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/


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

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.

How We Do It- Keko

“How We Do It” by Ugandan female rapper, Keko, had become a breakthrough single for the hip hop artist. This hit single took over MTV Africa and Ugandan charts in 2011. The success of this track landed her an endorsement deal with Pepsi, leading Mountain Dew’s advertising campaign, rapping to the beat of “How We Do It”.

After working for a radio station as a DJ in her college years, she moved on to be the host of a radio show. Keko later left the radio to focus more on her music, then signed with Sony Music Entertainment. She has worked with artists such as Madtraxx, Angela Katatumba, and Pl@y. Keko has been a nominee for nine awards.

In this song, she is rapping about how she does it. She mentions in this song, “Screaming bring it, I brought it / Fans love it” expressing how she is now reaching her fame. From her point of view, she wants everyone to go after what they want. She mentions her fans multiple times in the song, grateful for her newly acclaimed fame thanks to them.

This is a song that can be played on the radio and in clubs. It has a catchy beat to dance to, but also appropriate enough to play on local radio stations. In my opinion, this song is similar to American hip hop, in the sense that a lot of rappers talk about their successes and rise to fame. Keko can relate with anyone who is currently trying to reach success.

Keko : Music Review

Keko’s music shows her talent. One single that showed her talent was a song called “Go Green”. In this song she spoke about one important subject, which is climate awareness. This song proves her talent because of the creativity to chose to use. Instead of rapping about subjects that most people expect all hip hop artist to speak about, she chose to speak about topics that are important for the world to know and relate to. People who rap do not talk about subject matters such as climate awareness, which makes Keko’s music stand out from other hip hop songs and other hip hop artist as well. She is very creative with the topics she chooses to talk about in her music.

Her music became successful in a short amount of time. Keko’s music was so successful that she was asked to perform in a couple of shows in South Africa. Her music is overall diverse and unique. She brings in new ideas to the hip hop culture, and that is was gets her audience’s attention and what makes her music so great. Many people enjoy her music because it is relatable and they enjoy her lyrics. Other topics that she discusses in her music is about domestic violence, everyday struggles that people face, triumph, and most importantly success. She is a positive role model for her fan base and for anyone that chooses to listen to her music. In all, her music is very consistent. Her lyrics and performance are great as well. She is a talented artist, who delivers great music.

Keko: Biography

Keko’s full name is Jocelyne Tracey Keko. She was born on June 3, 1987 in Tororo, Uganda. Her parents were from Japadhola. Keko is a famous Ugandan rapper. She was very influential as a hip hop artist in Africa in 2011. She first began to get noticed when she released a single named “Fallen Heroes”. In this song artist like Don Mc, Sp, Davis, and a Mwanba children choir were featured. After that single came out, people were impressed with her delivery and most of all her lyrics. She later got on MTV Africa when her song “How We Do It” became well known on the Ugandan charts. After that she became famous in East Africa. This song was a success in Keko’s music career. Because of this song eventually even Pepsi wanted her to endorse their brand. She also led the Mountain Dew advertising campaign in East Africa.

Once her music career began to rapidly evolve, she was asked to perform at the annual selam festival. This festival took place in Ethiopia. She is a performer by nature. In every event she would perform at people would be impressed. When she performed at the festival it helped open other doors to new opportunities for Keko. Then she was invited to perform with other African artist at the “Big Brother Africa 6”. The “Big Brother Africa” is a show in South Africa. After that her next single named “Alwoo” which means cry for help, also became very successful. Overall she has had many successes in her life and she continues to get new opportunities. She is a talented woman that has been able to be a positive influence for people. Also she is inspirational to women because there are not that many African women who rap. She happens to be one hip hop artist that has proved to be successful among male hip hop artist.

Images from the African Hip Hop Film Series

858493_429889347089098_1633128979_oImages from the African Hip Hop Film Series at California State University Los Angeles from January to March 2013. The series featured films from Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda; as well as guest speakers and emcees from the Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and the US.

The images are featured on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kibona/sets/72157632976822110/

Keko – Uganda

Keko (born Jocelyne Tracey Keko) is a Ugandan rapper who has taken over the music scene in Africa during 2011. Her music, which focuses predominantly on the youth, is groovy, yet has some deep underlying message that gives you a glimpse of who Keko is. It also brings out different issues that people around the globe can identify with. Her rise to fame began in 2010 with the release of “Fallen Heroes”, where she appeared alongside other established Ugandan artists like Don MC, SP, DAVIS and the Mwanba children choir. After delivering what was arguably the best verse on the track, Keko began to turn heads with her lyrics, delivery style and sheer presence on tracks. Her breakthrough single ‘How We Do It’ took the Ugandan charts by storm, making her an instant household name in East Africa. The success of the track led to a 2011 Channel O video music Award for most gifted East African Video, and more recently a synch with Supersport Africa. Uganda’s hip hop sensation 


I don’t think Africa has had a female rapper that is as versatile and able to paint vivid pictures with words the way I do in my music. I am a rapper, singer, song writer and I like to believe I am the whole package. My inspirations range from my environment to Afrigo band (Uganda), Lauryn Hill, Tupac Shakur and Kanye West. My target group is predominantly the youth, that is, the teenagers and young adults who understand the music; I wouldn’t, however, want to close myself in because the album shows a mature side of Keko that even the older generation will appreciate.” (Keko – Repping Uganda)

This past September 2012, Sony Music Entertainment Africa announced the signing of this multi-award winning Ugandan rapper.  The deal is the first of its kind that sees an artist from Uganda signed to a multi-album and full management deal with a major record company. Multi-Award Winning East African Rap Star Makes Ugandan History signing Major International Recording and Management Deal

To learn more and get the last news about Keko, follow her at www.twitter.com/kekotown.



African Hip Hop Film Series

This winter California State University, Los Angeles is holding an African Hip Hop Film Series. The films feature hip hop scenes from all over Africa, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. All films are free and open to the public. For more information contact Msia Clark @ mclark7@calstatela.edu.