Posted in Ghana, Student Projects

Candy For Your Eyes

Blitz the Ambassador. Just from the name you can get the feeling that this man is a well travelled, well versed rapper. Coming from Accra, Ghana he has been in the game since 2000 and has only grown deeper into his craft.  Blitz the Ambassador’s videos are some of the most visual creative I’ve seen. I love them because they tend to tell a story. In his music video “Running” Blitz uses his video to speak on the topic of spirituality. The concept of the video is that you can run from spirituality but you can’t hide from it. The video reflect this message in the story it tells

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Posted in Diaspora, Ghana, Student Projects

Get Your Body Moving

“Tonight” by African American and Ghanaian artist Prince Kofi is the perfect club bop. As the song came on and the beat dropped, I could not fight the urge to want to dance. The beat rose and fell in all the right places to make your hips move with it, and the way Kofi’s melodic voice danced over the track only made me want to dance more. The song describes an amusing, eventful night that is centered around a tale of cat and mouse. Kofi asserts that he is in need of a particular someone, a need he plans to satisfy by the end of the night. While listening to this song I couldn’t help but picture a man and a woman in a club, both distantly lusting over each other while seemingly having the time of their lives. It made me feel like I was in the club, staring my lover in the eye, daintily asking him to save me from whoever it is I’m “enjoying” at the moment. The song is fun, lively, and describes the perfect weekend experience. It is the song you turn on when it’s Friday and your finally off work or out of school and are ready for for the surprises the night will bring. “Tonight” is not a “woke,” conscious song that speaks about social injustices, which is not outside the norm for Ghanaian artist. But, one thing I could not help but notice was the similarity to U.S. artist, which probably can be attributed to the fact that Prince Kofi is African American. Kofi’s song sounded like an everyday tune, something you hear playing on the radio or as you are browsing through department stores. It’s that feel good, get out of the slumps, and sing to the top of you lungs type of song.

Posted in Africa, Diaspora, South Africa

ShabZi Madallion Holy Key

True to the form of South African hip hop, Holy Key (Remix) by DJ Khaled ft. Kendrick Lamar and South African artist ShabZi Madallion, is an example of conscious rap. As the song opens, ShabZi Madallion immediately erupts, issuing a powerful first verse laced with metaphors and ill punchlines. Madallion talks about the corruption of prominent people in positions of power and how they are taking advantage of the citizens. But, he even discusses how sometimes it is not the rich and powerful, but merely are own peers who sell us out for profit or gain, yet in reality all they obtain is a loss a freedom. Madallion’s verse highlights many of the key issues that plague the black community. First, we (the black community) are our own worst enemy. In his verse, Madallion states “they breaking even with demons,” illustrating that greed is the seed of all evil. Continuously it us who send our own people to their demise, trying to increase our own social status. Next he discusses how those in power are manipulating and deceiving the people, which has in turn led to anger and mistrust. Soon, there will be no more obedience amongst citizens. Madallion acknowledges that the black community is fed up with government corruption and will soon decide to discontinue being misled and mistreated. Finally, ShabZi Madallion highlights how the churches are exploiting the black community, fooling them to believe they have their best interest at heart but instead are contributing to the success of the exact leaders that are taking advantage of the community. Overall, I believe Madallion’s verse was the best on the song. He made me really feel everything he was saying. It was powerful, real, and the delivery was impeccable. Even though his lyrics were conscious, they were still engaging and riveting.

Posted in Female Emcees, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Student Projects

Nigerian, South African/Kenyan connection. The battle of the “Koolest”

Today on The Hip-Hop African Blog we analyze the comparison between Nigerian rapper Davido’s song “Coolest kid in Africa” featuring, awesome, South African rapper Nasty C and Kenyan pop singer/rapper Stella Mwangi’s song “Koolio.” Both songs are exciting and begin with catchy beats, however, where Davido’s “Coolest kid in Africa” starts low and slow, with heavy bass and a sick trap beat drop, Stella’s “Koolio” picks up the pace with a faster electro-hop beat that is reminiscent of Pitbull’s I” I Know You Want Me.”

In Davido’s song “ Coolest kid in Africa” he describes that the reasons that he is the coolest are that he is both rich and connected, has enough money to change your life, if you let him, and because of the amount of women who choose to accompany him wherever he goes. Whereas, Stella in “Koolio” describes her “Koolness” as a product of her awesome life, which you should already know about, because of her gangsta style, though she does profess to not be a gangsta. Additionally, she suggests that you should not try to hinder her style or movements, because she keeps her Kool cooler that Coolio, which is not only a metaphor for being the pinnacle of coolness, but also a reference to famous 90’s Hip Hop Artist Coolio, who was known for not only his Coolness but his gangsta lifestyle, point of reference “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

The biggest comparison between the two can be found in Nasty C’s verse on the “Coolest kid in Africa” which connects the party vibe of knowing how cool he is, much like how Stella professes her coolness as a fact before the song, to the concept of finding out how cool he is like Davido suggests throughout the song. Two braggadocio songs professing to how cool the other is based on previous memory of their exploits.

Davido – Coolest Kid in Africa (Official Video) ft. Nasty C

STELLA MWANGI – KOOLIO (Official Video)

Posted in Diaspora, Events, Podcasts

HHAP Episode 10: Hip Hop and the State in Cuba

This is episode 10 of the podcast, and the second in a series of episodes recorded live at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival took place the 6th to the 9th of April, 2017. This episode was a panel titled “Independent and Political Hip Hop in Cuba” with Pedro Vidal of the Cuban Soul Foundation in Miami, Florida and hip hop artists David D Omni and Escuadron Patriota, who live in Cuba. The panel was an interesting discussion on hip hop and the state in Cuba.

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Posted in Student Projects, Zimbabwe

The Love for music Boxed Up

The song I selected for this assignment was Studio in the Cemetery by UG Boyko. Boyko music was unique and well put together. The music had some sort of techno beat along with a trap feel to it. Throughout the song, he talks about not being put inside of a studio. Boyko is saying that if he enters the studio he will drop incredible lyrics. He has a great amount of confidence in his music, and one can notice that from his lyrics. He does not care about anything in the world if he has his microphone and studio. Boyko claims that he can teach other artist a couple of things. According to this track, Boyko cares about the studio more than he did attending school. One can tell after listening to the studio in the Cemetery, that Boyko has several women and haters. He describes one of the women that he is dating to have a butt that is as a big as Hippopotamus. He was very descriptive through his lyrics, painting a picture of events for anyone that was not there to witness the events themselves. He also explains through his lyrics that the studio is down in the cemetery. Boyko is at great distress, and smokes to help deal with all issues he has faced in the past with his father. His dad caused him a great amount of pain as a child. In Boyko’s younger years he was timid, and did not make clear life decisions. He has also had to deal with the death of people close to him, which caused him to gain a great amount of pain. Overall, one can really enjoy the song, because it has a great amount of life lessons that are expressed throughout it.

 

Posted in South Africa, Student Projects

We Must Hustle as a Society!!!

 

The song I selected for this assignment was Hustle by Justeez Leauge of Riches. He is a South African artist. I enjoyed how the song started off with the long instrumental in the beginning, just to gain the attention of the audience. One must respect the message of the song which is hustle. This song can fall in the motivational category, with the way he advocates his music throughout the song. He questions why individuals would not want to hustle to achieve their goals. He talks about how people must hustle every second of the day, to achieve things such money, cars, and houses. Justeez says you must hustle if you want to eat and truly be successful. Through Justeez’s track one can learn they may not want to hustle but they must understand it. He also goes in to them talking about why people would want to hustle all their life, then to be controlled. He ties this in with individuals going to college who still must follow certain imaginary rules after they earn their bachelor’s degree. This can relate to a job not hiring someone because they have tattoos or dreads, when they are clearly qualified for the job. An event like this happened to my football coach because he had his whole neck and arm covered in tattoos. This resulted in him losing out on a 400,00 thousand-dollar coaching job, just because he had tattoos. We should be able to hustle and achieve anything we want if we truly deserve it. Justeez desires to work for himself, so he can make his money. From listening to Justeez song, one can see that he is educated and knows what to do when it comes to being successful.

Posted in Diaspora, Female Emcees, Ghana, South Africa, Student Projects

Gender Roles of Women Around the Globe

The two videos I selected for my fourth blog was Kisses by Fifi Cooper and Skwod by Nadia Rose. Fifi Cooper was born in South Africa and Nadia Rose was born in London, England. I selected these two artists for very specific reasons. They were chosen as the focus of my post because of the ways differences in the ways in which they express their womanhood. Fifi Cooper upholds the roles of what many would expect from women throughout the world.  Cooper constantly sings about love. However, Nadia Rose, on the other hand, in the song Skwod displays a very hardened and masculine image, often frowned upon in many societies. In the videography, Rose wears a jump suit, as she raps about her crew. In her lyrics she states that she has the capacity to kill anyone with her flows, and that her rap verses are like punch lines. Rose was not afraid to tell people that she was their worst nightmare.

Society often forces people into particular boxes. Those who do not agree with or are unable to fit within these categories can become ostracized and judged for their decisions. Women all around the globe often find themselves considering the impact of their decisions on their friends, family, and society.  This same pressure is often not placed on men, who are frequently encouraged to act on their impulses and enjoy the wonders of life. Rose strays very far from traditional ideologies of womanhood, but comfortable in her aggression and independence. The artist, Cooper, differed entirely from Nadia. as deemed for women. Even her style differs from Rose, she spends time to ensure she appears beautiful and even wears clothing to show her body; this differed significantly from Rose who style of choice was loose clothing and sneakers. Even in Rose’s musical lyrics she discusses hanging with her crew and getting into fights, this is behavior Cooper would never agree with. On the alternative, Cooper discusses love and kisses,  throughout her entire song.. In the opening seen of Cooper song Kisses, she is applying lip stick and constantly looking at herself in the mirror. They even emphasize her vanity by showing her with a telephone shapes as a pair of lips. When comparing the two women, Cooper seems to comply to societies typical gender norms, which describe women as being emotional creatures, unable to separate their emotions from their normal day to day activities.   These two videos were both very interesting to compare, as they showed differences in gender roles within society.