzanian hip hop world and have achieved international recognition as can be seen with X-Plastaz Gsan on the BET Cypher with KRS-One.

“Nini dhambi kwa mwenye dhiki” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFb0hmD9ys8&playnext=1&list=PLB9DB3C351F12A579
“Furaha” Ft FidQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql4ugeP7e7Y
“Aha” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03uF8AbTU8U&feature=related
“Ushanta” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H4qEw2inZY&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AVGxd

Daara J

The group Daara J has been a staple of Senegalese Hip Hop for over a decade. They were put influenced and encouraged by Positive Black Soul and strengthened those connections by making great music with a message and working to bring about change much the same as PBS. The members are N’Dongo D, Aladji Man, and Faada Freddy rap in Wolof, Spanish, French and English. Their landmark album came in 2003 with the release of “Boomerang” which referred to the idea that hip hop originated in lyrical traditions in Africa and have now returned full circle to the Motherland after reaching the U.S. African American population as well as other places of African diaspora. They rap about life, politics and corruption and have world wide experience and now audience. Listen for many of the Cuban and Latino influence throughout much of their music.

“Slavery” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mqbGwmB_Hc&feature=related
“Esperanza” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o2fiYf7lJM
“Boomerang” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IqZrtSDLY8&feature=related
“The Cycle” Ft Rokia Traore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h58vYnIa9k

African Rebel Movement – A.R.M.

A.R.M. which stands for African Rebel Movement consists of none other than M.anifest hailing Ghana and now in Minnesota and Krukid who comes from Uganda and now lives in Las Vegas. One recent album is called Uprising and it definitely tries to create one although the uprising itself is not really described in too much detail or really promoted much in their rhymes. . Their lyrics are generally positive and relate to life on the streets, and the hip hop industry both in Africa and in America. A.R.M. looks to possibly be a more conscious politically oriented side project of well established artists, primarily in the case of M.anifest but their releases to date dont really convey the message of rebellion yet and seem to be out there to help the record sales uprising as much as the people’s uprising.

“Fear of the Mundane” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G35M25R8mcY&feature=related
“Africans” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRSw5hEqUf0
“Heaven Only Knows” Ft Brother Ali http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkFtm5IBDfw
“Two Africans and a Jew” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1vyrUfRKUU&feature=related
“As We Enter” over Nas and Damien Marley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ic4zNLFUTg&feature=related

Pee Froiss

Hailing Senegal as one of the most well known and established hip hop acts around, Pee Froiss started in 1993 and continue to play for an international audience. They rap in Wolof, French and English and address many political and religious issues. The group consists of Xuman, Kool Kocc 6, DJ Gee Bayss and have also named a female emcee to the crew named Sista Joyce. It doesnt appear that they have released anything since 2003 but the group may still be at it. From their myspace the group claim to speak of “moral guides for a disaffected youth torn between the traditions of their forefathers and the global currency of MTV and fast food. In a country where the politicians line their pockets while the poor go hungry, the messages that Pee Froiss deliver speak with an urgency that only a handful of rappers can muster.”

“No More” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTWq2veC2o
“Wala Wala Bokk” Ft Positive Black Soul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kocl5aQkAU
“Lara bi Laran” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKMzSmMZIlw
Live Performance http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x41v5x_live-pee-froiss-st-cyr-78-2002_music

Ibn Thabit – Libya

One of the many contributions to the rebellion against the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya has been art, music in particular and hip hop, being an international language of resistance is right at the helm of the uprising. One artist in particular has utilized hip hop to not only express himself artistically but truly help ignite and speak for the people who have had enough of the violence, fraud and corruption that has been under attack through North Africa and the Arab world. He is Ibn Thabit and for good reason there is little known about him other than what is released online. He uses powerful messages of freedom and democracy to inspire and help direct the anger of the people. He even uses timely political satire as he keeps releasing tracks as the situation unfolds as can be seen in his response track to Gaddafi claiming Libyans were on drugs called “Hallucination Pills” But It was his widely seen song “Benghazi” that catapulted him to the front of the movement. He has since released many political songs of liberation and is doing it without any hope for money according to his website although it makes sure to say there is nothing wrong with making money on hip hop. Probably a good clause for when the limits on freedoms of expression are lifted and many Libyan artists begin creating a large hip hop culture. Hopefully many artists follow in the footsteps of Ibn Thabit.

“Benghazi” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJMRHwYeiQ0
“Benghazi II” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFdTYSdAr_A&feature=related
“Where the Guns At?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anyM6_LQF5k&feature=relmfu
“Shohada2ana” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HQW2s7fbpI&feature=channel_video_title
“Hallucination Pills” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT5fXwH1jKQ&feature=relmfu

Ukoo Flani Mau Mau

 

Hailing primarily out of the streets of Nairobi, Kenya but also Mombasa, Keny and even Tanzania are Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. They are a well molded collective, with a power and uniqueness and flavor that could only come from so many unique backgrounds uniting with a message under the banner of hip hop. 24 members at the moment make up the crew and their name deserves attention. It is an acronym for “a clan of Mau Mau” who reference is the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya from 1952-1960 by anti-colonial fighters against the British following  severe violent repression and economic deprivation. After years of struggle with mass murder and human rights violations by the British, the Mau Mau are revered as revolutionaries who paved the way to independence. So Ukoo Flani consist of K-Shaka, Wenyeji, Wakamba Wawili, MC Kah, Mashifta, G-rongi, Ukoo Flani (MSA:-Nguchi P, Chiznbrain, Alai Kenti, Sharama, P.O.P, Lavosti, FUJO Makelele, Cannibal, R.I.C aka Jinamizi, Labalaa, Dr. Dunga, And me DEE7 representing TANZANIA, Richizee, Shaolin aka Grand Mantis, and others. “The name UKOOFLANI is an acronym that reads Upendo Kote Olewenu Ombeni Funzo La Aliyetuumba Njia Iwepo, i.e. love everywhere all who seek teachings of the creator; there is a way.” Also according to their face book, “The objectives of the group are quality enhancement to enable hiphop to be the language to pass the real/true message to society. Through enlightening people on the economic prospects of hiphop they’d like to prove its viability as a business and a way to sustain an income for fellow youth from disadvantaged backrounds. UFMM believe hiphop is a tested and proven way out of the ghetto because it has been their rehabilitation. Each member has a story to tell about how hiphop changed their lives into artistic superiority. Coming from an environment where its an achievement to see the age of 25, and where an average person earns less than $1 a day; UFMM happily prove that with wit, clever poetry, leadership, wisdom and love, one can control their destiny.”
Now, Im not sold on that the solution to poverty in Kenya being hip hop but it certainly will be involved. The youth talk about the harsh realities on the streets and life in ghettos. They take political ideologies from revolutionaries throughout history to include Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in the hard hitting “Burn Dem.” They even use actual footage of the uprising and the British crack-down in the beautiful song “Angalia Saa.”

 

“Burn Dem” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcRd4IZH0hw
“Angalia Saa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqARPgKnTnE&feature=fvwrel
Hip Hop Halisi” Ft Nazizi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpijF6Prqlc&feature=related
“Ukoochonoo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhDNPPMX1o&feature=related
“Ghetto Fabulus” Ft Sister Sllage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myY1WAJlpLg&feature=related

Kalamashaka

Kalamashaka a.k.a. K-Shaka consist of three members and are credited with starting the Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. They are Oteraw, Kama and Johny and they started in the 1990s and have generated a wide base in Kenya and even other countries around Africa and the world despite getting little to no radio play or popular media help in getting out there. Their politically and socially conscious lyrics as well as the ideologies of the people they reference and aspire to are fed flags in pop culture and are actively suppressed. However K-Shaka has reached their audience in the hoods they themselves came from and more than here to stay, are putting out their own new work as well as building and facilitating hip hop as an engine for social change, education and opportunity with groups like Ukoo Flani and artisits like Nazizi. Notable of their collaborations is one with M1 from Dead Prez, and Umi POW in the song “Red Black and Green” which is definetly worth listening to so try the download below. In it they explain Red is for the Mau Mau, and Black is for the Panthers and the connections to the struggle are what fuel their music. They continue to stay true to hip hop and are influencing a whole new generation of Kenyans who would all benefit with access to their non-commercialized sound.

“Red, Black and Green” http://bombmp3.me/download.php?mp3_id=4450472&title=jamhuri+Wear+-+Red+Black+and+Green-+Kalamashaka+feat+M1+Dead+Prez%252C+Umi+POW
“Angalia Saa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2iEVrS1qng&feature=related
“Fanya Mambo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47QTyAr-JDo&feature=related
“Haraka Haraka” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3aULB_nE8&feature=related

Jean Grae

Jean Grae was born in South Africa to politically conscious musician parents who immigrated to New York for more freedom when she was very young. Though she identifies as a New Yorker, she stays close to history and exemplifies the struggle Black female artists go through in Africa or in America. She speaks of the struggles faced regarding the education system, health care, police injustice and many other social issues. A primary focus in her lyrics is the nature of hip hop and what it takes to make it in the game and how someone like her will always be left out of the limelight. She could be compared to Immortal Technique in many ways with her no apologies delivery and super hard core style most of which should be applauded. However, in tracks such as “Hater’s Anthem,” where she departs from inspirational hip hop and capitulates to promoting violence, resorting to degrading language to women, and homosexuals she reinforces her similarities to Technique and many of his downfalls. She also works with Immortal Technique directly in very positive ways on several other tracks such as “The Illist” and a very powerful piece called “You Never Know.”But in my opinion much better collaborations come with Talib Kweli in tracks like “Black Girl Pain,” where she reaches to her African roots making connections between the struggles faced by black women on both sides of the Atlantic. After a psuedo retirement, she is still working on Talib Kweli’s record label.

“Black Girl Pain” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhRKepkIrPE

“Green”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcSuyNYbt_8&feature=related

“Black is the Color” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMW37NbjuCc&feature=related

“My Story” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFz6ECvaiqQ