Diamond Platnumz and Ne-Yo Find a Common Language in “Marry You”

Tanzanian rapper, Naseeb Abdul Juma, more commonly known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz, is perhaps the most commercially beloved hip hop artist in Tanzania today. His music always seems to reflect the Bongo Flava unique to the East African country, with Caribbean sway and Afro-pop beats. Continue reading “Diamond Platnumz and Ne-Yo Find a Common Language in “Marry You””

Gabriel Teodros Brings Ethiopia to the Emerald City

Gabriel Teodros has been making socially conscious hip-hop music for nearly 20 years. The Ethiopian-American artist, based out of Seattle, Washington, he managed to infuse his Abyssinian heritage with the Pacific Northwest world around him. An early agent on the Northwest hip-hop scene, Teodros worked with and paved the way for other notable Seattle acts like Macklemore and Blue Scholars.

Major themes throughout Teodros’s discography have been immigration, progressive politics, black unity, self-exploration, and, on the production side, international collaboration and literary inspiration. Teodros has been cited pulling inspiration from prominent black diaspora figures and working with artists from New Zealand, Ethiopia, and opposite coast in D.C. Continue reading “Gabriel Teodros Brings Ethiopia to the Emerald City”

Vanessa Mdee Subverts Gender Norms Through Color in Her 2016 Hit, “Cash Madame”.

2016 was the year of Beyonce’s Lemonade, Rihanna’s ANTI, and the maturation of girl groups like Little Mix and Fifth Harmony. Black women dominated the charts, producing music and music videos that allowed them to express a range of emotions, from angry to heartbroken, while exuding a sense of power, confidence, and sex appeal. In the same year that black American female artists embraced these powerhouse roles, across the globe another black female artist took note.  Continue reading “Vanessa Mdee Subverts Gender Norms Through Color in Her 2016 Hit, “Cash Madame”.”

Diamond Platnumz and Mr Flavour Re-examine what Hip-Hop Looks Like in ‘Nana’

The opening credit reads, “Somewhere in Africa”, showing a well-groomed lawn, large home, or school presumably, and a classroom that could easily be transposed into American society. The clothing worn by the students is very heavily influenced by American culture, with large headphones, sports jackets, and elaborately jeweled outfits can be seen throughout. In fact, the first noticeably “African” element of the film is the accent heard from the first female speaker. There is a heavy emphasis on materialism in this video. From the gold watches and headphones, to the cars that Diamond Platnumz and Mont Flavour lean against in their solo shots, each character has a unique style that still manages to conform to a trans-Atlantic image of what hip-hop culture should embody. Continue reading “Diamond Platnumz and Mr Flavour Re-examine what Hip-Hop Looks Like in ‘Nana’”

Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha”

In their song, Stamina (ft. fellow Tanzanian rap artist, Professor Jay) exhibit heavy American influence in their hit song, Nawakilisha. Continue reading “Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha””