Student Project: Hip-Hop artists use of protest and combat songs to challenge censorship in Africa

Too often people perceive the genre of hip-hop to be “angry” music. Across all cultures, Hip-Hop music is negatively stigmatized as loud, vulgar, and explicit, without any acknowledgement of its deep messages. People fail to realize that these songs are meant to serve as cries for help. It is essential for listeners to see past the intense voice behind the mike and recognize the place of frustration that the lyrics are coming from. 
The shared grievances among Africans have made the continent a breeding ground for lyrical outcry. In Africa, Hip-Hop music has served as a form of expression, activism and social consciousness. Artists create protest songs that highlight issues impacting their environments such as State violence, corruption, and poverty. In a similar fashion, some other artists take it a step further by producing combat music which puts fear in the hearts of their oppressors. Although overlooked, the intentional and strategic nature of the Hip-Hop genre, is an area worthy of attention. The podcast will show how Hip-Hop Artists from North Africa, Togo, and Liberia use their voice to deliver raw messages of oppression despite the struggle with government censorship and prosecution. Through the use of protest and combat songs, you will see how artists establish influence and catalyze change in their countries.

Furthermore, the podcast will briefly draw a comparison to Hip-Hop culture in America. The commonalities between the two places will reveal how people, irrespective of region, use the genre to make a call to action, by exposing deeply rooted issues. We hope that this podcast will debunk negative stereotypes surrounding hip-hop and shine a positive light on its lyrical power.

The podcast will feature the following songs: Warning: some songs occasionally contain strong language (which may be unsuitable for children)

El General – “Rais LeBled”- 2010

Elom20ce – “Vodoo Sakpata” – 2015

Takun J – “Policeman” – 2007

NWA – “F*ck the police” – 1988

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy” – 1994

(Introduction and ending song by Tekno – “Yur Luv” – 2018)

Work cited
“El Général, the voice of Tunisia, English subtitles”. YouTube, uploaded by Michelangelo Severgnini, January 10 2011,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeGlJ7OouR0

“Elom 20ce – Vodoo Sakpata (Official Video)”. YouTube, uploaded by THUMP, September 14 2015,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3g_ECtpM8E

“Liberian musician Takun J talks about “Police Man””. YouTube, uploaded by TakunJTheHipCoKing, January 11 2012,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrYieEMNKoA&t=506s

“N.W.A. fuck the police with lyrics”. YouTube, uploaded by MegaTuvieja, November 8 2011,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu6r7Yd_iG8

“Policeman”. YouTube, uploaded by Elton Djxman, February 23 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqLS3tUPVjQ

“Tekno – Yur Luv (Official Video)”. YouTube, uploaded by TeknoMilesVEVO, March 21 2018,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d_jkY2444s

“The Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy” (Official Video)”. YouTube, uploaded by The Notorious B.I.G., September 6 2011,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZom_gVfuw

Asawin Suebsaeng, “The FBI Agent Who Hunted N.W.A”, Daily Beast, August 14, 2015,https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-fbi-agent-who-hunted-nwa

Benjamin Lebrave, “This Rapper Is Defying Togolese Censorship to Tell Stories About Africa’s Political Problems’, Thump Vice, September 14 2015.https://thump.vice.com/en_us/article/wny3e9/this-rapper-is-defying-togolese-censorship-to-tell-stories-about-africas-political-problems

Clark, Msia Kibona. (2012). Hip hop as social commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam. African Studies Quarterly, 13 (3), 23-46.

Olivier Morrison, “Turn That Down! 40 Banned and Censored Songs”, National Coalition Against Censorship, March 3 2015,http://ncac.org/blog/turn-that-down-40-banned-and-censored-songs

Vivienne Wait, “El Général and the Rap Anthem of the Mideast Revolution”, TIME, Tuesday February 15, 2011http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2049456,00.html


Continue reading “Student Project: Hip-Hop artists use of protest and combat songs to challenge censorship in Africa”

Summer Years

The most recent album of Tabi Bonney’s is The Summer Years. This album, along with the previous album Fresh, was carefully structured and proved to be a better work than those past. With the help of Ski Beats linked together by the former Rockafella CEO Dame Dash, The Summer Years cultivated into an unforgettable album.

One of the aspects that sets this album apart is the listener get more of a feel of him, of the real him, the “him” that was Born in Togo. And you get this feeling all throughout the album. Especially on the song On Jupiter that features the legend, his father Itadi Bonney. This old school song is definitely of the smooth, old school variety and it takes you back in a nostalgic kind of way to what could have been. The delivery in the song is really clean and precise, and as for the lyrics and his cleverness that he had in the album prior to this one, you see more of it on The Summer Years. “I’m so conceited, moon-walkin’ on a paraplegic, I’m the type to book the Queens daughter, then go and delete it.” I really love what he does here with his rhyme scheme and the flow of his delivery which can be heard throughout this song and others on the album.

Another quality that trickled over from the 2010 Fresh to this current album is his eclecticism. He uses a kind of electro beat in his single called Top Notch/Material girls. In this song he is influenced by the help of indie group MGMT and the European artist Lykke Li. The diverseness that I hear in this song is definitely something that we have heard in his previous work. What makes his sounds blend well together is the fact that he is not afraid to mix different beats and melodies on his albums. This kind of bravery is what is needed throughout the rap game in order to keep things original and to be fans are being entertained and interested in the music.

My favorite songs on this album would have to be Hip Hop and Love featuring Murs, On Jupiter Featuring Itadi Bonney, and finally Chasing Featuring Mat Beilis. Hip Hop and Love is the first song of Tabi Bonney’s that actually sounds as though it was really produced by someone other than himself. The sound was clear and concise and the melody of the song is smooth and mellow; almost trance like. On Jupiter, as I have already stated, it has a very calming and nostalgic vibe to it. And finally chasing, the last song on the album, is so beautiful. I absolutely love the piano and the singing on the track. The message of the song speaks heavily toward reaching your dreams and longevity in being ambitious. His eclecticism definitely came through on this song and the album as a whole, and his method of taking risks musically as far as his sounds go indeed worked out for him in a positive way.

Biography of Tabi Bonney

The year is 1970 and Itadi Bonney was the most influential and most celebrated musicians in Togo. Heavily influenced in politics, he wrote a song by the name of Mayi Africa that criticized the president Gnassingbe Eyadema and his deadly tactics to in force democracy in his home country. Receiving multitudes of governmental backlash from the political song, Itadi, Wife Jo, and the teenaged Tabiabue’ Bonney fled first to Benin, then to France, and finally to Jo’s hometown, Washington DC. Because of his music career himself, Itadi and his wife stressed the rule that the young Tabi would not venture off into music. His parents wanted him to have his mind and energy no place else but on his school work; to which, his parents succeeded. Tabi Bonney went on to complete his educational career at Florida A&M in pre-med making his parents very proud. However, even with credentials and a job teaching biology to teenagers at an inner city Washington DC school, Tabi Bonney knew there was more for him in the music industry.

With a long family history of music behind him, and the world of potential in front of him, Tabi Bonney decided it was time he put his discipline that he attained in his rigorous academic work to the test. While in grad school he met his now close friend and mentor Haziq Ali, and together they formed the group and independent record label Organized Rhyme. The first album to come from Organized Rhyme was A Fly Guy’s Theme which was a huge hit in the DMV area due to Tabi’s use of popular colloquial terms like “Bamma” “The Pocket” And so on. The use of Go-Go music and other aspects of the Districts originality made this album a hit on the airwaves as well as with a lot of youth in Washington.  Now with one record under his belt successfully, Tabi Bonney had the public’s attention, and nothing would be able to stop this driving force.

Bonney set out to make more moves independently. One of those moves was being the creator of a boutique fashion line by the name of Bonney Runway. Another huge venture that Bonney has succeeded in was creating his own production company called “Cool Kids Forever.” With Cool Kids he has produced videos for poplar artists in the DMV area such as Wale, Raheem Devaughn, and the popular Go-Go inspired group, Mambo Sauce. While momentarily doing things outside of the music industry, Organized Rhyme produced the sophomore album Dope in 2009. With one album under his belt, Dope was definitely an album of maturity in which he spoke more of Africa and bettering himself in the music industry. After the release of his sophomore album it seemed as though Tabi Bonney was here to stay in the rap game one way or another.

In 2010 the “big guns” were pulled out. In the album Fresh, Bonney takes a turn in his music which inevitably is welcomed as a positive change. In is Junior album, he works with a significant amount of heavy weight rap artists like G.O.O.D Music’s Pusha T, fellow DMV based artist Wale, Curren$y, old friend and still mentor Haziq Ali and he also brings back the smooth voice of R&B artist Raheem Devaughn. Although he has worked with some of these artists in the past, this is said to be one of the most diverse of all his other works. Tabi reached out to folk singer Lykke Li and the alternative party group Black Eyed Peas for assistance on the album. (Rockthevote.com/TabiBonney)
The senior and most recent album of Tabi Bonney’s is The Summer Years. The highly anticipated upon release album was a hit and has kept Bonney’s career afloat. Another reason why this album was so loved is because the person that has influenced him so much and the reason why he was exposed to music initially, his father, blessed a song called Parachute with his sage musical influence. Summer Years was heavily produced by Ski Beats; a connection that Bonney made through former Rocafella CEO Dame Dash. Against his interest not to work with big time producers and being independent musically, Tabi Bonney has worked with Dame Dash and it has proved to be beneficial for his rap career.

The West African, Washington DC based rap star Tabi Bonney is an extremely influential person on all levels. His educational background gave him the stamina and sense of longevity to pursue his true passion which is music. With 4 albums and 3 mixtapes under his belt, an independent record label, a production company, a clothing long and 5th album on its way by the title of Endless summer– a continuation of Summer Years–  one can assume that there is no was that the driving force that is Tabi Bonney can ever be stopped; he would never allow it!

Fresh 2010

THIS IS MY FAVORITE ALBUM FROM TABI BONNEY!

Oh my goodness! With the exception of a couple songs Tabi Bonney definitely (and in my opinion, finally!) delivered in his 2010 album Fresh. Collectively, the sound of this album eclectically comes together in a smooth and “Fresh” fashion. Bonney’s lyrics are substantially more meaningful in respects to Africa in this album as well; with use of more clever lines, metaphors and higher vocabulary, it is very easy to see Tabi Bonney’s care with this work as opposed to his two previous albums.

The first half of the album definitely caught me by surprise! I expected to hear the same mundane beats and mediocre lyrics and features like the other albums that I have listened to of Tabi Bonney’s, but this record was excellently executed in all aspects and even added more of the DC flavor in most of the music. For example, the song Killer People featuring popular DC rapper Wale, Bonney uses a particular type of music that is very popular in the DMV area called Gogo music. Gogo music usually consists of wind instruments like trumpets, saxophones, and also includes tambourines and drumming. I was so excited to hear Gogo music being finally incorporated in his work. It adds so much life to his music and you can hear the liveliness in Killer People -which is a song about people that have negative things to say about a person’s progression- as well as in the track Winners Journey featuring Kokayi.
More songs that stood out to me in the first half of the 14-track album was Get Me, the experimental house sound of The Slackers Farewell, Killer people and my favorite song, Fever, featuring Raheem Devaughn.

Although Bonney still doesn’t talking about his experiences in fleeing with his family from Togo to Washington DC, he does mention Africa more in the album more than he has in the past. “This Togolese kid ain’t gone ever miss his ship ‘cuz even I’m late they gone wait ‘cuz I’m the shit.” A simple line but I believe that this is the only way that he will refer to Africa since he really was not old enough to be a part of any immigration struggles; in a lighthearted “you can find me in the A!” kind of way that is popular in the rap genre.
Along with more mention of Africa there is also better delivery in his rhymes and better punch-lines and metaphors. For example, the song Get Me he spits a whitty line: “I be makin’ moves, I ain’t no dummy; even Ussain Bolt in real life can’t run me.” His comparison to the documented fastest man alive may be a bit of an overstatement but it does make for a clever line that we have rarely heard from him in the past. Another line that caught my eye is actually in the same song, where he uses better vocabulary and relates it to his rhyme. “Name brand whore on the European tour, that’s a double entendre; the clothes and the shows. Sorry if your blonder, that’s over your head. I don’t miss on purpose, I prefer you dead.” Listeners, up until this point have not heard him use vocabulary like this and I feel that is was a very pleasant switch up; not to mention a slight magnifier on his college education that he has not mentioned in his music.
As I have said before, this album is the best that I have heard of Bonney’s thus far because of the content of some of the lyrics. It seems like he really carefully structured this work as opposed to others and it definitely shows.

Tabi Bonney Biography: Washington Post “Tabi Bonney’s hip-hop stems from his Father’s Musical Influence

Tabi was born in Togo in 1977, his father was a musician who was one of the most celebrated musician in his country. His father played guitar and an Afro-funk singing style that was combined with the sparkle of soulous, highlife, and a little bit of reggae. His father met his mother after a gig in the capital of Lomé. Her name was Jo and she was stationed there through the peace corps. They both got married had a family and travelled between Washington and Togo. But after his father Itadi wrote a song called “Mayi Africa” which called for social unity that criticized the then Togolese President  Gnassingle Eyadema, they fled to the east because the political situation got too extreme. They went to Benin, then France and finally to Washington. When Tabi was a teen he would always go down in the basement to listen to his dad rehearse. His parent’s expectations for him to go to college they never expected him to be a rapper. As a pre-med student Tabi spent most of his nights rapping with a group called Organized Rhyme. His father was was shocked when Tabi said he was a rapper, he never wanted  Tabi to be a musician. But he remembered how he wanted to be a musician but his parent’s didn’t want him to be so he just let Tabi become one. After college Tablol worked as a science teacher at Roosevelt High School in Petworth but gave it up after two years. His mother clipped the classified ads and spread them out on the living room coffee table hoping he would change his mind. But in 2006 he changed their minds when his single “The Pocket” popped up on local radio stations. His father was amazed on how talented his son was, he says he’s a whole different person on stage. Now his father’s only wish is for him to get a label.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/tabi-bonneys-hip-hop-stems-from-his-fathers-musical-influence/2012/06/14/gJQAFc6XcV_story.html

Video Review: Hip Hop and Love

The Appropriately titled album Summer Years gave birth to the track Hip Hop and Love and while it happens to be my favorite on the album, the video is a favorite as well. The video’s main focus is Tabi Bonney and fellow DC emcee Murs’ falling in love with girls and being nostalgic about relationships passed. While this is true I feel as though Tabi, rather creatively is not just talking about the love relationship between he and a women, but also the love relationship between himself and music. “Take it back to the Hip-Hop summer nights: Tribe Called Quest, MC Lyte, and put me on the mic. For the love of my heart, you can’t break this” In this line it seems as though he is telling his love interest in the song that he does love her but nothing can take away the grips of love music has around him.

The video opens with a shot of the setting which the audience is made to believe is a Washington DC skate park/hang out area for young adults. The vibe of the song is very calm and mellow with a lot of California flavor to it; the theme of this work definitely paints that visual for viewers. Women that play the part of the love interests are dressed for the summer in shorts and mid-drift tops while Tabi Bonney and Murs are dressed in snapbacks and skinny jeans. The dynamic of the title lies within the music video rather creatively; the two rappers embodying the hip-hop and the softness of the women representing the love aspect of the song.  The color scheme in the video is also something that catches the eye of viewers. The soft golden hues that dance on the skin of the models and how it blankets and highlights the concrete of the skate park and the trees adds so much to the theme of hip-hop, the underlining theme of summer time, and more importantly, the contagious feeling of love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTFXOQ-D7nk (Hip Hop and Love Tabi Bonney Ft. Murs)

Tabi Bonney Bio

Tabi Bonney Biography

Tabiabue Bonney  (Tabi’s birthname)was born in 1977 in West Africa, in Lome, Togo.  For the first 13 years of his life he traveled back and forth from Togo and Washington, D.C., where his mother is from.  Tabi’s father was a popular music artist in Togo, who was exiled from Togo when Tabi was a teenager, which is why he attended high school in Washington, D.C. (okayafrica.com).

After graduating from High School, Tabi’s formal education did not end. Tabi received a bachelor’s degree from Florida A & M University, where he completed the undergraduate biology/pre-med program.  Then, after that, Tabi received a master’s degree in biology and secondary education, from the same University (Dowling).  When asked in an interview by Jamati, how his degrees have been useful to him? Tabi responded, “I apply the discipline that it took to graduate and ace tests and simply apply it to my music and the music business”. (jamati.com).

In an article entitled, “MC Tabi Bonney’s hip-hop influences straight from Togo”, Tabi explains how he watched his father pack dance floors on tours across France and across West Africa. His father, Itadi Bonney, was a popular ‘Afro-punk style’ singer.  However, Tabi’s father did not want him to be a musician, but encouraged him to become a scientist.  His father was shocked when he became a rapper.  Artistwiki reported that Tabi began rapping when he was in high school, in Washington, DC, and refined his skills during his college years.

In a write up on the DMVLIFE.com website, it is discussed how Tabi is a product of his environment. Tabi’s father’s experience of being exiled from Togo for criticizing the dictatorial government in one of his songs helped frame Tabi’s approach to life. As a result of his father’s experiences, “Tabi revels in turning obstacles into opportunities”.  However, in the Jamati interview with Tabi, he expresses that even though he was born in Togo, he does not think the music industry is harder on Africans, and believe it is all about having the talent. The history of the African nation of Togo is interesting, and important in understanding the French influences in some of Tabi’s music.

After WWII the United Nations entrusted Togo to the United Kingdom and France. But, in 1955 Togo became a separate republic within France.  In 1961 a new constitution established an executive president position to head the government. Chaos existed during this period because there were four principal political parties in Togo, and they were all rivals.  The President Olympio was assassinated by a rival party and then a Prime Minister, under a new constitution created a government structure that allowed all the parties to be represented.  In 1967, in a military coup the political parties were banned and all constitutional processes were ended; (this was 10 years before Tabi was born). The government had been unstable, and more dictatorial than democratic, under the many years of dictatorship of Eyadema. It was not until 1999 that more positive moves to democracy were evident in Togo (History of Togo, p. 2-5).

Togo has had an underdeveloped economy that relies on agricultural exports, and France has been Togo’s largest trading partner (Culture of Togo, p. 7).  The political violence in 1992-1993, along with the huge social upheaval led to approximately one third of Togo’s population to move to neighboring countries (p. 8).There is little government support for the arts in Togo (p. 12). 

Bonney now resides in Washington DC, and he is described as “one of DC’s most prominent, up-and-coming rappers…” In an interview Tabi describes some of his musical influences are from Bob Marley to other dance music artists.  He explains that in his music message he tries to keep it personal, “and on a more realistic vibe for people listening” (Stoopgirl).  In another article Tabi reveals that, with music being such a large part of his life with his father’s influence, at a very young age he knew he would be a musician, and he wanted to be a rapper without the thug image (Artistwiki).  It is quite evident that Tabi is very proud to be from D.C.

Tabi from Togo has been very productive. Bonney has had the following studio albums released:  A Fly Guy’s Theme (2006); Dope (2009); Fresh (2010); and The Summer Years (2011. Aside from his music he directed 2 music videos from this first album, created a production company, Cool Kids Forever Films, and has a personally-designed Bonney Runway clothing line (DMVLIFE.com). In my opinion It would certainly be more difficult, for Tabi to achieve the success that he has if he had lived in Togo.

 

Artistwiki website.  http://artistwiki.com/tabi-bonney/biography

Culture of Togo.  http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Togo.html

Dowling, Marcus. The Washingtonian.  “Meet the Muscian Tabi Bonney”, 12 Jan 2012. http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/afterhours/music/meet-the-muwscian-tabi-bonney.php

DMVLIFE.com.  http//dmvlife.com/tabibooney.html

History of Togo. http://www.historyofnations.net/africa/togo.html

Jamati.com. http://www.Jamati.com/online/music/tabi-bonney-from-togo-to-dc/

Okay Africa website. www.okayafrica.com/storeis/tabi-bonney-on-togo-fresh-his-famous-father-and-more/.  11/29/10.

Stoopgirl, “Q & A Tabi Bonnney”. 8/8/2012. http://www.headafrochild.com/2012/08/08/qa-tabi-bonney/

Tabi Bonney Album Review – “The Summer Years”

This album is very diverse in its cuts, mostly due to the various other artists Tabi has collaborated with.  There is nothing that I heard that relates to immigration. In my opinion immigration may not be central to his lyrics because he attended High School in Washington D.C., and does not necessarily connect strongly with the immigration experience.   The song “Material Girls” has a strong European techno sound, and there is more French spoken than on his previous albums; he refers to his home as a ‘chateau’.  Even though Tabi does not speak about the immigration experience in his lyrics, his album reflects the influence of his early life in Togo, which was heavily influenced by the French.  On  ”Hello and Goodnight”, Tabi’s father, Itadi Bonney, speaks French in the background, and the song has a more old school reggae sound.  In the song “Big Dreams”, that has a big band feel,  Tabi refers to himself as having ‘exotic pedigree’, which more than likely refers to his African heritage, it also includes some French, ‘au revoir’.   Tabi’s collaboration with Matt Berlis, who plays the piano, makes the song “Chasing” unique.  In this song Tabi sings that he is an outsider and wants the city he is from to say ‘I miss you’, however, it is difficult to conclude that he is referring to Togo or Washington DC., but since Tabi has been living in DC, the reference could possibly be that he wants Togo to feel he is a favorite son.  On this album Tabi mentions a few different African Americans when providing examples of success; MJ  (Michael Jordan),  Michel Jackson, Dru Hill (an R & B group).  “Hip Hop and Love” has a jazz sound piano, mixed with the clapping rhythmic percussion and big bass, is a big contrast with “Beautiful Lover” that has the background chorus, and strong bass beats with string instruments.

This in my opinion this album really reflects how much Tabi has grown as a musician;  he stepped out of his hip-hop genre on many of the cuts.  Tabi’s diverse approach on this album is appealing to me.

Tabi Bonney: Article Summary Washington City Paper “Lovejoy Park”

In the article it says that Tabi isn’t interested in impressing people with towers of alliteration or half-baked tales of struggle. Not is he interested in killing it lyrically or rhyming about killing. What Tabi does is keep things cool and electric with his homegrown twang and hipster swag. Tabi may have two sides-the Northeast native of his single “The Pocket” and the cosmopolitan “jet setter” persona he developed a couple yeasts later, have never felt like two different rappers just the same Tabi. The article also talks about his latest mixtape Lovejoy Park and how it didn’t capture the urgency that The Summer Year’s or Fresh which embraced his broader exposure over breezy electro-pop compositions. It was dedicated to the ladies and from outs cover art to playful anecdotes of romance gone awry. What Bonney was going for off the mixtape was that he loves women and sometimes they don’t love him back. Tabi is a great artist who I slowly rising up to fame. I just love what he spits out in track stacks and what he is trying to say. Not like most of the hip hop artists today who rap about smoking out, their cars, and/or bling. I believe that hip hop maybe dying and we need a spacious to keep it alive.

Dope!

In his sophomore album “Dope” Tabi Bonney comes a bit harder in terms of the production quality, and in some cases his lyrics. Listening to this album I definitely hear more maturity, more mention of Africa and his home town Lome, Togo, and of course, the same amount of party songs about girls, weed and everything in between.

Although this is a more mature album in terms of his lyrics, the messages in his songs are still the same: getting money and making it big in the music industry. The first track on Dope “The Blow” expresses the same kind of hunger that he has for making it in the music industry, “grinding” toward that goal, and more importantly, doing it all himself free from any big time record labels. “I’m a superstar, I don’t need nobody else, where ma latter at? I’ma climb this myself.” It seems as though no one is going to come in between Tabi Bonney and his dreams for further success in music. Along with this hunger, he also has some cockiness to go with his rhymes while giving some mention to his African roots.

“Them Africans is coming up; I should know, I’m one of them. Wale, what up!?” As he has expressed in previous interviews with various music journalists, he shows much respect to artists like Wale that also hale from DC and have African nationality. Although artists like Wale are on heavy rotation at the radio stations and in media in general, this still doesn’t stop Tabi Bonney from speaking his mind and continuing on in the rap game and it doesn’t stop him from, every so often, giving credit when credit is due like he did in the aforementioned lyric from a song entitled Duhh on his sophomore album.
The intended audience for this and other albums that Tabi Bonney has released mainly consists of young adults/teenagers in the DC area. I came to this conclusion based on the music and some of the slang terminology he uses. For example, there is a particular kind of music that is ever popular in the DMV area called Go-Go music. This kind of energetic music contains a mix of typically snare drums, keyboard/organs, and tambourine-like instruments. This genre of music is extremely popular in his work and also within other artist of DC. Furthermore, the use of common colloquial terms that originated in the DC area such as “Bammers, and lunchin’’ are more of a hint that his music on Dope and on other albums are intended for the younger listeners.
As a whole I really appreciated this album collectively. Although Tabi Bonney stirs clear of informative lyrics as far as politics and his own personal African background goes, he does acknowledge the fact he does have roots in Africa and does express his love for his country and his ethnicity.