Posted in Africa, Botswana, Female Emcees, Ghana, Kenya, Podcasts, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

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.

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

Posted in Female Emcees, Interview, Podcasts, Tanzania

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 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.

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Posted in Events, 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

Lyricist Lounge TZ

Posted in Africa, Diaspora, Interview, Podcasts, Tanzania

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.

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Posted in BBoys, graffiti, Hip Hop African Videos, Tanzania, Uganda

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.

Posted in Interview, Podcasts, Tanzania

HHAP Episode 6: Kwanza Unit, Hip Hop, and Pan Africanism in Tanzania

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.

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Posted in Africa, Book, Egypt, Female Emcees, Hip Hop References, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, sierra leone, South Africa, Tanzania

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle

This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Continue reading “Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati”

Posted in Podcasts, Tanzania

HHAP Episode 2: Scholarship on African Hip Hop


This episode focuses on some background information on studies of hip hop and studies of hip hop in Africa. We discuss some of the scholarship that has been produced on hip hop.

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Posted in South Africa, Student Projects, Tanzania

POWA by Tumi Molekane

Tumi Molekane is an African poet and rapper. Tummy Molekane was born Boitumelo Molekane in Tanzania, August 16, 1981, while his South African parents were in exile. In 1992, he moved to Soweto. Originally he was the lead vocalist of the hip hop ensemble Tumi and the Volume but the group was disbanded in 2012. Tumi began a solo career, creating Motif Records. He has performed with South African artists, Blk Sunshine, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Watkin Tudor Jones, Lesego Rampolokeng, Saul Williams, Sarah Jones and Mutabaruka. Tumi is one of many socially conscious artist from South Africa.

His song POWA is a song made to fight against the abuse of woman, released in 2012. The chorus is simply Tumi apologizing on behalf of men for various abusive actions towards the opposite sex. He vows to live for the victims and listen to their cries. He calls for a power clap from whoever is fed up with the sexist ways of the world.

The song is a remix of Kanye West’s Power and sounds identical in the beat and the chorus “No one man should have all that power”. As a whole, I feel it’s a very powerful song and a much needed call of attention to the mistreatment of women.

Posted in Student Projects, Tanzania

Just Like Everyone Pah One Is Trying To Get Paid

Pah one

Hip-hop has taken root in the Kenyan and Tanzanian popular music scene. Pah One, an unique music group out of Tanzania have made their mark in the hip hop circuit. The group comprises great talents with four members who all have specialties in their music making. Pah Ones “I Wanna Get Paid” ft. Shrekeezy, one of the groups popular singles touches on the need to maintain a “rich image” in today’s hip hop music. The course “I wann get paid so I can get myself a new wheel” displays how people will work so hard to buy things that makes them feel good or empowered. Pah One gained popularity quickly but then fell apart. The group of four is no longer together but have all continued to make music.

Reading in-between the lyrics of the single “I Want To Get Paid” I relate the song to a popular term here in America “Hood Rich.” This is an example of people buying items they can not afford to impress people around or make them believe they have more money and status than they actually do. Unknowing to the artist their song can influence this. Finding fame comes with a stereotypical image people suggest you have. I believe Pah One expresses that through their music, most specifically this single.
[Verse 1:Nah Reel]
Okay, I been trying everyday like i run the earth fate
Ain’t tryna be you, ain’t tryna be fake
Dream chasing, paper chasin, keep it real all day
Daily making world records, F the haters say Am all about the money, coupleBiz are running
My city and my hunny, DSM is like Miami
So i wanna get paid coz we don’t do this for charity
We always keep it real we don’t follow the majority

Oky I wanna get paid when u see me get west
Money over Everything see me get rest rest rest
Ain’t no mercy you in the loosing field I’m on a winning jersey aaah
I need to pay the bill mama need a house so I need to get a deal aaahh
Shiaaa money is the motive O.L.A Pah One the future peace

I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new wheel
I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new ride

[Verse 2: Aika]
I got more time paper chasing and nah no timing your shilling
I got more time making money and yeah more time for ma prayers
I got more time for ma people ain’t giving shi* about haters
I got the crown mi queen mi run the street LOLO….. Am an independent gal

Way hotter than hell mi huwashika ka spell dada does it ring a bell? I act like a

Lady but i think like a man. That`s why i work so hard cz i wanna get paid

Habari to masela this time I want to sell
Is D boy in the building Boy where the money at?
Coz we work so hard Ball till I fall hustle till I die
In my mind feel I made it shiaa I made the ladies go crazy everybody crazy
Now Keezy put me right here I swear gat money every where boy I run the


I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new wheel
I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new ride

Uuuuuhhhhhh uuuu alright alright alright x4

[Verse 3: Shrekeezy]
Highly opinionated, This shi* sophisticated Money and me related
So my time is never wasted And sleep is over rated
Thats why at times I hate it Some chics I ever dated
I regret I ever met them since life is a bi**
Mine is a gold digger She on my neck daily demanding another figure
Yeeeeah! IWGP I wanna get paid and get a house in DC

I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new wheel
I wanna get paid, I wanna get paid
I wanna get paid, I get myself a new ride