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.

HHAP Episode 3: Xuman and Keyti on Hip Hop Culture in Senegal

This episode features an interview with Senegalese hip hop pioneers and activists Xuman and Keyti. Xuman and Keyti have been active in hip hop in Senegal for over 20 years. They now host a hip hop news show called Journal Rappé on YouTube. The episode featured on this podcast features the U.S. rapper M1.

Journal Rappé: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCImRGQL_sK7OHi1h823Nc0w

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This episode features an interview with Senegalese hip hop pioneers and activists Xuman and Keyti. Xuman and Keyti have been active in hip hop in Senegal for over 20 years. They now host a hip hop news show called Journal Rappé on YouTube. The episode featured on this podcast features the U.S. rapper M1.

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PBS

Positive Black Soul is known as one of the first rap and hip-hop groups in the country of the Senegal. Based in Dakar, Senegal, the group began as a collaboration between two members from the Didier Awadi’s Syndicate and King MCs. Didier Soutou Awadi and Doug E. Tee got to together to form the group Positive Blacks Soul known for their use of traditional Senegalese instruments, political rhyming, and mostly Wolof language. The two were originally rivals who competed against each other and were from different neighborhoods. The two eventually performed together instead of against one another, and it was at that moment they realized that they had a lot in common. Positive Black Soul got momentum after their performance at a music festival hosted by the Dakar French Cultural Center. They got noticed by French rapper MC Solaar. The group was asked to open up for him at his show in Dakar and throughout France. The group went on to put out their first album called Boul Fale, and their career took off from there. They received an opportunity to work with Senegalese musician Baaba Maal, which in turn got them a record deal with Mango Records, who Baaba Maal was signed with. The group continued on to gain international acclaim and had the opportunity to work with artists such as American rapper KRS-One, Red Hot organization, Res, Tony Allen, Ray Lema, Baaba Maal, and Archie Shepp.

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Black Noise

Hip hop crew Black Noise from the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South African is recognized as one of the crews that began Cape Towns ‘conscious’ hip hop scene. The other, the well known Prophets of Da City. Black Noise started out as a group of survivors from the breakdance era in South Africa. The members were all influenced by hip hop music in some way or another and they would often hang out with each other on the weekends. They eventually began doing performances at schools, malls, and carnivals. Most performances consisted only of breakdancing, but if there was equipment available they would do some beatboxing, Mcing, or rapping. The crew continued to grow and evolve from there. They’ve had members leave and join the group as time has gone on, and today the only remaining original member is Emile Jansen.

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Prophets of Da City’s “Never Again”: A Celebration, Motivation & Proclamation

 

Prophets of Da City (P.O.C.), is one of South Africa’s most influential, politically charged rap and hip hop collectives.  “Their sound [which] has been described by http://www.westnet.com as ‘a devastating mix of old-skool meets new school rhythms and enough tongue-twisting rhymes to keep your head in a spin” also speaks major insight into the social predicament of Blacks worldwide, igniting fire and giving hope to all that listen.

Speaking from the viewpoint of the South African experience of struggle and overcoming, Prophets of Da City (P.O.C.) in the song, “Never Again,” outline the ill shape Blacks find themselves in due to colonialism, imperialism, and all other -isms emblematic of . The motif of the song, “never again” is a declaration that toleration of any form of oppression will not take place from the streets of Soweto to the alleys of Detroit.

(Music Video of the Song “Never Again” by P.O.C.)

This song is about unity on all corners of the globe. It is “dedicated to those who are down with the revolution and all over the world where people are snoozing,” whether they be in Australia or Brazil. The artists never once divorce themselves nor their messages from the centrality of the Black experience on a global scale. The “Black race always at a slap face” is in a continuous, cyclical state of overcoming and becoming. The artists never cease to to take their micro experiences and expand them to a macro level. In doing so, they establish relevance in making it known that a singular struggle is quite actually a collective struggle. (“those that support the struggle locally/ I support your struggle globally…”) Lines such as “Africa rejoice, raise your fist, raise your voice…” make it clear that Africa is not limited to the continent, yet is inclusive of all people of African descent as well as those that identify with the collective struggle of oppression.

With the slight and clever implementation of the voice of Nelson Mandela atop lyricism, a deliberate and intentional attempt is made to provide a semblance of hope for those that may have wavered in their faith of its existence; and most importantly, in order to capture the notion that the walk may long, yet a victory is always on the horizon. This jubilant, up- beat song holds implications for Africans everywhere to wake up, stand tall, and never [again]  back down from facing the struggle because triumph is never too far off.  (Oh, “what a feeling to see a smile on the black face…throw your fist in the air!”)

“Never Again” is simultaneously a celebration, a motivation for continued fighting against the system of global oppression and, most of all, a proclamation that the people of Africa, whether they be on the continent or on the furthest corners of the planet, shall not  and will not tolerate a position on this Earth where the status “FREE” is not an option.

 

References

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/prophets-of-da-city-mn0000363945/biography

More than just a crew: Black Noise

Formed in 1988, Black Noise came to the scene when graffiti and break dancing were acceptable forms of expression, also known as art in their communities of South Africa. Black Noise is compromised of social and political activist by the names of Emile, Gavin, Ray, Angelo, and Dennis, all of whom have no problem with taking political stances throughout most, if not all of their music. Black Noise, immersed themselves in all aspects of hip-hop, such as break dancing. In 1997, Black Noise even took third place in the world break dancing competition located in Germany.

Black Noise crew released songs such as Pumping Loose Da Juice in 1992, Rebirth of mind and culture in 1995, and Black is back. “Black is black” brings the message of expressing oneself through various types of art, whether that be break dancing, singing, rapping, or graffiti. Black Noise is exceptionally good at telling stories throughout their songs. For an example in “Black is Black” they explain how the idea of hip-hop isn’t this new ideology, but has been around since the beginning of time in Africa, in forms that many people may have not depicted as “real” hip-hop.

” In everything we do, we have to question why” – Black Noise 1998

Black Noise also released a song titled “Questions” in 1998. This song in particular provides an extremely vital message to not only the people of South Africa, but to the world. Questions, shows the groups political stance by explaining the importance of asking questions about things that are affecting them and their community during the apartheid era. This song drew a lot of community support, however, South Africa is still facing overwhelming poverty and high crime rates.

A group created a few decades is still very relevant today throughout all of South Africa, as their social and political activism went beyond music, as they enriched their own communities through volunteer and out reach services.

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-XM06DYEhs
  2. http://wedoitfortheloveofmusic.com/audio-alert-black-noise-questions/
  3. http://www.citypages.com/music/the-top-15-african-hip-hop-tracks-6649213

Black Noise

black-noise1

Biography

Black Noise is an African hip-hop group that contains survivors of the breakdance era. The group initially started out performing specifically dances and then later branched out to MCing. Through their rhymes, Black Noise decided that they wanted to share meaningful verses that would be memorable and educational. In addition, they wanted to create crowd riveting and inspiring performances. The beginning of their journey occurred when one of the members wrote about AIDS. The expansion of the group’s success has resulted in the founding of a non-profit organization called Heal the Hood. This organization hosts various hip-hop events bring attention to the past culture of breakdancing and old throw downs.

This group was the first to combine their dance shows with MCing during that time because the breakdancing era focused specifically on the dance during shows. They initially struggled to get booked for gigs because they were new talent. However, as the group practiced and perfected their approach, they were able to get in contact with a managing performer. Even though they were able to get gigs, the group ultimately knew that there would be better off working as independent artists. The group continued to travel and perform around Cape Flats in Cape Town and other areas in South Africa.

Artist Review

From the second the song “Black Is Back” began, I immediately found myself feeling happy and nodding to the beat. The beat produces a light and jumpy sound that makes it impossible not to dance along. A woman begins singing and then the group members each take a turn sharing their voice. Each member of the group provides a unique artistic attribute that compliments one after another. Black Noise makes it hard to not like the song because in addition to a funky beat, message is focused on culture and black history. The combination makes you want to follow along and learn the lyrics. Although the song contains raps and singing in English, their accents cause you to focus in on the content of the song.

The music video is also enjoyable because there is a lot of reminiscent scenes of old school hip-hop. Their video contains the group engaging in activities that are relatable to the urban youth worldwide. Scenes of the members breakdancing, spray painting, and roller skating are all things that people can relate to or remembering experiencing in their lives. Most importantly, everyone is just having fun. The energy and good vibrations channeled from the artists makes you feel happy even if you aren’t a fan of the song because you can tell that their intent is to uplift and motivate their audience. The carefree video appears welcoming enough to join in the dance sessions and feel as though you are apart of the group yourself.

Keyti: Music Review

Keyti is a Senegalese rapper who rose to fame through the group Rap ‘Adio. He initiated his career by expressing his ideals as to what true hip hop and rap should be. He intended to take rap back to its roots, that of which were of a political and socially critical driven nature. Keyti has repeatedly expressed his love for language and how important he believes it is for a people’s to maintain it. Through language he has found a way to express himself and thereupon believes everyone else should do the same.

Keyti, much like very many other people, believes rap music is a politically inclined work of poetry. Although the majority of his serious music is delivered by the use of the Wolof language, his showcasing music performed on Journal Tele Rappe or Journal of Rap, which is played throughout Senegalese television broadcasts and You Tube channels, contains a mixture of French, Wolof and at times, some English verses.

In terms of the Journal Tele Rappe, Keyti delivers his verses with a sense of dry humor. The most obvious of which may be found within and episode in which President Obama takes the primary focus due to his visit to their country. Within the song the verses are passed off between various of his associates and from the very few English verses garnered in the production it became apparent that said verses were used to express their supposed admiration for the President and his country, and maybe even slight jabs in between.

In the art of rap, lays a thick layer of poetic homage. In which case it became apparent that Keyti’s poetic verses tend to clash with his actual rhymes. As a result, Keyti’s “Poetry in the Street,” which is posted on You Tube with a verse by verse English translation showcases Keyti’s excellence with word play and drive for rhyming.

The production showcases Keyti in a populated neighborhood voicing his hopes for his people and a better tomorrow. In summary of his message, the rapper voices his want for people to go after what they want, and not to sit around and wait for the changes to be made for themselves. They must in effect pursue change in order to achieve it. In concluding his ideas he acknowledges those who do in effect pursue change, and accomplish it if only for themselves. He then goes on to make a call to action directed at the youth. Stating that the must continue to pursue better lives, rather than sit around and wait for them. It is interesting to witness a rapper who acknowledges his people’s grievances and also manages to see that blaming and pointing fingers to an unjust system does absolutely nothing to change it. He expresses his thoughts clearly without seeming repetitive or belittling.

Rappe, JT. (2013 June 21). Journal Rappe EP9 avec Xuman et Keyti [Video File].

Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHevxCIF4d4#t=60

Wax, N. (2011 March 11). Keyti: Poetry in the Streets [Video File].

Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/7EG3Z1VhYhw

Keyti: Biography

Keyti is a hardcore rap artist who originates from Dakar, Senegal. He was born on December 22, 1972. His name of origin is Cheik Sene, and he delivers his verses in his native Wolof language. He initiated his career by joining a rap group named Rap’Adio. Keyti’s first intent when arriving into the music scene was to return hip hop back to its original state. That state of which he spoke was one in which Hip Hop is a politically driven force. The ideology for  which he credits had been discovered through listening to the American Rap group, Public Enemy. Within some time, the group began to face some ideological differences and went on to be disbanded; leaving Keyti to pursue a solo music career in search of voicing his own ideals without having to consult grouping peers.

In an interview published on NPR.org by Jake Warga, when pressed on his ideology, Keyti informs the listeners that He believes, “Rap is to speak. . .Rap helped a lot of us channel that anger into music.” and so Keyti’s values became much clearer. He went on to orate how much he values language and how much importance there is to a language. He expresses his pride, and the pride other people should have when using their language, but in the end, he also voices his discontent toward what he perceives to be having had his native language stolen and erased. Keyti then states that, “rap is to speak,” and speaking is poetry, the art of rhyming.

Within time, Keyti was admitted into the United Artists for African Rap. As an advocate, Keyti has managed to move his musical talents on to a broader spectrum. Keyti is a permanent fixture on a television broadcasted, and YouTube streamed show called Journal Tele Rappe. Within the short broadcast Keyti, alongside rapper Xuman, appear rapping global news, and topics of political disruption within society.

The show is primarily directed toward a younger audience. In Warga’s interview, Xuman states that the reason for which the music tends to be comedic and thereupon humorous is primarily due to the fact that they seek to attract young viewers. By attracting young viewers they seek to keep them informed and aware of what is happening around them and inspire them to take action. Their You Tube channel with the username of JT Rappe has alone garnered up to a little above 15,000 subscribers, who consist of a dominantly under 30 crowd.

Warga, J. (2015, January 15). Rapping the News in West Africa [Audio File].

Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2015/01/15/377527029/rapping-the-news-in-west-africa

Pee Froiss

Hailing Senegal as one of the most well known and established hip hop acts around, Pee Froiss started in 1993 and continue to play for an international audience. They rap in Wolof, French and English and address many political and religious issues. The group consists of Xuman, Kool Kocc 6, DJ Gee Bayss and have also named a female emcee to the crew named Sista Joyce. It doesnt appear that they have released anything since 2003 but the group may still be at it. From their myspace the group claim to speak of “moral guides for a disaffected youth torn between the traditions of their forefathers and the global currency of MTV and fast food. In a country where the politicians line their pockets while the poor go hungry, the messages that Pee Froiss deliver speak with an urgency that only a handful of rappers can muster.”

“No More” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTWq2veC2o
“Wala Wala Bokk” Ft Positive Black Soul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kocl5aQkAU
“Lara bi Laran” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKMzSmMZIlw
Live Performance http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x41v5x_live-pee-froiss-st-cyr-78-2002_music