HHAP Episode 23: Uganda’s Ruyonga on African/African American Relations, Black Panther, Politics, and Christianity

This interview with Ugandan artist Ruyonga, formerly known as Krukid, is an in-depth discussion on the artist’s perspective on the Black experience, relations between African Americans and Africans in America, his issues with the Black Panther film, being a Christian MC, and his perspective on laws and politics in Uganda.

Ruyonga studied in the U.S. in the early 2000s. He began rapping in Uganda before coming to the States, and he established an underground career in the U.S. and became known for his distinct sound and strong lyrical ability. After almost a decade in the US, Ruyonga returned to Uganda. He changed his name to Ruyonga and built his career as a Christian rapper.

After a long stay Ruyonga has an interesting perspective on being an African immigrant in America, and the tensions between African and African American communities. He talks about those tensions from an African immigrant perspective, and comments on the diverse racial and ethnic dynamics he saw in different parts of the United States. The conversation turns towards pop culture and race and Ruyonga has strong feelings about the Black Panther and the representations of Africans in the film, and Hollywood’s presentation of the Black experience.

Ruyonga also opens up about his views on race, Black pride, and feminism, as well as his views on the ways different groups of people have been pitted against each other. Part of the conversation includes the artist’s views on some of Uganda’s more controversial laws regarding women and sexuality, especially the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Still a strong lyricist, Ruyonga now uses Christianity as the vehicle with which to express his lyricism. His latest release is Voice Of My Father, and follows an impressive body of work that spans over 10 years. Ruyonga is on

BandCamp at https://ruyonga.bandcamp.com

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ruyonga/482094271

Twitter: @ruyongamusic

Episode Breakdown
7:30 “African American, American African”
9:30 “Pearl City Anthem”
11:45 “Hand of God”
12:40 Background and move to the US
14:00 The Black Experience
15:15 African & African American relations
23:42 The Black Panther movie & Hollywood
29:33 Black pride, feminism
32:00 The return to Uganda
35:45 Language
37:18 Christianity & politics

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 23: Uganda’s Ruyonga on African/African American Relations, Black Panther, Politics, and Christianity”

Episode 23 Promo

“Luga-flow”

Babaluku is certainly one of Uganda’s legendary Emcees. The ability to rap in an African indigenous  language is a challenge that most artists avoid, however, Babaluku appears to one of the few artists that rap fluently in his native Lugandan tongue. In fact, he is the originator of the “Luga-flow” which is rap in the Ugandan native tongue. I have noticed that other artists tend to draw upon aspects of colonial English to their music but Babluku celebrates his native tongue and rolls out his words with ease and enjoyment. Continue reading ““Luga-flow””

Ugandan Kween

Who is Kween G? In her new song “Who am I” posted on her Soundcloud in September 2017, the female artist gives an interesting mixing to her followers. She refers to two essential components of her life: her African origins and her desire to assert herself in a life that has not always been easy.

According to her interview with Miss Hennessey speaks blog, Kween G Kibone’s name is composed of the letter G from Goddess and of the word Kween for Kibone, named after her grandmother. The hip-hop female artist was born in the Bugisu tribe in Uganda and raised in Australia since the early 1990s. Since the early 2000s Kween G occupies the Australian hip-hop scene with powerful and engaged songs. In 2010 she was honored Young Citizen of the Year by Marrickville Council (Sydney). She is currently maintaining a high level of community work especially with young girls and indigenous people in Australia. Continue reading “Ugandan Kween”

Diaspora Rappers

Diaspora based artists like K’Naan, Blitz the Ambassador, M3nsa, Wale, and French Montana, and Tabi Bonney have been covered heavily in this blog. There are several other first and second generation African MCs around the world who have not been covered as much in this blog. As students in the Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa course this semester are discussing Diaspora based artists, here are some of the artists those students are looking at. In the coming week students will be putting up posts on these and other African MCs that are based outside of the continent. Continue reading “Diaspora Rappers”

Keko in “I am Ugandan,” sheds a light on her intersectional identities

Keko is an artist that is that is not afraid to get real with her sexuality and nationality. She is known in Uganda for going against the hyper sexualized image cultivated by many American female rappers like Nicki Minaj etc. In this music video, she is not wearing tight clothing, but rather sneakers and jeans. Her “tomboy” dressing raises the assumption that she identifies as queer. Keko lives in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, but she does not seem afraid to stand up for herself. By her dress and expression, she sends the message that being gay is not just a “Western” thing. She is one of the few artists that embraces her intersectional identities. She sheds a spotlight on being queer and Ugandan in this music video. Continue reading “Keko in “I am Ugandan,” sheds a light on her intersectional identities”

The Future of Ugandan Rap is FEMALE

 

KEKO – Cry for Help

It is difficult to point out female artist in the African Hip Hop industry that are succeeding and staying consistent. However, Keko, a female Ugandan rapper is killing the game. In her song, Cry for Help, she sheds the light on the physical and mental abuse that women in many societies experience. As a woman, I do not necessarily want to hear a male’s perspective on life, hustling and relationships all the time. This is why Keko is important in the African music industry as she sheds a light on some of the struggles that are more relatable to women.

Continue reading “The Future of Ugandan Rap is FEMALE”

Ugandan Tradition of Love and Music

Navio is an artist known for pushing boundaries when it comes to Ugandan hip-hop. On his track, Njogereza, he executes the full Ugandan traditional vibe to it with borrowings from ceremonial traditional sounds. This song is full of traditional chanting and traditional instrumental. During a time when African rappers rely heavily on imitating western rappers. Navio, is influential because he takes risks and stays true to his local sounds that was probably produced before he was born. The song is filled with Ugandan culture but delivered in a modern way for a music consumer with entertaining lyrics. Navio puts rap music on local drumbeats which enhances the rhythm of this particular song. Continue reading “Ugandan Tradition of Love and Music”

HHAP Episode 11: Bavubuka Foundation and Indigenous Hip Hop in Africa

This is episode 11 of the podcast, and the third in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017.

This episode is a conversation with Babaluku and Gilbert from Bavubuka Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. Babaluku is a founding member of the Uganda hip hop group Bataka Squad, and has been involved in the hip hop community in Uganda since the early years. Gilbert, the hip hop archivist, is a photographer who has been archiving hip hop culture in Africa for several years. Through the Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku and Gilbert, have built a large hip hop network and community in Uganda and east & central Africa. Their yearly B-Global Indigenous Hip Hop Gathering* happens at the end of December and brings in Macs from all over East and Central Africa

*The name of the gathering is quoted wrongly in the podcast

To get in touch with Bavubuka on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bavubuka/

Contents

4:51 Bavubuka’s work with the youth

19:52 Minutes in impact of Invisible Children and other NGOs on their work & distortions of African stories.

30:08 African linkages

35:17 Gilbert

38:45 indigenous hip hop

50:15 Get in touch

56:02 “Traveling Man” by Babaluku

This is episode 11 of the podcast, and the third in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode is a conversation with Babaluku and Gilbert from Bavubuka Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. Continue reading “HHAP Episode 11: Bavubuka Foundation and Indigenous Hip Hop in Africa”

Trinity International Hip Hop Festival Video p.1