Représentez Représentez

Growing up all around the French capital and hailing from all parts of francophone Africa, the Parisian hip-hop collective Sexion d’Assaut has proven that there is power in diversity. The variety of styles present in a given track mixed in with their individual lyrical collaborations combine to form a hypnotically rhythmic creation often imparting a good deal of knowledge as well. And in keeping with their powerful lyrical presence and melodious accompaniment, their track “Africain” does not disappoint. Continue reading “Représentez Représentez”

Young Paris

Based in New York City,  Milandou Badila aka Young Paris, is not only taking over the hip hop game but also branching out to other different genres. Paris has been acknowledged fo his incorporation of hip hop, trap, and African drumbeats along with electronic music.

Born to Congolese parents, Young Paris and his nine other siblings were all apart of a dance group in his earlier upbringing. Young Paris came into the industry not being afraid to be proud of where he is from. Along with his other siblings, they all pay tribute to their heritage by incorporating traditional dress and body paint and adding a modern day twist to it. Continue reading “Young Paris”

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”

NGRTD

Known by his stage name “Youssoupha”, Youssoupha Mabiki embodies the defining characteristics of progressive French rappers in his song Entourage. A captivating story of immigration, education, and social consciousness defines Youssoupha’s rise to prominence in a crowded French rap scene.

Youssoupha was born in Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1979 as the son of a Congolese musician and Senegalese mother. Similar to many adolescents in the francophone world, the family decided a western education was in order and sent Youssoupha to live with relatives along France’s Mediterranean coast. Youssoupha dedicated himself to his studies through graduate school, when he decided to dedicate his life to music. Continue reading “NGRTD”

Diaspora Rappers

Diaspora based artists like K’Naan, Blitz the Ambassador, M3nsa, Wale, and French Montana, and Tabi Bonney have been covered heavily in this blog. There are several other first and second generation African MCs around the world who have not been covered as much in this blog. As students in the Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa course this semester are discussing Diaspora based artists, here are some of the artists those students are looking at. In the coming week students will be putting up posts on these and other African MCs that are based outside of the continent. Continue reading “Diaspora Rappers”

Wale: Bringing Afrobeat To Mainstream Hip-Hop

Wale once kicked off a track rapping the line “allow me to introduce me, my name Wale don’t say Wally.” 11 years ago that was my introduction to him. As a new resident to the DMV area at that time the magnitude of what he represented to its denizens was lost on me. Only now 11 years later am I beginning to consider and comprehend a modicum of the magnitude that his identity as a Nigerian-American rapper meant not only to the American hip hop culture but also to the burgeoning hip-hop scenes across the continent of Africa and specifically to his homeland of  Nigeria.

Continue reading “Wale: Bringing Afrobeat To Mainstream Hip-Hop”

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival

The Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College in Hartford, CT is the 6th to the 8th of April. The festival celebrates all FIVE of the hip hop elements, and brings together artists & hip hop heads from all over the world.  See their event info on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/556633418027033

Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung

Trae Yung is a female rapper/mc who hails from Zimbabwe’s capital of Harare. This Female MC is not one to be reckon with. Her rap  is about everything,life issues such as the problems people face everyday. She doesn’t just rap about life problems but about love,street life,just life in general. Continue reading “Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung”

Keko in “I am Ugandan,” sheds a light on her intersectional identities

Keko is an artist that is that is not afraid to get real with her sexuality and nationality. She is known in Uganda for going against the hyper sexualized image cultivated by many American female rappers like Nicki Minaj etc. In this music video, she is not wearing tight clothing, but rather sneakers and jeans. Her “tomboy” dressing raises the assumption that she identifies as queer. Keko lives in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, but she does not seem afraid to stand up for herself. By her dress and expression, she sends the message that being gay is not just a “Western” thing. She is one of the few artists that embraces her intersectional identities. She sheds a spotlight on being queer and Ugandan in this music video. Continue reading “Keko in “I am Ugandan,” sheds a light on her intersectional identities”

Dakar’s Female MCs and the Power of the Cyp(her)

In a hip-hop scene as developed and competitive as Senegal’s, the cypher continues to act as a platform by which talented, young rappers make their debut. The fast-paced intensity of a hip-hop cypher is the perfect way for new artists on the scene to prove to their worth to the public. And in a society where women must give it their all to make an impression in the musical community, the cypher allows female MCs to show everyone that they are just as lyrically passionate and complex than their male counterparts— if not more. Continue reading “Dakar’s Female MCs and the Power of the Cyp(her)”