Daan Corona premiered on April 13, 2020. It is a collaborative song featuring twenty Senegalese artists under the artistic direction of Didier Awadi, himself a prominent figure in the Hip Hop scene in Senegal both as a solo artist and as a member of the group Positive Black Soul. The artists came together with the intent of raising awareness regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, which was in its early stages at the time of release, as well as using the proceeds from the song to provide additional funding to Senegal’s Department of Health.
The list of artists featured includes Youssou Ndour, Awadi himself, Matador, Mamy Victory, Duggy Tee, Bakhaw, Simon, OMG, Dip Doundou Guiss, Samba Peuzzi, Korka Dieng, Moonaya, Xuman, Ngaaka Blinde, Ndongo D, Clayton Hamilton, Viviane, Pape Biraham, Fou Malade, and Idrissa Diop. These artists represent a variety of genres of Senegalese music, including hip hop, pop, and r&b.
More than the artist credits, which provide a snapshot of Senegalese pop culture, the lyrics are the true stars of Daan Corona. The song is an entreaty to Senegal as a whole, but the country’s youth in particular, to follow social distancing protocols, mask up, wash their hands, stand united, and stop the spread of covid-19. Emphasis was placed on preventative measures and not a cure as a) the vaccine was not yet invented, and b) a vaccine would have been distrusted by many. Some of the rappers who appeared later in the song emphasize this distrust, saying they “refuse the white vaccine, Africa will no longer be their laboratory”. It would seem that both on the continent and within the diaspora, Blacks have had bad experiences with the fields of science and medicine, leaving distrust in any medical innovations like a vaccine in the wake of those experiences. There was also an emphasis on religion, and appeals made to God to protect Senegal.
Overall Daan Corona is a call to Senegal to stand united in the face of what became a global threat, a manifesto on who everyone should stay safe so that the country could beat coronavirus.