Aminé is a hip hop artist who has roots in both Ethiopia and the United States. As an artist who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, but spoke Amharic with his parents at home, Aminé has cultivated a unique identity that displays his African heritage, as well as solidarity with his Ethiopian background. During his performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Aminé performed an alternate version of his popular song, “Caroline.”
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Botswana artist, Enigma Tsiako, is a woman MC that has risen to the forefront of hip-hop in the past decade. Much like the method by which other female MCs, Enigma has been featured in cyphers in order to showcase her skill. Additionally, Enigma has a repertoire that shows her pride in being a woman with lyrics about body positivity, being proud of where she is from, and encouraging words that combat patriarchy. The versatility of her work shows her ability to go against what women are stereotypically considered to be. She does not shy away from profanity, talking about her “African Bum,” and actively calling out men in hip hop in her country. Continue reading “Gendered Representations of Enigma’s “Hard on Flow””
Artist from Botswana, Steez, has become synonymous with prideful but critical messages in his rhymes. The late artist, was able to share some of these messages in many of his songs prior to his recent passing. The song titled, “Pula” is introduced during the 50th celebration of Botswana’s independence. Pula, meaning blessings, is a representation of the pride that the citizens of Botswana should have, and appreciate the accomplishments that have been made in the present semi centennial. The first indication of the appreciation of Botswana culture, is the use of Tswana language with a mixture of English. Using both languages is symbolic of uniting cultures that used to be opposed, or a result of Botswana being a protectorate of Great Britain. This tradition of Motswako rap has been a key characteristic of connecting to one’s own roots while still delivering a unifying message.
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As a young, but seasoned, artist from Botswana, Ozi F Teddy has been responsible for hits for many years now. One of his most recent projects, Lord Summer, features a mix of beats and context that attracts global fans. The young artist has no doubt shown that his music transcends Botswana and local cultures by remixing songs from American artists, and using similar trends in the realm of fashion, lingo, and visuals. Continue reading “Ozi F Teddy: Connections between hip-hop and local culture in “Ring the Alarm” music video”