When the East is in the House…

Always wanted to hear the classic Blahzay Blahzay song “Danger” in a hip-hop track from East Africa. This is a video of images and footage of East African hip hop artists (Tanzania, Uganda, & Kenya) with “Danger” playing in the background.

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Hip-Hop-Social-Change-Africa/dp/1498505805

This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Hip-Hop-Social-Change-Africa/dp/1498505805

This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Continue reading “Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati”

Hip Hop As Critical Consciousness

A Conversation on Hip Hop As Critical Consciousness by Africa World Now Project @AfWrldNwPrj

Hip Hop As Critical Consciousness by the Africa World Now Project (AWNP)

AWNP is a radio program where the hosts have discussions with activists, scholars, and artists on a number of social and political issues impacting the African world. The AWNP

Africa World Now Project airs Wednesday @ 7 PM on WSNC 90.5FM, a broadcast service of Winston Salem State University.

This two part series focuses on hip hop as critical consciousness.

Continue reading “Hip Hop As Critical Consciousness”

Trinity Hip Hop Festival

Las Krudas
Las Krudas

Images taken during performances at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival 2013. The festival was held in April and the images includes photos of Cuban hip hop group Las Krudas, Kenyan emcee Kama of Kalamashaka, Senegalese hip hop group KEUR-GUI, and Dead Prez.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.470224553055577.1073741825.355865547824812&type=1

Images from the African Hip Hop Film Series

858493_429889347089098_1633128979_oImages from the African Hip Hop Film Series at California State University Los Angeles from January to March 2013. The series featured films from Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda; as well as guest speakers and emcees from the Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and the US.

The images are featured on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kibona/sets/72157632976822110/

African Hip Hop Film Series

This winter California State University, Los Angeles is holding an African Hip Hop Film Series. The films feature hip hop scenes from all over Africa, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. All films are free and open to the public. For more information contact Msia Clark @ mclark7@calstatela.edu.

HipHopFilms

Kalamashaka

Kalamashaka is a hip hop group from Nairobi, Kenya. They become extremely popular with their song, “Tafsiri Hii“, and have made Swahili hip-hop become mainstream in Kenya. Their lyrics are written in Kiswahili and the group have shown themselves to be very socially and politically conscious. They have influenced many artists such as Gidi Gidi Maji Maji and K-South. They have also encouraged many young people from Nairobi to start their own rap groups. Many of the group’s songs are not even played on the radio in Kenya because of their criticisms of the government, but this did not stop them from becoming more popular than artists who were played on the radio. Kalamashaka have also worked with other rap groups in Kenya and released songs discussing their repressive government and other issues that the youth face.

Ukoo Flani Mau Mau

Hailing primarily out of the streets of Nairobi, Kenya but also Mombasa, Keny and even Tanzania are Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. They are a well molded collective, with a power and uniqueness and flavor that could only come from so many unique backgrounds uniting with a message under the banner of hip hop. 24 members at the moment make up the crew and their name deserves attention. It is an acronym for “a clan of Mau Mau” who reference is the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya from 1952-1960 by anti-colonial fighters against the British following  severe violent repression and economic deprivation. After years of struggle with mass murder and human rights violations by the British, the Mau Mau are revered as revolutionaries who paved the way to independence. So Ukoo Flani consist of K-Shaka, Wenyeji, Wakamba Wawili, MC Kah, Mashifta, G-rongi, Ukoo Flani (MSA:-Nguchi P, Chiznbrain, Alai Kenti, Sharama, P.O.P, Lavosti, FUJO Makelele, Cannibal, R.I.C aka Jinamizi, Labalaa, Dr. Dunga, And me DEE7 representing TANZANIA, Richizee, Shaolin aka Grand Mantis, and others. “The name UKOOFLANI is an acronym that reads Upendo Kote Olewenu Ombeni Funzo La Aliyetuumba Njia Iwepo, i.e. love everywhere all who seek teachings of the creator; there is a way.” Also according to their face book, “The objectives of the group are quality enhancement to enable hiphop to be the language to pass the real/true message to society. Through enlightening people on the economic prospects of hiphop they’d like to prove its viability as a business and a way to sustain an income for fellow youth from disadvantaged backrounds. UFMM believe hiphop is a tested and proven way out of the ghetto because it has been their rehabilitation. Each member has a story to tell about how hiphop changed their lives into artistic superiority. Coming from an environment where its an achievement to see the age of 25, and where an average person earns less than $1 a day; UFMM happily prove that with wit, clever poetry, leadership, wisdom and love, one can control their destiny.”
Now, Im not sold on that the solution to poverty in Kenya being hip hop but it certainly will be involved. The youth talk about the harsh realities on the streets and life in ghettos. They take political ideologies from revolutionaries throughout history to include Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in the hard hitting “Burn Dem.” They even use actual footage of the uprising and the British crack-down in the beautiful song “Angalia Saa.”

“Burn Dem” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcRd4IZH0hw
“Angalia Saa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqARPgKnTnE&feature=fvwrel
Hip Hop Halisi” Ft Nazizi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpijF6Prqlc&feature=related
“Ukoochonoo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhDNPPMX1o&feature=related
“Ghetto Fabulus” Ft Sister Sllage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myY1WAJlpLg&feature=related

Kalamashaka

Kalamashaka a.k.a. K-Shaka consist of three members and are credited with starting the Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. They are Oteraw, Kama and Johny and they started in the 1990s and have generated a wide base in Kenya and even other countries around Africa and the world despite getting little to no radio play or popular media help in getting out there. Their politically and socially conscious lyrics as well as the ideologies of the people they reference and aspire to are fed flags in pop culture and are actively suppressed. However K-Shaka has reached their audience in the hoods they themselves came from and more than here to stay, are putting out their own new work as well as building and facilitating hip hop as an engine for social change, education and opportunity with groups like Ukoo Flani and artisits like Nazizi. Notable of their collaborations is one with M1 from Dead Prez, and Umi POW in the song “Red Black and Green” which is definetly worth listening to so try the download below. In it they explain Red is for the Mau Mau, and Black is for the Panthers and the connections to the struggle are what fuel their music. They continue to stay true to hip hop and are influencing a whole new generation of Kenyans who would all benefit with access to their non-commercialized sound.

“Red, Black and Green” http://bombmp3.me/download.php?mp3_id=4450472&title=jamhuri+Wear+-+Red+Black+and+Green-+Kalamashaka+feat+M1+Dead+Prez%252C+Umi+POW
“Angalia Saa” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2iEVrS1qng&feature=related
“Fanya Mambo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47QTyAr-JDo&feature=related
“Haraka Haraka” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3aULB_nE8&feature=related

Documentary ‘Ni Wakati’ Brings American, East African Artists Together

Los Angeles — The new documentary by Kenyan filmmakers Michael Wanguhu and Russell Kenya premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles this year. It proved to be a good year for Kenyan film, with eight films set in the country.

Ni Wakati is a documentary that deals with issues including the state of hip hop, connections between Africans and African Americans, and the struggles between commercialized and conscious hip hop.

Continue reading “Documentary ‘Ni Wakati’ Brings American, East African Artists Together”