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.

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:

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 @



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”
“Angalia Saa”
Hip Hop Halisi” Ft Nazizi
“Ghetto Fabulus” Ft Sister Sllage

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”