Today I picked Kenyan-Norweigan rapper Stella Mwangi because I thought she ties in all of the themes we talked about in class very well. Additionally, I believe that her use of language in her song Koolio is interesting and bridges two different cultures together.
Other diaspora artists like Wale and Skepta seek to incorporate aspects of their family’s culture to the culture that they have grew up in. For example, Wale’s identification as a DMV artist does not stop him from incorporating elements of go-go music, while making references to Nigerian culture in his songs. However, Jidenna is markedly different from other diaspora artists because he not only integrates his Nigerian culture into his music, but into his fashion and entire image. Continue reading “Diasporia Artist – Jidenna’s Long Live the Chief”
Tonicah is an upcoming Kenyan-born hip-hop artist that has garnered recent fame with her single “Dream Chasers”. It is not unknown to anyone that the number of women in the hip hop industry, especially in Kenya, is not as high as the number of men in the industry. In hip hop videos we often see women as nothing more than props where their bodies are sexually objectified accessories. Tonicah not only sets herself apart with her casual style (as opposed to provocative clothing we see in men’s hip hop music videos), but with her socially conscious music influenced by poetry and jazz music. Continue reading “Tonicah – “Dream Chasers””
Hip Hop in Africa has often been used to criticize the injustices and corruption that happens in their country. More often than not, songs will talk about the patronage system and everyday bribes they have to go through. Kenyan gene rapper Jimwat makes social and politically consciousness songs that talk about life in Kenya. Simama and Sitoi Kitu Kidogo for example address issues of corruption and bribery in Kenya.
Hip hop has always been a voice of the disenfranchised and a medium where artists could channel their frustrations about the world around them through music. In Kenya, challenges with unemployment, crime, and poverty has influenced several hip hop artists to talk about their life struggles in their music. Kenyan hip hop artist Kevin Ambalwa also known as Kayvo Kforce, has not only gained recognition for his diss track ‘Kill A King’, but also for the songs that address the social and political realities he has faced. Coming from the largest slum in the African continent, Kibera, Nairobi, Kayvo often references what life was like in the slum in videos like “I Do It” and “Ghetto”. Continue reading “Kenyan Hip Hop and Kayvo Kforce”