Final Project Mixtape

Calvin Smith

Identity and culture:  

Identity and cultural appropriation were my selected themes for this mixtape, as I thought they were one of the most critical concepts introduced throughout the given text “Hip-Hop in Africa: Prophets of The City and Dusty Foot Philosophers” as well as the provided lectures. My rationale for this is based on the fact that these concepts have become the center of social and political issues that have become increasingly evident and critical throughout our contemporary world, especially within the African continent. The issues stated have been so clearly evident over the last several years, the artist and songs provided within the mixtape provide clear representations and responses to those issues that are consistent with the will of the majority and public opinion within the continent.  

King Nubi: “El-Tangeed”:  

Nubi’s musical works heavily display several aspects of protest style Hip-Hop specifically his “El-Tangeed” track which displays a heavy concern for the contemporary social and political climate of his home in Nubia. Despite the fact he is speaking specifically about his home country his themes can be applicable to most countries within the African continent. This concern is clearly evident throughout his newest “El-Tangeed” track, specifically the lyrics that speak on the widespread social and political turmoil plaguing his home region. Nubi’s track perfectly explains the current state of his home which he exclaims is in a condition of lostness as a result of the degradation of their traditions that has become increasingly evident as time progresses. King Nubi track emphasizes that the only way for the collective to move forward regarding the matter is to execute having an increased focus on the trust and responsibility of the youth of Nubia. This is directly evident when he states, “Who can break you out of distress other than the Nubian youth.” This track is entirely inspired by the culture within the African continent and the importance of its preservation. King Nubi specifically goes about this by suggesting we take an increased focus on youth to go about accomplishing that goal.  

Abyusif: “8/8/G”:  

The content consistent throughout Abyusif’s songs and lyrics displays his depth, emotional vulnerability, and lyrical expertise. This is evident on his titled track “8/8/G” which tackles themes of alternative culture consistent within sub-cultures of African Hip-Hop which are almost never put on display when African Hip-Hop is being demonstrated to the public. However, like in all other cultures, Africa also must inevitably also contain some form of alternative culture especially within their music scenes. Abyusif has done a near perfect job a demonstrating this sub-culture and the identities that are present within that particular Hip-Hop culture. The artist “8/8/G” track does an exceptional job at portraying these identities which is why it deserved a spot on the given mixtape. A section throughout the track where this was particularly evident was when the artist stated, “This time I mean every word I write ask me if you are crazy, my response will not make a difference there are voices in my head but normally I know how to shut it up”. This clear display of alternative themes, cultures and identities. Abyusif’s musical approaches are not traditionally popular or mainstream within the Egyptian Hip-Hop scene, which makes Abyusif’s ability to maintain and accelerate popularity within Africa’s Hip-Hop culture extremely impressive as he has solidified the sub-culture alternative.  

Ahmed Santa: “Awel Gawla” and “Oghnya Old-school Gdeda”:  

Artist Ahmed Santa introduces a poppy multi-faceted Hip-Hop style accompanied with authentic and well-timed adlibs that can be closely associated with mainstream American Hip-Hop. The element of music consistent with Ahmed Santa’s music resembles a trap, rhythm, and blues styles of music that is delivered in his traditional Arabic language with brief streaks of English lyrics. The rapper’s ability to implement his traditional language consistent within his region shows that his identity is always on display within the content of his music specifically his “Awel Gawla” and “Oghnya Old-school Gdeda” singles released earlier this year. This truly makes Ahmed Santa’s Hip-Hop style unique and proper display of African identities as a whole. which is why the rapper so easily resonates with the people within his home region. However, not only does the artist resonate with the people in his country he has amassed a wide audience world-wide which puts African culture and identities on display for the entire world. The artist ability to be mainstream within music culture inevitably has a positive effect on Africa as a whole, which is why Ahmed Santa has been one of the main artists at the forefront of African Hip-Hop culture over the past several years. 

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