The Writah Raps

Hip-hop is as much a literary genre as it is a musical one, and as a means of storytelling the medium of hip-hop has lent its ability to convey meaning to both traditional and modern aspects of African society. And with a mic as his pen, P.P.S. the Writah crafts lyrical masterpieces that connect Senegal’s proud traditional history with it’s push toward the future. Continue reading “The Writah Raps”

Représentez Représentez

Growing up all around the French capital and hailing from all parts of francophone Africa, the Parisian hip-hop collective Sexion d’Assaut has proven that there is power in diversity. The variety of styles present in a given track mixed in with their individual lyrical collaborations combine to form a hypnotically rhythmic creation often imparting a good deal of knowledge as well. And in keeping with their powerful lyrical presence and melodious accompaniment, their track “Africain” does not disappoint. Continue reading “Représentez Représentez”

Toussa, or all-inclusive

Who is Astou Gaye, and how did she set the contemporary precedent for aspiring female rappers in the banlieus surrounding Dakar?

Better known by her stage name Toussa Senerap, Astou began her career calling out a highly-patriarchal Senegalese culture that withholds respect for women in both marriage and the hip-hop industry. There is no questioning Astou’s commitment to overturning society’s status-quo: her first experience with rap was in 50 Cent’s international banger, “In da Club” – a testament to selling drugs and pimping women that Astou transformed into a struggle for women’s emancipation. Continue reading “Toussa, or all-inclusive”

“Comment pouvez vous dormir?”

“How can you sleep?” was just one of the many jabs Senegalese rapper Eyewitness took at then president Abdoulaye Wade in his 2012 track “Message au President” or “Message to the President.”

Continue reading ““Comment pouvez vous dormir?””

Christoph the Change Wants to Know WHAT YALL WANT!? (Liberian Music)

Liberian artist Christoph the Change is one of the country’s most innovative artists that are beginning to put the Liberian music scene on the global map. He is known as a pioneer of Hipco, a native genre that incorporates Liberian English, a patois and colloquial language, with a unique rap style and traditional beats. It uses Western hip hop influences with their traditional languages and slang to create music . Continue reading “Christoph the Change Wants to Know WHAT YALL WANT!? (Liberian Music)”

Botswanan Flow is Electric

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Cashless Society AKA The Hard Cashless Society AKA THC Society highlights the collaborative efforts of Botswanan and South African Emcees Draztik, Snazz D, Black Intellect, X-Amount, Fat Free, Criminal, Tizeye, and Gemini. The music video for their 2004 track “Hottentot Hop Bantu 1, 2”, off of their album African Raw Material Vol. 1, was shot on a Botswanan salt pan. Continue reading “Botswanan Flow is Electric”

Straight Outta Kenya

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Brain Robert Ouko aka Papa Jones aka Khaligraph Jones was born on June 12, 1990 in Nairobi, Kenya. To be more specific he was raised in Kayole Estate in Nairobi. Khaligraph Jones is now a popular Kenyan hip hop artist. But he wasn’t always known. He started music at a very young age, influenced by his elder brother. He’s first recognized from his first track at the age of 13. Six years later at age 19 Khaligraph won the Kenyan Edition of the Channel O Emcee Africa competitions in 2009. Continue reading “Straight Outta Kenya”

Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha”

In their song, Stamina (ft. fellow Tanzanian rap artist, Professor Jay) exhibit heavy American influence in their hit song, Nawakilisha. Continue reading “Tanzanian Rappers, Stamina and Professor Jay, Represent in “Nawakilisha””

The Queen of Kenya

Stella Nyambura, better known as STL, is one of the best Kenyan female rappers out right now. Continue reading “The Queen of Kenya”

Rogomiki: In Spite of Modernity

In his 2015 video “Rogomiki”, Burkinabe musician Art Melody takes to the streets of Ouagadougou to rap about the conflicts he’s witnessed between tradition and modernity in Burkina Faso. The video starts with a shot of Art Melody standing with a friend and someone dressed in long, flowing traditional top and a lion’s head in a Ouagadougou city street. Melody’s wearing clothes that are a departure from the jerseys and hoodies he’s worn in pastvideos. Continue reading “Rogomiki: In Spite of Modernity”