This month we’re featuring a conversation with Ghanaian artist Wanlov the Kubolor. In the interview we talk about Wanlov the Kubolor’s experiences, his music, the controversies, and his evolution into Wanlov the Kubolor, the African Gypsy.
Wanlov the Kubolor is a smart, introspective artist who is very much aware of the social relevance of his music. He often makes social commentary, whether via his music or social media, and infuses that social commentary with humor. Wanlov’s humor (and he’s genuinely funny) often has fans laughing before realizing that there is a message in the madness. Wanlov has detractors, people who take issue with his music or behavior. But, agree or disagree with his views, Wanlov the Kubolor is not afraid of expressing himself in unconventional ways.
Wanlov’ the Kubolor’s music reflects his diverse background and experiences. It is difficult to put Wanlov the Kubolor into one category of music. He is an MC, but he also blends several different sounds and styles in his music. He’s a versatile artists who has crafted a career as a successful, internationally known artist.
His solo albums are Green Card, Yellow Card, Brown Card: African Gypsy, and Orange Card: Fruitopian Raps
Wanlov is also one half of the group Fokn Bois (his partner is M3nsa), which has released two films film Coz ov Moni and Coz ov Moni 2. They also released the soundtracks to Coz ov Moni and Coz ov Moni 2. The groups also released FOKN Wit Ewe and FOKN Ode to Ghana. Wanlov has also released several EPs.
We sat down with 2 groups of young hip hop artists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first interview includes Mukimala, Salma, & Catalyst. The second interview includes HIM, Victor the Traveler (who is a producer), & Sima. Both groups have different styles and approaches to hip hop culture. But both groups are among a new generation of Tanzanian MC’s rapping in English, instead of Swahili.
This is episode 12 of the podcast, and the fourth and last in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode features a conversation with Mathurin Soubéiga, Continue reading “HHAP Episode 12: Burkinabe Rap Dialogue”→
Dr. Seth Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Seth received his PhD in History from New York University. At Trinity College he teaches the courses Global Hip Hop Cultures and Introduction to Hip Hop. Much of his academic work has centered around Diaspora communities in Tanzania. His new book A Motorcycle on Hell Run: Tanzania, Black Power and the Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964-1974 is scheduled to be released this year with Michigan State University Press.
Gigi Lamayne is part of a recent growth of female MCs in South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, her strong vocal presence and lyrical style are unmistakably hip hop. She also presents a strong, confident feminist energy in hip hop’s hyper-masculine culture. A member of South Africa’s “born free” generation, Gigi Lamayne started MCing as a teenager. There has been a noticeable growth in her lyrics over the years, and Gigi Lamayne is now one of the most well known female MCs in South Africa.
Confrontations of sexism, patriarchy, domestic violence, and post-apartheid politics are themes throughout her music. In this conversation Gigi Lamayne talks about her music and influences, and her decision to address controversial, sensitive topics.
This episode features a conversation with two hip hop pioneers from Tanzania, KBC & Zavara (aka Rhymson) from the group Kwanza Unit. The conversation discusses the early days of hip hop in Tanzania, the influence of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania’s 1st President) on the social consciousness in Tanzanian hip hop, language and Kwanza Unit’s decision to begin performing in Swahili, the current state of hip hop in Tanzania, the relationship between artists and the national arts council and their policies around copyright and royalties.
This episode features a conversation with Kenyan hip hop artist Hustlajay Mau Mau. A conscious hip hop artists from Mombasa, Kenya who is part of an informal collective of conscious hip hop artists in East Africa. These artists, based in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya; in Kampala, Uganda; and in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, Tanzania continue to build on more than a decade of East African collaborations, forming grassroots organizing collectives and working on hip hop based initiatives that work with youth in those areas.
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.