HHAP Episode 13: Tanzanian Hip Hop Artists on English Rap in Tanzania

We sat down with 2 groups of young hip hop artists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first interview includes Mukimala, Salma, & Catalyst. The second interview includes HIM, Victor the Traveler (who is a producer), & Sima. Both groups have completely different styles and approaches to hip hop culture. But both groups are among a new generation of Tanzanian MC’s rapping in English, instead of Swahili.

The goal of the interviews was to have a conversation about language an hip hop in Tanzania. There are so many views on the language debate, but hip hop artists in Africa have been debating it since hip hop first began being performed in Africa. Tanzania has been known for its Swahili hip hop, but there is an increasing number of young artists who feel better equipped to perform primarily in English.

The conversations also touched on a few interesting topics, including consciousness in hip hop, self censorship, gender, the use of the N word, and thoughts on the African Diaspora.

There are two warnings for listeners: 1. There is some profanity in both the interviews and artists’ songs. In addition, There are some sound issues in the second interview. We’re trying out new equipment so bear with us.

Podcast time stamps

00:00 Episode intro
10:00 Muki & Salma “How You Feel?”
11:50 Catalyst “Drowning”
12:31 Interview with Salma, Muki, & Catalyst
37:30 Interview conclusion and introduction of the next interview
40:05 Brian Simba “Mambo Mbezi”
41:52 HIM “Soul Truthful”
43:53 Sima “Pawn Dreams”
46:06 interview with HIM, Sima, & Victor
1:06:07 Interview conclusion and episode outro message
1:08:32 Mukimala& Sima “Inspiration”

Artist information

@TemaYaiNation (the collective of English speaking artists) on Twitter and SoundCloud

Salma is @naitwasalma on Twitter and SoundCloud

Muki Mukimala is on SoundCloud

Catalyst is on SoundCloud

H.I.M. in on SoundCloud

Victor the Traveler is on Twitter as @VictorZtraveler

Sima is on SoundCloud

Brian Simba is on SoundCloud (on the SoundCloud page there is information on how to download his mixtape Masaki Theory).

HHAP Episode 12: Burkinabe Rap Dialogue

This is episode 12 of the podcast, and the fourth and last in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode features a conversation with Mathurin Soubéiga, who does booking and promotion at Shrine World Music Venue in New York. He is also the former Coordinator of the Waga Hip Hop Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Soubéiga also runs the Burkina Rap Connection blog

The Waga Hip Hop Festival has a history of being an epicenter of West African, especially Francophone, hip hop. The festival had a strong reputation for promoting serious hip hop. In this conversation we discuss hip hop and Burkina Faso and the legacy of the Waga Festival.

In Ouagadougou, where the festival began and was held, the hip hop community has produced some serious & conscious hip hop artists. Smockey, one of the activists in the Le Balai Citoyen (Citizen’s Broom) movement that helped to overthrow Burkina Faso’s previous president, is also a pioneer in Burkinabe rap.

The intro and outdo song is “Insoumission” by Burkina emcee Smockey: https://youtu.be/e89IvPAq8Zc 

In 2011, Nomadic Wax released a 17 minute documentary titled Hip Hop Burkinabé, and it can be found on YouTube

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf0OUz6LDEo%5D

In 2016, Aj Jazeera published an article on the involvement of the artists in the Le Balai Citoyen movement titled “The soundtrack to Burkina Faso’s revolution”

Text on hip hop in Burkina Faso include:

Marie-Soleil Frère and Pierre Englebert. “Briefing: Burkina Faso—the Fall of Blaise Compaoré” in African Affairs (2015).
Daniel Künzler and U Reuster-Jahn. “Mr. President”: musical open letters as political commentary in Africa” in Africa Today (2012).
Daniel Künzler. “Rapping Against the Lack of Change: Rap music in Mali and Burkina Faso” in the book Native Tongues: An African Hip-Hop Reader (2011) edited by P. Khalil. Saucier.

HHAP Episode 11: Bavubuka Foundation and Indigenous Hip Hop in Africa

This is episode 11 of the podcast, and the third in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017.

This episode is a conversation with Babaluku and Gilbert from Bavubuka Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. Babaluku is a founding member of the Uganda hip hop group Bataka Squad, and has been involved in the hip hop community in Uganda since the early years. Gilbert, the hip hop archivist, is a photographer who has been archiving hip hop culture in Africa for several years. Through the Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku and Gilbert, have built a large hip hop network and community in Uganda and east & central Africa. Their yearly B-Global Indigenous Hip Hop Gathering* happens at the end of December and brings in Macs from all over East and Central Africa

*The name of the gathering is quoted wrongly in the podcast

To get in touch with Bavubuka on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bavubuka/

Contents

4:51 Bavubuka’s work with the youth

19:52 Minutes in impact of Invisible Children and other NGOs on their work & distortions of African stories.

30:08 African linkages

35:17 Gilbert

38:45 indigenous hip hop

50:15 Get in touch

56:02 “Traveling Man” by Babaluku

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