A.R.M. which stands for African Rebel Movement consists of none other than M.anifest hailing Ghana and now in Minnesota and Krukid who comes from Uganda and now lives in Las Vegas. One recent album is called Uprising and it definitely tries to create one although the uprising itself is not really described in too much detail or really promoted much in their rhymes. . Their lyrics are generally positive and relate to life on the streets, and the hip hop industry both in Africa and in America. A.R.M. looks to possibly be a more conscious politically oriented side project of well established artists, primarily in the case of M.anifest but their releases to date dont really convey the message of rebellion yet and seem to be out there to help the record sales uprising as much as the people’s uprising.
“Fear of the Mundane” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G35M25R8mcY&feature=related
“Heaven Only Knows” Ft Brother Ali http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkFtm5IBDfw
“Two Africans and a Jew” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1vyrUfRKUU&feature=related
“As We Enter” over Nas and Damien Marley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ic4zNLFUTg&feature=related
Mensa Ansah otherwise known as M3nsa, was born in Accra, Ghana and grew up along side his now common musical partner Wanlov the Kubalor. He worked with Reggie Rockstone early on in his carreer taking sounds from Hip life, Afro-beat and other styles to eventually carve his own place in the hip hop world. Much of his music his light hearted, often funny with dance beats and he has the ability to appeal to mass audiences. This is part of the reason he rising to become a global star, working and living throughout Europe and the United States. However he remains true to lives and situations of poor, working people in Ghana and around the world and this is shown in much of his music and especially on his album No. 1 Mango Street. He raps and sings in English and Pidgen and places a high emphasis on language and the use of it in his music. He also emphasizs the role of his audience in his music and remains ever grateful as can be seen in his song “Anaa.”
“No One Knows” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC2Ra2_3do0&feature=related
“Adjuma Work Hustle” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geWUQxMvqyc
“Broken Language” Ft Wanlov the Kubalor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUemB1KQWKY&feature=related
This is an article from GhanaMusic.com that talks about the album “Reggiestration” from the African hip hop artist Reggie Rockstone. Rockstone was born in Ghana but spent his early childhood in the United States. He returned to Ghana in the 1990’s and has been continuously living there developing the music style hiplife which infuses the African genre highlife with hip hop music. The album “Reggiestration” is a double album that includes remixes of some of Reggie Rockstone’s older songs as well as brand new tracks. There are many big artists featured on this album like 2face, Wyclef, Sena, D Black, and Trigmatic. The second track on the album is titled “Ah Jay” and has the essence of the African Highlife style, the chorus of the song is done in Twi. Songs from the album “Reggiestration” tell the history and roots of Africa as well as celebrate the high points of African culture and life. The album cover has a cocoa pod, which Rockstone said represents the harvest of all the hard work he has been doing.
The article Aesthetic of the Entrepreneur: Afro-Cosmopolitan Rap and Moral Circulation in Accra, Ghana written by Jesse Weaver Shipley on Anthropological Quarterly talks about Hiplife music in Accra, Ghana. Hiplife, according to Shipley, is a music genre in Ghana that “combines hip hop sampling, scratching and rap lyricism with older forms of highlife popular music, traditional storytelling (Anansesem), and formal proverbial oratory.” Hiplife, is one of the many examples of the hybridization of western hip hop with local culture to create a unique music genre. In this article, the author explores the lives and works of hiplife artists like Sidney and the Mobile Boys. He talks about the messages of Hiplife artists and how they portray public morality in their songs. This article can be found in the magazine Anthropological Quarterly, Volume 82, Number 3, Summer 2009, pp. 631-668 or can be accessed online by clicking the link below. One has to use CSULA NIS account to log in and read the article.
Born in Accra, Ghana to a Hungarian mother and Ghanaian father, Sena experienced a wide range of musical influences from a very young age. Her musical style is unique and appeals far beyond the typical reach of hip hop. Especially with her infusions of jazz, funk, traditional drums and all kinds of electronic sounds she appeals to the multiple layers of hip hop as well as its history. Singing, raping in multiple languages also shows her diversity and ability with songs like “Fists.” She draws attention to to the socially conscious and calls on all of us to open our eyes and awaken to the issues and struggles around us as well as the corruption of our leaders who claim false democracy in songs like “Politician.” She calls for unity in action against oppression and uses her ultra smooth jazz hip hop as well as her vocal and lyrical talents to do just that.
“New Morning” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gE7t_HhcKk&feature=related
From all over West and hailing Accra, Ghana Gibril, a.k.a. The Foreign Exchange Hustler’s mother is from Ghana and father is from Sierra Leone and has spent time throughout the West African coast, learning, traveling, performing in Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria to name a few and has also spent time in and around many European countries. He has taken the U.S. by storm, performing and staying in Chicago, New Jersey, New York and elsewhere to bridge the Atlantic from the West Coast of Africa to the East Coast of America. His multi-national and multi-cultural heritage and lifestyle are reflected in his latest album “Diplomatic Passport” and the song sharing the same title, “Passport.” He brings a hard-hitting style that comes from his exposure to Civil War and constant poverty stricken bloodshed from childhood on. From his myspace page you can listen to his song “All I Know” and get a taste of his life. His international acclaim took off when he collaborated with M1 from Dead Prez in the song “Streets of Africa” which is an amazing tune that shows not only the true nature of violence in Africa and the income gap between the few wealthy and the mass poor but also with the help of the prophetic and wise M1 from Dead Prez showing how this same expanding gap between the rich and poor breeds the constant violence in the streets of America.
“Streets of Africa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSNT9HaYzi4&feature=related
“All I Know” on his myspace http://www.myspace.com/gibrildaafrican