HHAP EPISODE 55: HIP HOP PALAVER, V.2

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. It is a collaboration between the HHA Podcast and the Global Hip Hop Exchange (GHHE), which is an online network/community of hip hop creatives who are primarily from, or based in, Africa.

This is our second hip-hop palaver, with hip-hop creatives from around the continent. This time we continued the reflection on the COVID19 from the perspective of parenting. We also discussed hip-hop collaborations. Some that we had been a part of, and some that we are currently working on.

The discussion included members of the Global Hip Hop Exchange, all of whom have been involved in hip hop culture in their respective countries for several years:

2. Hustlajay Mau Mau/@Jay_maumau| Hustlajay MauMau is a socially conscious MC from Mombasa, Kenya. He raps mostly in Swahili, and has made a name for himself by not only rapping about social issues, but also getting involved in social and political issues in Kenya. He is currently based in Austria. The opening and closing song, Sign of Hope, is one of his new releases. | YouTube Channel

2. Fete Jen/@Fete_Jen | hip hop organizer & founder of The Lounge (open mic event) and producer of the upcoming mixtape | from the U.S., previously based in Tanzania, currently based in Pretoria.

3. Mikko of Planet Earth Planet Rap/@PEPRRadio | Mikko is one of the founders of Planet Earth Planet Rap, which is a segment on Chuck D’s #AndYouDontStop radio show. They play, talk about and celebrate international Hip-Hop from all continents. | PEPR can be accessed 24/7 at https://rapstation.com

4. Msia/@Kibona | HHA host & hip hop professor, photographer, & author | from Tanzania, based in the Washington, DC area | Website: https://msiakibonaclark.com

HHAP: Episode 54: A conversation with MC Jahi from Enemy Radio

The HHAP’s conversation with Jahi from Enemy Radio.

This episode features MC Jahi, who is a member of Enemy Radio with Chuck D, DJ Lord & S1W’s. He is also an MC, a DJ and an educator. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jahi launched his professional career in 1999 as the opening artist for a show that was headlined by Public Enemy at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Soon after, he connected with Chuck D and has since worked with him on several projects. Jahi is also an educator, who has worked in K-12, university, and community classroom settings.

In this interview we spoke about his life leading up to his 1999 performance, and the work he has done since then, including his recent album Forward Future. He recently traveled to Ghana, and is planning to expand his collaborations in Africa. As an artist whose perspective is grounded in hip hop as a Pan African expression, as a platform for Pan African dialogue, we wanted to expand the conversations we typically have on this podcast. There is definitely a desire to highlight and support further connections between African and Diaspora artists.

For more information about his music, please check out his link tree. Jahi is also on Instagram and Twitter

HHAP EPISODE 53: Hip Hop Palaver, v.1

This is a special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast. It is a collaboration between the HHA Podcast and the Global Hip Hop Exchange (GHHE), which is an online network/community of hip hop creatives who are primarily from, or based in, Africa.

In the first discussion, or palaver, several hip hop creatives from around the continent came together to talk about the impacts of the Corona virus on our lives, personally and creatively. The discussion also centered on income security for artists, how artists are finding ways to get through these difficult times, and how folks are feeding their creativity.

The discussion included members of the GHHE, all of whom have been involved in hip hop culture in their respective countries for several years. The roster of this, the first of what will hopefully be several, palaver is:

Dumi Right/@DumiRight | MC & Member of the veteran rap group Zimbabwe Legit | from Zimbabwe, based in the Washington, DC area | Bandcamp: https://phmusic.bandcamp.com
Fete Jen/@Fete_Jen | hip hop organizer & founder of The Lounge (open mic event) and producer of the upcoming mixtape | from the U.S., previously based in Tanzania, currently based in Pretoria.
Lebo Mochudi/@LeboMochudi | MC, singer, & producer | from South Africa, based in Johannesburg | YouTube: https://youtu.be/hzJUY8SJhaw
Msia/@Kibona | HHA host & hip hop professor, photographer, & author | from Tanzania, based in the Washington, DC area | Website: https://msiakibonaclark.com
Synik/@SynikZim | MC & producer | from Zimbabwe, based in Lisbon | Bandcamp: https://synikzim.bandcamp.com
Teck-Zilla/@TeckZilla108| DJ, Producer, & Member of hip hop crew Str8 Buttah | from Nigeria, previously based on Montreal, currently based in Lagos | Bandcamp: https://str8buttah.bandcamp.com

HHAP Episode 52: Medusa, Navigating Hip Hop in Tunisia & France

Medusa is a Tunisian artist who emerged as an MC in Tunisia’s hip hop community around the time of the Arab Spring of the 2010s. Her career as an MC has followed an interesting path, as she often found herself in the role of “conscious MC”, being one of the few women in the Tunisian hip hop community and speaking out on important social issues.

In this interview she talks about hip hop under the Arab Spring. While many talk about the role of artists in the Arab Spring, Medusa talks about the impacts of the Arab Spring on hip hop culture. She says the Arab Spring encouraged youth engagement, and that post revolution, many youth have moved into more commercial rap sounds.

She has since moved to France, where she talks about her experience in the Parisian hip hop scene and her work with a new team of creatives. We met up with Medusa during a 2019 self-funded trip to the U.S. Medusa made to promote her work and establish contacts. 

During her trip, she visited the class of American University professor and hip hop scholar, Dr. Kendra Salois. Our interview took place after her guest lecture in Dr. Salois’ class.

Medusa is on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, BandCamp, and SoundCloud.

HHAP Episode 51: Roma Mkatoliki, Challenging Hip Hop Activism in Tanzania

In this episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast, we interview Tanzanian hip hop artist and activist Roma Mkatoliki about his more than a decade long career as a hip hop activist.

Roma Mkatoliki has always been known for producing music that addresses social and political issues, beginning with his first single “Tanzania“, which he released in 2007. The song was highlighted in the 2012 scholarly article Hip Hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam.

In April 2017, Roma and some of his colleagues disappeared for 3 days. This incident has put Roma at direct odds with the government. More recently, in November 2019, Roma released the single “Anaitwa Roma”, which was a direct criticism of government policies.

Roma has been a source of division in Tanzania’s hip hop community. There have been a lot of debates about who Roma is, and why he continues to be so vocal. His actions have shined a bright light on other artists who have also identified as being socially conscious. Many have chosen to criticize, or distance themselves from Roma. Some of this may be to avoid scrutiny over why they themselves have not been more vocal or active. Some artists may disagree with Roma’s views, and have criticized his methods and intentions. And, some artists may support Roma, but may not have been publicly vocal in that support.

Roma Mkatoliki’s talk with students from Howard University and George Washington University in our Hip Hop in Africa class

In this interview, however, it was clear that Roma Mkatoliki believes that he is doing the right thing. Our decision to interview Roma is not an endorsement of any one side. And, we are not able independently verify all of the information Roma provides during this interview. But, we feel it is important to have these conversations on diverse platforms. As a hip hop artists who is engaged in social and political commentary, it is important that Roma’s voice be heard on this platform.

The interview is done in both Swahili and English. I have attempted to summarize Roma’s responses in English, though he switches between Swahili and English in his responses.

The song that opens and closes the episode is Mkombozi, which was released in January 2020. This link takes you to the version of the song with the English subtitles.

Roma’s social media profiles are on

HHAP Episode 50: The Mixtape Episode P. 2

This episode is our second mixtape episode. The episode features the most recent works of 23 of Africa’s fiercest lyricists. All of songs featured on this episode were released in 2018 and 2019, and features women from across Africa, and African women who reside in the Diaspora. Some of the artists are fairly well known to followers of African hip hop scenes, while others are more up & coming. Some of the artists, like Burni Aman, EJ von Lyrik, and Jean Grae have been active for two decades. Others are new to the game, and quickly making a name for themselves. They also are diverse in their styles and the languages they rap in. The artists also differ in terms of content, some of the songs offer social commentary, some are displays of braggadicio, and some are simply about having a great time. The common thread is that they all represent some of the best lyricists out today.

It was important that all of the artists and songs in this episode be submitted and voted on by serious hip hop heads, people who are active in hip hop communities. So, thank you to the hip hop heads and experts who contributed to making this mixtape possible:

Mikko from Planet Earth Planet Rap
Ikenna aka Bionic from Rap Radio Africa
Seth Markle, Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival at Trinity College in the United States
Nimoh from Sauti Za Mabinti
Buddha Blaze, podcaster & talent manager
Xuman, Senegalese hip hop legend, pioneer, and avtivist
Elom 20ce, Togolese hip hop artists and activist and founder of Arctivism

Track List

Sampa The Great “Final Form” from The Return (2019) (Australia/Zambia)
EJ von Lyrik (with Roufaida) “Ego” (2019) (South Africa & The Netherlands /Morocco)
Burni Aman & Jean Grae “Masters of the Humanverse” (2019) (Switzerland/South Africa & U.S./South Africa)
Little Simz “101 FM” from Grey Area (2018) (UK/Nigeria)
Isatta Sheriff “Beat Therapy Freestyle” (2019) (UK/Sierra Leone)
Blaise “Hennessy Cypher” (2019) (Nigeria)
L-Ness “Freestyle ‘Peers w/Bars’” (Kenya)
Rouge “Rouge Freestyle on Sway” (2019) (South Africa/DRC)
Xtatic “Reignition” from Tatu EP (2019) (Kenya)
Abena Rockstar “Politically Incorrect” from Harvest Season (2019) (Ghana)
Eva Alordiah “Solo Life” (2019) (Nigeria)
Phlow “Hiphop” (2019) (Nigeria)
Lauretta Yemoja “Inferno” (2019) (Nigeria)
Moonaya “Il est temps” (2018) (Senegal)
Mina la Voilée “Girl Power” (2019) (Senegal)
Sista LB “Ji gën – Ladieme” (2019) (Senegal)
OMG “Lu Ci Sa Yoon” (2019) (Senegal)
Flash Marley (with Vicky R) “La Madre” (2019) (Togo)
Assessa “Izangoma” from Ugogo Ep (2018) (South Africa)
Kanyi Mavi “Umsindo” (2019) (South Africa)
Gigi Lamayne “Winnie” from Job Woods (2019) (South Africa)
Yugen Blakrok “Carbon Form” (2018) (South Africa)

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