Interview with Nash MC – hip hop artist from Tanzania
By Adam Rodgers Johns
Whilst at the 30th Swahili Colloquium in Bayreuth, Germany, I met the Tanzanian hip hop artist Nash MC. Nash had been invited to the conference to perform as well as to talk about his grassroots work in Dar es Salaam promoting the Swahili language. During the conference I spoke to Nash about the political situation in Tanzania and the history of hip hop in the country. I also bought a CD from Nash entitled ‘Mchochezi’.
Continue reading “Interview with Tanzania’s Nash MC”
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”
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”
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
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”
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.
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.
Continue reading “HHAP Episode 6: Kwanza Unit, Hip Hop, and Pan Africanism in Tanzania”
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”
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.
Continue reading “HHAP Episode 2: Scholarship on African Hip Hop”
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.