The world is finally taking notice of Idris Elba’s passion for music. As a man of many talents, many have recognized him as an actor, producer and director. His other long-time interests in DJing and rapping are finally getting recognition even though he has been consistent since he was just a boy. Idrissa Akuna Elba was born in London to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother. His father taught him how to speak Krio growing up. In his teenage years, a 14-year-old Elba began helping his uncle with a wedding DJ business. This start soon transformed into him starting his own DJ company. At this time, Elba would perform as DJ Big Driis in nightclubs. He was also known as Big Driis the Londoner. Elba has one album, four EPs and one mixtape. His features on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Dance Off” and the remix of Wiley, Stefflon Don & Sean Paul’s “Boasty” have both charted within the top 20 on the charts, with the later having over 30 million views on YouTube.
Imagine living in a world where one of the most precious resources is tainted and is poisoning your community. For some people, this idea is
The avant-garde city of Berlin is not a place usually associated with Africa. Empires such as the French and British are more commonly connected to
It’s been 15 years since Blitz the Ambassador released his first record, Soul Rebel. Since then he has gone on to produce 7 additional albums, start his own independent label (Embassy MVMT), produce 2 short films, and produced the feature film The Burial of Kojo, which was released on Netflix on the 31st of March, with Ava DuVernay and ARRAY.
This interview took place after he screened his film at the New African Film Festival this past March in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was great to sit down again with Blitz, 12 years after I first interviewed him for allAfrica.com in May 2007. Then, he was among the first generation of African MCs making their presence known on the underground scene in the US. In that interview we spoke about how Pan African his music was, and how lyrically, he blended elements of African and the Diaspora. His music has evolved into a showcase of African and Diaspora influences, including collaborations with artists from across Africa and the Diaspora.
In this interview we again spoke about the Pan African perspectives and sounds that continue to be present in his music. Blitz attributes much of his outlook to his upbringing, the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah’s ideologies, and his experiences in the Pan African Studies Department at Kent State University.
Blitz the Ambassador also talks about his experiences with the entertainment industry in the U.S., and how he has managed to maintain creative control over his music and film projects. In this sense, Blitz the Ambassador is vigilant about the integrity of his work, acknowledging the importance of representation, and of creating your own narratives.
The two songs featured in the episode, “Hello Africa” and “Internationally Known”, as well as all of Blitz the Ambassador’s music, can be purchased here: https://blitzambassador.bandcamp.com
Blitz on social media Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlitzAmbassador/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/blitzambassador/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlitzAmbassador
In her latest single, “Heavy Load”, Eno Barony advocates for body positivity and fights fatphobia. The heavily anticipated track was made by twin producers, B2.
Reggie Rockstone is one of the pioneers of hiplife in Ghana. In this conversation, he discusses how as a Pan Africanist, his perspective influenced his participation in hip hop culture in Ghana. He talks about the importance of popularizing the use of African languages through music, and how he helped to popularize the use of Twi in Ghanaian hiplife and hip hop. He discusses the importance of African languages in reaffirming pride, breaking colonial mentalities, and bridging class divides. Reggie Rockstone also talks about his own Pan Africanist upbringing, and the impact of his Diaspora experiences, as well as those of his father and African American mother.
The episode begins with Reggie Rockstone’s song “Proactive” and ends with his song “Woso”, both on his 2010 album Reggiestration, which is available on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reggiestration/412457159.