Tag: Chuck D
Yugen Blakrok doesn’t incorporate hip hop’s boom-bap style, she has no interest in being the Queen of SA rap, she does not do trap, and she is not interested in being boxed into someone’s idea of a conscious MC. Her music has been described as “a mix of sci-fi soundscapes & meditative melodies”. It’s definitely introspective and speaks to you on several levels. It blends references to places, times, & themes both inside and outside of South Africa and contains spiritual references that borrow from diverse spiritual systems. Yugen Blakrok was born in the Eastern Cape and later moved to Johannesburg, the heart of South Africa’s music industry. She released her 1st album Return of the Astro-Goth in 2013 and her second album, Anima Mysterium, which contains a cameo by Kool Keith in 2019. In 2018, she featured on the track “Opps” with Vince Staples & Kendrick Lamar on the Black Panther soundtrack. In this interview, she engages in thought-provoking dialogue with our students who really connected with her music, which transcends a lot of boundaries. Yugen’s music does not just belong to South Africa but has universal messages that connect on human levels. Additionally, she spoke to us about being a socially conscious artist without the need to declare it, but being socially conscious by being it, not necessarily saying it. The conversation is moderated by Mikal Amin of Words Beats & Life. We’re joined at the very end by Phiwokuhle Mnyandu, who teaches Zulu at Howard University. Yugen Blakrok is online at Twitter @YugenBlakrok Instagram @YugenBlakrok Bandcamp yugenblakrok.bandcamp.com
This is the video edition of the special episode of the Hip Hop African Podcast Episode 54: A conversation with MC Jahi from Enemy Radio
The HHAP’s conversation with Jahi from Enemy Radio.
This episode features MC Jahi, who is a member of Enemy Radio with Chuck D, DJ Lord & S1W’s. He is also an MC, a DJ and an educator. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Jahi launched his professional career in 1999 as the opening artist for a show that was headlined by Public Enemy at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Soon after, he connected with Chuck D and has since worked with him on several projects. Jahi is also an educator, who has worked in K-12, university, and community classroom settings.
In this interview we spoke about his life leading up to his 1999 performance, and the work he has done since then, including his recent album Forward Future. He recently traveled to Ghana, and is planning to expand his collaborations in Africa. As an artist whose perspective is grounded in hip hop as a Pan African expression, as a platform for Pan African dialogue, we wanted to expand the conversations we typically have on this podcast. There is definitely a desire to highlight and support further connections between African and Diaspora artists.
In this episode we spoke with Mikko from Planet Earth Planet Rap. Mikko has years of knowledge & experience with hip hop culture and the music industry, and it was great to get his impressions of hip hop around the world, and where some of the strongest hip hop scenes are, and who some of the artists he listens to are. He has listened to hip hop music from artists in every corner of the globe, and his experience and love of the culture has given him some great insights.
Mikko talks about the emergence of Planet Earth Planet Rap (PEPR) and their work of curating hip hop music from across the globe. He also talks about his work in South Africa with Bush Radio, a legendary hip hop station out of Cape Town, and PEPR’s current relationship with Chuck D’s And You Don’t Stop radio network.
We talk about the power of NGO funding in African hip hop. Specifically, the role NGOs play in the direction and production of socially conscious hip hop music in Africa. This led to candid talk about race and privilege, and how Mikko, as a Finish hip hop head, has navigated his position to make a space available for hip hop from around to be heard, without artists having to deal with payola and the egos of radio & TV station tastemakers.
The intro and outro song is “Quu Saa” by South African hip hop group, Driemanskap. The group was part of the “spaza” rap scene and perform mostly in isiXhosa: https://driemanskap.bandcamp.com