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”

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”

Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung

Trae Yung is a female rapper/mc who hails from Zimbabwe’s capital of Harare. This Female MC is not one to be reckon with. Her rap  is about everything,life issues such as the problems people face everyday. She doesn’t just rap about life problems but about love,street life,just life in general. Continue reading “Switching The Game Up….Trae Yung”

Rap and Me

Eyirap is a well known female MC from Accra, Ghana. She is extremely talented and her song “Rap and Me” makes sure no one forgets it. Eyirap uses this song to tell the world she is the best in the game and no one can tell her otherwise.

“I understand the game so always I deliver..”

“Take me to the war zone and I’ll face Hitler..”

“I’m business minded I have come to annihilate..”

Eyirap uses the lyrics above as a sort of braggadocio. She establishes her dominance and credibility by saying that she can kill off anyone with her rapping ability. Continue reading “Rap and Me”

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”

Cleo Ice Queen Keeps It Sexy

According to Kabanda Slayman, a blogger for the Zed Corner blogging site, Cleo Ice Queen is apart of the top 10 sexist Zambian artist. As apart of keeping this image, she is the brand ambassador for Maximum Diva Female Condoms, she talks about it openly in her music, and even her apparel reflects her sex appeal.

Continue reading “Cleo Ice Queen Keeps It Sexy”

Toussa

Toussa is an up and coming female rapper in Senegal. Hailing from Dakar, she is one of the few female hip-hop artists that have gotten recognition. She resists patriarchy in many ways, including the way she dresses. She resists the stereotype that women should dress in a “respectable” manner. She created Gotal (which is a women’s group dedicated to promoting women in hip hop). The video showcases Toussa’s rap skills. One important thing Toussa says is that rap is something that one does, while hip-hop is something that you live. In the video, you get to see Dakar through Gotal’s eyes. We get a glimpse at the skills of all these women when they rap. One of Toussa’s rap songs called “Trompreur” describes that rap is not a game, but a rebellion. The best line, in my opinion, is “the rapper must speak between the people and the state line”. This is very important because women need to use their platforms to speak out for themselves and for those who do not have a voice. Toussa advocates for freedom of speech and for democracy. Another song that Toussa has written is called “The Life” where she talks about the difficulty in succeeding. There is definitely a challenge in succeeding in Senegal, but more so for women. She says that the people need a female rapper. I think the world needs female rappers. They overcome stereotypes and pursue their dreams that were previously unavailable. Gotal is collaborating with non-profit to promote women’s success and leadership. One woman in the group is the first female producer in Senegal. The video also takes care to show them in their communities like at the beach and in the Dakar streets. It is clear that Toussa is a key member of her community despite her rising fame and success.

 

F E M A L E

How does an Under Armour commercial display the full potentiality of feminine athleticism and power? They could set the whole video to a Sampa the Great song, for one.

A Zambian-born, Botswanan-raised artist with a point to prove, Sampa the Great has distinguished herself as not only one of Africa’s great female MCs, but one of the world’s great MCs— female or not— and her music serves to support this claim. Embracing the role of feminist inspiration and all-around skilled MC, Sampa the Great’s F E M A L E possesses a powerful and uplifting message about the power of women around the world. Its lines acknowledge just how much respect women deserve in a society that constantly allows accomplished females to go unrecognized. She also mentions the power in African women, and the importance of recognizing our roots and how they contribute to our strength. She mentions the power of women struggling economically, the power of women fighting everyday to reach their goals, and the power of women to get out and continue to achieve more. Continue reading “F E M A L E”