Diaspora Rap Artists

M.anifest’s video for “Coming to America” is a perfect example of an artist representing not only their country, but the Diaspora as well. The video is shot in different cities in America, and while he is embarking on his day to day journey M.anifest is wearing traditional African clothing, and jewelry which is an example of him staying in touch with his roots while being in a new place. He talks about having to work, so that he can send money home to his family showing that he is not only in America trying to get a better life for himself, but for his people back home which is very important in the Diaspora the concept of doing it for the collective is essential to the community. M.anifest once said that ” hip hop’s more recent associations with Africa overwhelm the deeper historic ones” so he makes it a point to incorporate American styles of hip hop while staying as connected to his culture as possible, and not letting it be overshadowed by catchy beats, and music that has no meaning. There are a few times throughout the video were he stops, and looks up or raises his hands. In those moments it’s like he is taking a minute to reflect, or even remind himself of where he is, and why he is working the way that he is. The lyrics and the video tell the story of an immigrant, but rather than focusing on the harsher realities of the experience M.anifest makes it a celebratory tale that reflects the experience of someone trying to provide a better life for themselves, and their community.

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