Exploring Lyrical & Artistic Feminism: Botswana’s Hip-Hop Star, Sasa Klaas

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The Hip-Hop industry, like many others within patriarchal societies, remains male-dominated. However, the growing presence of talented female artists who challenge and question the status quo and defy gender roles with their lyrics lends hope to a future of non-gender-biased music. Sarona Motlhagodi, more popularly known as her stage name, Sasa Klaas, is a hip-hop star from Botswana who embraces her femininity and sexuality, while dispelling negative or limiting conceptions about women. Continue reading “Exploring Lyrical & Artistic Feminism: Botswana’s Hip-Hop Star, Sasa Klaas”

Botswana’s Hip-hop Star, Enigma Pushes for Social Change

Although many understand hip-hop as simply a music genre consisting of rap and electronic beats, in actuality, hip-hop is an urban art form that depicts reality in the form of skillful lyricism designed to expose social issues and produce political change. The candid nature of hip-hop propels artists to shed light on pressing issues, and challenge, chastise, or address society’s shortcomings. Botswana’s Lebo Tsiako, more popularly known by her stage name, Enigma, is a talented hip-hop artist and emcee who both confronts and defies the stereotypes and prejudices which are embedded into a male-dominated society. Continue reading “Botswana’s Hip-hop Star, Enigma Pushes for Social Change”

Stella Mwangi’s Koolio

Today I picked Kenyan-Norweigan rapper Stella Mwangi because I thought she ties in all of the themes we talked about in class very well. Additionally, I believe that her use of language in her song Koolio is interesting and bridges two different cultures together.

Continue reading “Stella Mwangi’s Koolio”

Sister Fa: A Human Rights Activist

Sister Fa, formerly known as Fatou Diatta, was born in Dakar, Senegal. She debuted her first demo tape in 2000 and officially entered the stage or West African rap. Her songs are meant to expose the realities of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Continue reading “Sister Fa: A Human Rights Activist”

Here’s To US

Wangechi Waweru is a Kenyan rapper, singer, and songwriter. She was born on January 19th 1994 in Nairobi, Kenya. Growing up she knew she had a love for music. Wangechi has said that her passion for music derived from listening to Nazizi who is a rapper and songstress. She listened to African music from rappers such as Kalamashaka but she also listened to American music. At just the age of 12 she came to love music by artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G, Lauryn Hill, and many more. Wangechi’s taste in music was very diverse and eventually that diversity fed into her own music. When she finally found her calling for music she released her first mixtape, “Consume Chakula ya Soul”, in 2013. She came into the rap game with a unique and versatile flow. Continue reading “Here’s To US”

Dumi Hi Phone – Sho Madjozi

Within the African hip hop community, there are often instances in which artists leave their home country to pursue an academic career elsewhere. When they return to their country and produce hip hop, they sometimes combine their native language with English, creating a unique blend of cultural references. However, there are also times in which artists choose to rap in their native tongue, even though they possess the capability to rap English. Continue reading “Dumi Hi Phone – Sho Madjozi”

Little Simz Reflects On Her Struggles in “Gratitude” Visual

UK-based rapper, Little Simz, chronicles the struggles both herself and her community face in the video for her 2015 single, “Gratitude.”

Little Simz, originally from Nigeria, connects with her African heritage throughout the video. She utilizes clips of student protests that took place in Cape Town in 2015 to further emphasize the abstract idea of struggle. In one of the clips, a protester is saying that “education is not a privilege, it is a right.” In 2015, students at South African universities protested against the increase in tuition fees and demanded that they be cut by at least 11%. In “Gratitude”, Little Simz says:

“Put my feet in the studio and call it my home
While others have got no way out/”

Continue reading “Little Simz Reflects On Her Struggles in “Gratitude” Visual”

The Dancehall Diva

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Sophia Byass is  a rapper, dancehall singer, and songwriter from Gambia. She was born on March 26, 1993. She started music at a young age at a local church choir after graduating from senior secondary school. Her distinctive voice, captivating stage acts and vocal skills continue to earn her huge number of fans each time she takes to the stage. In her song her song Tell Me What she tackles the rap game. She hits you with quick bars and a lot of witty remarks some say she is the Gambian Nicki Minaj. In the first few seconds of the video she is shown sitting on a throne letting you know right away that she is the boss.  Throughout the song there is hip hop feminism. She is wearing what she wants because she can cause like I said before she’s the boss. She men standing around her to reinforce that as well and she even has male backup singers. She has a line where she says “Checking another n!$$a a damn abomination” letting you know that she is not pressed over a person and doesn’t have time for that and you should not be either. Even in the chorus she says “Tell me what you want ima tell you what you need” she plays her rules and lets you know it and if you don’t agree she’s on to next. Which I think falls under the topic sexual identity because she knows who she is and what she wants. She is one of the few Gambian female artists who ventured into a virtually male dominated dancehall domain. Despite the stiff competition in the dancehall scene, she has managed to survive the heat and continues to conquer the country’s music scene. This has enabled her to become a household name in the country’s music industry in recent years.

The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WlDY4PJ6no

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophia.byass

 

Toya Delazy – Greatest

Several African hip hop artists have left their homelands to continue pursuing a musical career in another country. However, their roots are often present in their lyrics and music, showing strong ties to their country of origin and the dialogue of the Diaspora. This is somewhat the case for South African hip hop artist Toya Delazy, whose real name is Latoya Nontokozo Buthelezi. At just 28 years old, the influential hip hop artist’s origins are from Durban, South Africa. However, Toya Delazy is currently based in London. Despite being based in London, Toya Delazy’s music illustrates strong influences of her South African history and upbringing, as well as influences of being based in London. Continue reading “Toya Delazy – Greatest”

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”