Who is DJ Big Dris?

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.

African-Americans, Africans, and Hip-Hop

In this podcast, two of the students in the Hip Hop in Africa course discuss African and African American communities. The students, one from Kenya, and the other from Nigeria, pose 3 questions: 1. What do you think causes the tension between Africans and African-Americans? 2. What role has hip-hop played in bridging that gap? 3. Why do male artists from both cultures seem to collaborate more than women?

Resources
Unah, Linus. “Not Everyone Is Happy With Nigeria’s Viral Version Of ‘This Is America’.” NPR 1 June 2018. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/01/615805868/a-nigerian-rappers-take-on-donald-glover-s-this-is-america

The World’s Largest Slums: Dharavi, Kibera, Khayelitsha & Neza. (2018, September 07). https://www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk/blog/2017/12/the-worlds-largest-slums-dharavi-kibera-khayelitsha-neza/

Clark, & Kibona, M. (2018, November 01). Feminisms in African Hip Hop. Retrieved from https://read.dukeupress.edu/meridians/article-abstract/17/2/383/136652/Feminisms-in-African-Hip-Hop?redirectedFrom=PDF

Borders: What are they good for? Senegalese and Gambian Hip Hop

In this episode two students discuss hip hop in The Gambia and in Senegal. The two discuss the unique situation of The Gambia and Senegal and how the imposition of a border across the wolof culture has affected the music scene there. In the podcast, three artists are discussed: Y’en a Marre, Bai Babu, and T Smallz. The podcast begins talking about language, then moves to discussing differences in politicization of hip hop across the Senegambian region, and then wraps up with a discussion of gender rolls. Also discussed is the unique, continuing role of griot families in modern music.

African Hip Hop and Mental Health

In this podcast Hip-Hop in Africa students discuss various aspects of mental health. They talk about African artists who have spoken out about their battles with depression. The students then engaged in a very honest and open discussion with hip hop ambassador, poet, and rapper Toni Blackman. She detailed bridging the gap between the privilege of mental health and hip hop culture. Toni Blackman expounds upon her own personal advocacies, projects, and efforts geared towards bridging the gap between the two worlds while using her platform as a international rapper.

Artists Mentioned:
Gigi Lamayne – https://soundcloud.com/gigi_lamayne
PatricKxxLee – https://soundcloud.com/patrickxxlee
Nthabi –  https://soundcloud.com/msnthabi
Toni Blackman website: https://www.toniblackmanpresents.com
Hip Hop meditation soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/missblackman1

Research – Hip hop and mental health – https://www.newframe.com/hip-hop-and-mental-health
Mental Illness: Invisible but devastating – https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2016-march-2017/mental-illness-invisible-devastating
Video: WTFIMH—What The Fuck Is Mental Health?
Song: https://youtu.be/6EkBXb1vaHU

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