Posted in Africa, BBoys, CFP, Diaspora, DJs, Events, Female Emcees, Films, graffiti, Press Release

2018 Trinity Hip Hop Festival

The call for submissions from performers and presenters at the 13th annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival will be held April 6-8, 2018. The yearly festival brings together artists, organizers, & scholars from around the world for 3 days of workshops, performances, battles, lectures, film showings, and networking. Submissions are due by 17th of November, 2017.For more information check out the festival site: http://trinityhiphop.com/call-for-submissions-2018-festival/

Posted in DJs, Hip Hop African Article, Nigeria, Student Projects

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.

Posted in Diaspora, DJs, 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.