Born in Bakau in The Gambia in 1989, Jerreh Jallow, popularly called Jizzle D Lyrical Kiddo is a dancehall and rap artist. He majors in rap but occasionally sings dancehall. He sings in three West African languages namely Fula, Mandingo and Wolof. In his song Alagie he mixes English with one of the three languages mentioned before. Like bars like “She feeling the nigga mom muneh man ma koh deh joh lum buga / Hold up ma nigga mak yow bokunu level ma nigga / Am way up my nigga feeling so blessed no complaino ma nigga”. Continue reading “Jizzle D Lyrical Kiddo”
Say’hu is a Gambian American hip-hop recording artist from Charlotte, North Carolina. His music stresses the issues of capitalism, poverty, and war and is often loaded with witty metaphors and heart felt messages that everyone can relate to. With hip-hop being his musical root and most important source of inspiration, he says artist such as 2-pac, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Knaan & Fugees are key influences in his own pursuit of musical recognition. In his song “Summer Came Early” he talks about the corruption of his homeland and the truth about being truthful. “From the holy land where kings and queens reside / Politics and diamonds is the reason niggas die / The truth kills, being real is suicide.” He also represents his country by the way he dresses and with lines like “Pay some homage to the guru, out here reppin’ for the people /I do shit how I wanna, I ain’t looking for approval / This that black super hero, that African voodoo.” Continue reading “Young Fedora”
Sophia Byass is a rapper, dancehall singer, and songwriter from Gambia. She was born on March 26, 1993. She started music at a young age at a local church choir after graduating from senior secondary school. Her distinctive voice, captivating stage acts and vocal skills continue to earn her huge number of fans each time she takes to the stage. In her song her song Tell Me What she tackles the rap game. She hits you with quick bars and a lot of witty remarks some say she is the Gambian Nicki Minaj. In the first few seconds of the video she is shown sitting on a throne letting you know right away that she is the boss. Throughout the song there is hip hop feminism. She is wearing what she wants because she can cause like I said before she’s the boss. She men standing around her to reinforce that as well and she even has male backup singers. She has a line where she says “Checking another n!$$a a damn abomination” letting you know that she is not pressed over a person and doesn’t have time for that and you should not be either. Even in the chorus she says “Tell me what you want ima tell you what you need” she plays her rules and lets you know it and if you don’t agree she’s on to next. Which I think falls under the topic sexual identity because she knows who she is and what she wants. She is one of the few Gambian female artists who ventured into a virtually male dominated dancehall domain. Despite the stiff competition in the dancehall scene, she has managed to survive the heat and continues to conquer the country’s music scene. This has enabled her to become a household name in the country’s music industry in recent years.
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WlDY4PJ6no
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”
In Retsam’s, real name Jerreh Badjie, song power of freedom he expresses that the people of Gambia should have the rights stated in their constitution. He also demands Jammeh must go. When Badjie made the song, President Yahya Jammeh (some would call him their Dictator) was ruling the country with an iron fist – imprisoning critics and political opponents. Continue reading “Power of Freedom”
In his song They Say he talks about his haters and how they can not hold him back. He talks about how no matter what they say that he will always do it his way. In the music video you can see places around Gambia and the people there as well. The video is shot in multiple locations. You can see it is shot at the beach, a spot on a bridge and a local town. His style in the music video is a mix of American style and his own culture. Same with the people around. He is seen wearing a dashiki sometimes and then back to the American style. The people in the video are wearing more American style clothing. For the jewelry he keeps it lowkey and is not flashing all he has like in American hip hop videos today. He even shows the local newspaper in the music video. Also in the video he talks about problems in the community and the government and talks about how he has to remain the same and play his part. He even had a little narrative to his video and he showed him being kidnapped and being force to switch who he is but remains strong and doesn’t give in. Overall the music video is good and the message in it is good as well. He blends his style with American hip hop and does it seamlessly. Here is the video.
I decided to choose an artist whose name I did not hear much in the class. The title of Say’hu’s song, “Motherland” drew my attention because everybody has their own opinion as to what their motherland is or what the term means to them. To me, my motherland is where myself and my family originate from, Africa. Although I have never been there and the two generations before me were born here on American soil I still have this strong connection to Africa. America is not my native land, otherwise I’d be Native American. For Say’hu, Africa is also his motherland being that he was born there, lives there and is of African descent. He describes Africa as “land of the great pharaohs where the sun never leaves”. Say’hu sees Africa as a land of radiance and beauty, a place where royalty are from and people from all across come to capture his vision. However, Say’hu also mentions how certain immigrants to the land are ignorant to this view of Africa and think of it as a jungle whenever they hear her name.
Say’hu represents both his country and the diaspora because although there are people like him who are born and raised in Africa and recognize it as their motherland, you have the black diaspora, which includes myself, whom also consider Africa to be their motherland. Although many of us have never set foot on African soil, many of us do acknowledge that Africa is our country of origin, before migration and of course slavery changed all of that for the most part. Say’hu talks about how Africa needs a savior, as well. His people are dying and the leader’s priority is money, an idea that many of the black diaspora here in America can relate to. African Americans are dying at a rate much higher than other races but our government and our system is designed to ensure this happens and to profit off of it.
Overall I believe Say’hu gave an accurate respresentation of both Africa and of the diaspora by incorporating personal experience, quotations and by describing the two sides of Africa and also the different views people have of the motherland.
Baboucarr Joof aka Hot B SDF, one of the Gambia’s promising hip-hop rappers recently released his second album. After being discovered during a music festival held in the Senegalese city of Dakar, the rapper made his fame when he dropped his debut album, called “Love and Peace in the Gambia” in 2007. But unlike his previous album, the artist decided to release it on the internet in the form of a free download. In a recent chat with What’s on, HOT B as fondly called said he decided to release the free download online album because of the love he has for Hip-hop and ever-increasing fans. HOB B also has another upcoming album that he made after signing with an independent label. The album is called “Independent Squad” and will hit the streets very soon.