A Fulfilling Festival

This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Trinity College’s International Hip Hop Festival. I visited the festival with a couple of classmates and my teacher, and it was an experience that I’ll never forget. Continue reading “A Fulfilling Festival”

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Video p.1

Nigeria’s Modern Day Musical Renaissance

With widespread popularity of music artists from Nigeria to other countries it is no surprise that Nigerian’s music scene is experiencing a rebirth in it’s own right. A musical renaissance of sort.

Popular artists such as Wizkid, Patoranking, Tekno and alike blend a range of different elements to create a type of cross over music that can appease any crowd and is versatile in nature. This blend includes pop and traditional african instruments coupled with hip hop flare. This type of music has been dubbed a modern day take on “Afrobeats.”

Two videos are linked in this post. The first is Nigerian rapper Boogey freestyling to Wizkid’s “Ojuelegba.” The second video is of Wizkid’s original track of the song.

Both have different styles entirely. Boogey in true emcee form is freestyling. One of the most striking things about his video is that he is simply rapping in the entirety of the video. Boogey isn’t worried about melodies or pop appeal. Furthermore,  you can trace his rhymes by the story he tells like a modern day African griot. He also touches on his skills as a lyricist and how he can enlighten us to, “a main verse, one that [we] have never heard.”

In comparison, Wizkid’s song “Ojuelegba” lyrics shed light through his struggle of working hard and giving thanks to God always. With careful inspection I found the lyrics interesting due to the fact that I’ve listen to this song many times never knowing the message of the song. The song’s upbeat tempo and melodies contrasts with the seriousness of the message of the song. In the song he covers tough topics such as people in Nigeria suffering yet still having such tremendous faith in God and praying for blessings.

Although some may argue that this modern day “Afrobeats” genre is susceptible to sponsorship and turning into a commercialized entity, it is important to note the vast benefits this could have for African countries such as Nigeria. This genre can be used as a stepping stone, bridging western and African culture. With this bridge more interest in African music will lead to a pathway of understanding and tolerance for a more globalized and interconnected world.

It is crucial however, that these artists remain true to their musical messages and do not fall prey to capitalistic nature of the music industry. African artist can use their music to advance compelling messages that will invoke social change. They can use this modern Afrobeats genre as worldwide platform to reach many with whatever message they choose. In the end it is up to these artist as to which message they will send across the world to their millions of listeners. We will be waiting and listening.

DJ Lesson w/the Legendary DJ Ready D

This video was taken in July 2016 at a taping of the Ready D show in Cape Town, South Africa. Ready D is a legendary DJ in South Africa and was a member of the pioneering rap group Prophets of Da City. In the video Ready D provides a lesson in the different hip hop DJ styles.

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 12 DJ @ the 2013 Swahili Hip Hop Summit

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 12 – DJ @ the 2013 Swahili Hip Hop Summit. About a week after I landed in Dar I attended the Swahili Hip Hop Summit. There was a great blend of hip hop elements, including the element of knowledge. Wachata Crew was there doing graffiti, SUA was there doing their thing, a lot of emcees blessed the mic, and there was a lot of knowledge being spread.

*30 days of TZ hip hop is to show some of what I experienced the past year in Tanzania.

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 7 DJ Texas, DJ Kahlil, & DJ PQ

30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 7 –DJ Texas, DJ Kaka Kahlil (Puerto Rico), and DJ PQ at a special hip hop DJ showcase at the New Msasani Club.

DJs Sm

It’s not just the emcees! The hip hop DJs in TZ can spread powerful messages just with the music they choose to spin. Kahlil and Texas reach into the (digital) crates and really hit us with history, and take us on a journey through hip hop’s voice in the US, Tanzania, and other places. I have so much respect for the cats when they get behind the turntables!

*30 days of TZ hip hop is to show some of what I experienced the past year in Tanzania.