A Lyrical Lecturer: Nash MC

Hailing from Dar es Salaam, Nash MC is a very thoughtful artist, who is concerned with inciting change with his music, and teaching the youth. Nash Mc is a self-proclaimed “Maalim”, or a teacher. In the song “Naandika”, Nash MC educates listeners and helps create a sense of self-awareness. In the very first line of the first verse, Nash MC raps, “Naandika kuhusu utukufu wa Mungu wangu, anayeniongoka kwenye haya maisha yangu / I am writing about the glory of my God, who leads me in this life”. The rapper makes his faith in God clear, and tells listeners that God leads him. I’m sure many listeners can relate to this, but this line has the potential to expand people’s perspectives. Nash MC describes his relationship with God in such an eloquent way, which can comfort and welcome listeners. This is an effective way to begin his verse, but the topic of the song quickly shifts.

“Naandika” focuses on Nash MC’s writing process, and the things that inspire him to make music. He talks about the daily wars, and how children and women are slaughtered, with no regard or respect for their lives. He talks about the water taxes, that the people cannot afford. Nash MC raps about his country, and he speaks of what he sees.

He states, “Naandika kuhusu uozo wa serikali unaoturudisha kwenye zama za ubepari wachache ndio wenye mali wananchi hamtujali / I am writing about the government’s regeneration that brings us back to a new era of capitalism and the people of the country do not care about us”.

Nash MC cannot ignore the things going on in his country, and he cannot separate his artistry from his daily experiences in Tanzania. His experiences and background have informed his music, and his music typically has a political message. Although the rapper may not dwell on the topics that he brings up, his point of view is clear. There is a subtext beneath his words, and I feel that the rapper wants better for the people of Tanzania. This is why he shares information with the public, and tries to advocate through his artistry.

Toward the end of the song, Nash MC raps about the use of Swahili, and how important it is. He holds his language to a very high standard, and he feels that it should be respected. He raps, “Naandika kuhusu matumizi ya Kiswahili. Kwenye fani ya ushairi, chanini kingereza jiulize tumia akili, fikra sahihi huja kwa lugha asili / I am writing about the use of Swahili. In the poetry field, the essence allows you to ask for intelligence, correct thinking comes in original languages”. Nash MC is confident in the language of his country, and he is aiming to uplift the people.

“Naandika” is a very honest song, that tackles the main issues that Nash MC sees in Tanzania, the things that inspire him, and what he believes in. This song is a form of metacognition, in which Nash MC is thinking about the things he typically thinks about. These thoughts translate to raps, and they are what inspire Nash MC to create music.

Here is a link to the song:

 

 

 

Diamond Platnumz and Mr Flavour Re-examine what Hip-Hop Looks Like in ‘Nana’

The opening credit reads, “Somewhere in Africa”, showing a well-groomed lawn, large home, or school presumably, and a classroom that could easily be transposed into American society. The clothing worn by the students is very heavily influenced by American culture, with large headphones, sports jackets, and elaborately jeweled outfits can be seen throughout. In fact, the first noticeably “African” element of the film is the accent heard from the first female speaker. There is a heavy emphasis on materialism in this video. From the gold watches and headphones, to the cars that Diamond Platnumz and Mont Flavour lean against in their solo shots, each character has a unique style that still manages to conform to a trans-Atlantic image of what hip-hop culture should embody. Continue reading “Diamond Platnumz and Mr Flavour Re-examine what Hip-Hop Looks Like in ‘Nana’”

Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha”

In their song, Stamina (ft. fellow Tanzanian rap artist, Professor Jay) exhibit heavy American influence in their hit song, Nawakilisha. Continue reading “Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha””

We’ll Never Die – How Music Transcends Global Boundaries

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In many Tanzanian countries, MC’s typically rap in Swahili. Recently, there have been several artists that feel more comfortable rapping and expressing themselves in English. In Dar es Salaam, Simalike Musika is one of the MC’s who prefers to rap in English. Continue reading “We’ll Never Die – How Music Transcends Global Boundaries”

HHAP Episode 14: African (Women) MCs & Hip Hop Lyricists

This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists’ social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided.

Track List

Moona (Senegal) “Revolution” |https://www.facebook.com/moonamusic/ | https://www.reverbnation.com/moona
OMG & Mamy Victory (Senegal) “OK” | https://www.facebook.com/omgmamyvictory/ | https://soundcloud.com/djpolthescratcheer
Eve Crazy (Senegal) “Alandouti Freestyle” | https://www.facebook.com/EVECRAZYY | https://www.reverbnation.com/evecrazy
Abena Rockstar (Ghana) “Abena” | https://www.facebook.com/AbenaRockstar/  | https://twitter.com/AbenaRockstar | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/abena-rockstar/id948100755 | https://www.reverbnation.com/abenarockztar
EyiRap (Ghana) “Beast in the City” | https://www.facebook.com/EyiRap/ | https://twitter.com/eyirap
Pryse (Nigeria) “Na Still Woman” | https://www.facebook.com/itspryse/ | https://twitter.com/itspryse  | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/pryse/id470236867
Stosh (Tanzania) “Supa Madini” | https://www.facebook.com/fellie.stosh | https://twitter.com/stosh_fellie
Tifa (Tanzania) “Emergency” | https://www.facebook.com/HIPHODIVA | https://twitter.com/TifaFlowz
Xtatic (Kenya) and Devour Ke Lenyora (South Africa) “BIGH” | https://www.facebook.com/OfficialXtatic/  & https://www.facebook.com/Devour-Ke-Lenyora-203940089617127/ | https://twitter.com/DevourKeLenyora
Enigma (Botswana) “Hard on Flow” | https://www.facebook.com/EnigmaTsiakoBW | https://twitter.com/267enigma | https://www.reverbnation.com/enigmabw
DJ Naida (Zimbabwe) “Zvakasara” | https://www.facebook.com/DjNaida00/ | https://twitter.com/DJ_Naida | https://www.reverbnation.com/djnaida
Gigi Lamayne (South Africa) “Gigi the Great” | https://www.facebook.com/Queen.Gigi.LaMayne/ | https://twitter.com/Gigi_Lamayne | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/gigi-lamayne/id925662382
Yugen Blakrok (South Africa) “Beastleague”| https://www.facebook.com/YugenBlakrok/ | https://twitter.com/YugenBlakrok | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/yugen-blakrok/id814084117
Kanyi Mavi (South Africa) “Ingoma” | https://www.facebook.com/kanyimavi/ | https://twitter.com/Kanyi_Mavi | https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/kanyi/id535359468

This episode features the music of several MCs from across Africa. We depart from the interview format and bring you music from some of our favorite (women) MCs. This is essentially a mixtape of diverse female voices in African hip hop. These MCs live in different countries, seek different languages, and speak on diverse topics. In each of these songs, the artists performing deliver strong, hard hitting lyrics that are both classic hip hop and representative of African styles of hip hop. See the artists’ social media pages for more information. Additionally, some of the artists have their work on iTunes. Those links are provided.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 14: African (Women) MCs & Hip Hop Lyricists”

HHAP Episode 13: Tanzanian Hip Hop Artists on English Rap in Tanzania

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 completely 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.

The goal of the interviews was to have a conversation about language an hip hop in Tanzania. There are so many views on the language debate, but hip hop artists in Africa have been debating it since hip hop first began being performed in Africa. Tanzania has been known for its Swahili hip hop, but there is an increasing number of young artists who feel better equipped to perform primarily in English.

The conversations also touched on a few interesting topics, including consciousness in hip hop, self censorship, gender, the use of the N word, and thoughts on the African Diaspora.

There are two warnings for listeners: 1. There is some profanity in both the interviews and artists’ songs. In addition, There are some sound issues in the second interview. We’re trying out new equipment so bear with us.

Podcast time stamps

00:00 Episode intro
10:00 Muki & Salma “How You Feel?”
11:50 Catalyst “Drowning”
12:31 Interview with Salma, Muki, & Catalyst
37:30 Interview conclusion and introduction of the next interview
40:05 Brian Simba “Mambo Mbezi”
41:52 HIM “Soul Truthful”
43:53 Sima “Pawn Dreams”
46:06 interview with HIM, Sima, & Victor
1:06:07 Interview conclusion and episode outro message
1:08:32 Mukimala& Sima “Inspiration”

Artist information

@TemaYaiNation (the collective of English speaking artists) on Twitter and SoundCloud

Salma is @naitwasalma on Twitter and SoundCloud

Muki Mukimala is on SoundCloud

Catalyst is on SoundCloud

H.I.M. in on SoundCloud

Victor the Traveler is on Twitter as @VictorZtraveler

Sima is on SoundCloud

Brian Simba is on SoundCloud (on the SoundCloud page there is information on how to download his mixtape Masaki Theory).

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.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 13: Tanzanian Hip Hop Artists on English Rap in Tanzania”

Lyricist Lounge in Tanzania

This Saturday (25 of March) is the 3rd anniversary of Lyricist Lounge in Dar es Salaam. Lyricist Lounge celebrates 3 years of spoken word, poetry, and lyricism by bringing to the stage a lineup of international MCs, poets, and DJs. 

This year features some of the finest poets & MCs in TZ, including MCs like Mukimala from Wanaitwa Uhuru and Wakazi. 


This year there will also be a set by DJ Kaka Kahlil, by way of California & Puerto Rico. LL will also feature legendary NYC graffiti artist Kool Koor. You can see more of Koor’s work at http://koolkoor.wix.com.

Lyricist Lounge TZ

HHAP Episode 8: Hip Hop in the Academy, in Conversation With Seth Markle

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.

His work in hip hop has been global. He has been very active in the hip hop scene in Tanzania, where is known as DJ Pemba. He has also traveled to several countries and worked with hip hop communities from Costa Rica to Russia. He is currently the faculty advisor for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival, which happens every year on the campus of Trinity College and features artists, activists, and scholars from all over the world.

In this conversation we discuss the festival, it’s background and mission, as well as how people can get involved. We also discuss his work in Tanzania, his research, and being a hip hop academic.

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.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 8: Hip Hop in the Academy, in Conversation With Seth Markle”

When the East is in the House…

Always wanted to hear the classic Blahzay Blahzay song “Danger” in a hip-hop track from East Africa. This is a video of images and footage of East African hip hop artists (Tanzania, Uganda, & Kenya) with “Danger” playing in the background.