NGRTD

Known by his stage name “Youssoupha”, Youssoupha Mabiki embodies the defining characteristics of progressive French rappers in his song Entourage. A captivating story of immigration, education, and social consciousness defines Youssoupha’s rise to prominence in a crowded French rap scene.

Youssoupha was born in Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1979 as the son of a Congolese musician and Senegalese mother. Similar to many adolescents in the francophone world, the family decided a western education was in order and sent Youssoupha to live with relatives along France’s Mediterranean coast. Youssoupha dedicated himself to his studies through graduate school, when he decided to dedicate his life to music. Continue reading “NGRTD”

HHAP Episode 6: Kwanza Unit, Hip Hop, and Pan Africanism in Tanzania

This episode features a conversation with two hip hop pioneers from Tanzania, KBC & Zavara (aka Rhymson) from the group Kwanza Unit. The conversation discusses the early days of hip hop in Tanzania, the influence of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania’s 1st President) on the social consciousness in Tanzanian hip hop, language and Kwanza Unit’s decision to begin performing in Swahili, the current state of hip hop in Tanzania, the relationship between artists and the national arts council and their policies around copyright and royalties.

Parts of the conversation are in Swahili. Non-Swahili speakers will be able to follow the conversation and attempts are made to summarize the Swahili portions into English.

Table of Contents

Podcast intro – :40

“Put Ya head Up” – 11:21

“Msafiri” – 14:40

Interview – 18:26

“Run Tings” – 1:37:35

“Check Navyo Flow” – 1:41:32

“So Why” – 1:45:35

Resources

Perullo, Alex. (2005). Hooligans and heroes: Youth identity and hip hop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Africa Today, 5 (4), 74-101.

Perullo, Alex. (2011). Live from Dar es Salaam: Popular Music and Tanzania’s Music Economy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Perullo, Alex. (2012). Imitation and innovation in the music, dress, and camps of Tanzanian youth. In Eric Charry (Ed), Hip Hop Africa: New Music in a Globalizing World (pp. 187-209). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Ntarangwi, Mwenda. (2009). East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization. University of Illinois Press.

Lemelle, Sidney J. “‘Ni wapi Tunakwenda’: Hip Hop Culture and the Children of Arusha”. In Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, (Eds). The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture (pp. 230-54). London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Pres

Casco, J. A. (2012). From Music to Politics: Hip Hop in Africa as a political option for the youth: the case of Tanzania. Youth and the city: expressive cultures, public space appropriation, and alternative political participation (pp. 1-18). Madrid: 8º Congreso Ibérico de Estudios Africanos.

Reuster-Jahn, Uta. (2014). Antivirus: The revolt of bongo flava artists against a media-and-entertainment empire in Tanzania. In Matthias Krings and Uta Reuster-Jahn (Eds), Bongo Media Worlds: Producing and Consuming Popular Culture in Dar es Salaam (43-78). Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2012). Hip hop as social commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam. African Studies Quarterly, 13 (3), 23 – 36. http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Clark-V13Is3.pdf.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2013). The struggle for authenticity and against commercialization in Tanzania. Journal of Pan African Studies, 6 (3), 5-21. http://www.jpanafrican.com/vol6no3.htm.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). The role of new and social media in Tanzanian hip hop production. Les Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines, 216 (4), 1115-1136.

Clark, Msia Kibona (2014). Gendered representations among Tanzanian female emcees. In Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster (Eds), Ni Wakati: Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.

This episode features a conversation with two hip hop pioneers from Tanzania, KBC & Zavara (aka Rhymson) from the group Kwanza Unit. The conversation discusses the early days of hip hop in Tanzania, the influence of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzania’s 1st President) on the social consciousness in Tanzanian hip hop, language and Kwanza Unit’s decision to begin performing in Swahili, the current state of hip hop in Tanzania, the relationship between artists and the national arts council and their policies around copyright and royalties.

Continue reading “HHAP Episode 6: Kwanza Unit, Hip Hop, and Pan Africanism in Tanzania”

The Role of New and Social Media in Tanzanian Hip-Hop Production

The Role of New and Social Media in Tanzanian Hip-Hop Production by Msia Kibona Clark

Cahiers d’études africaines 2014/4 (N° 216)

Abstract: Tanzanian hip-hop artists are finding ways to use social media and technology to both participate in social discourse and to disseminate their music. The increased reliance on alternatives to traditional media tests the power of new technology and social media to allow artists to successfully bypass established institutions and barriers. Likewise, it tests the importance of social media in creating a space for Pan African dialogues to occur, viahip-hop. One of the earliest clues that new and social media would signal revolutionary change in the dissemination of hip-hop worldwide was the launch of MySpace in 2003. By 2010 an increasing number of hip-hop artists from Tanzania had created fan pages on Facebook, uploaded videos on YouTube, and opened Twitter accounts. This research examines the ways in which hip-hop artists in Tanzania use this social media to engage audiences, the effectiveness of these strategies in the face of an increasing number of online Tanzanians, and how social media helps artists bridge barriers to Pan African dialogues with artists across Africa and the Diaspora.

French

Le rôle des médias sociaux en Tanzanie en production hip-hop

Les artistes de hip-hop tanzaniens recherchent des moyens d’utilisation des médias sociaux et des nouvelles technologies qui leur permettent à la fois de participer à des discours sociaux et de diffuser leur musique. Le recours accru à des alternatives aux médias traditionnels questionne le pouvoir qu’ont les nouvelles technologies et les médias sociaux de soutenir les artistes tentant de contourner les institutions et les barrières établies. De même, elle interroge l’importance des médias sociaux dans la création d’un espace où surviendraient des dialogues panafricains, au travers du hip-hop. L’un des premiers indices signalant que les médias sociaux allaient engranger des changements révolutionnaires dans la dissémination mondiale du hip-hop fut le lancement de Myspace en 2003. Avant 2010, un nombre croissant d’artistes hip-hop de Tanzanie avaient créé leurs pages Facebook, téléchargé des vidéos sur Youtube, et ouvert des comptes Twitter. Cette recherche examine les manières dont les artistes de hip-hop en Tanzanie utilisent les médias sociaux pour toucher leurs publics, l’efficacité de ces stratégies auprès du nombre croissant de Tanzaniens connectés au Net, et comment les médias sociaux aident les artistes à vaincre les obstacles qui pourraient s’opposer aux dialogues panafricains avec des artistes de l’Afrique et de la diaspora.

Hip Hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam

Hip Hop as Social Commentary in Accra and Dar es Salaam by Msia Kibona Clark

African Studies Quarterly | Volume 13, Issue 3 | Summer 2012

Abstract: This paper looks at the use of African hip hop as social commentary in Accra, Ghana and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hip hop is by its definition a tool of self- expression and self-definition, and is often used as a tool of resistance. Young artists are using the platform of hip hop to speak out on a host of social and economic issues. A transcontinental conversation is now happening with artists all over Africa and the Diaspora. This paper focuses on the hip hop communities in Accra, Ghana and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Both nations have hip hop communities in which socially conscious hip hop is marginalized. In addition, the histories of these two nations are linked by their histories as battlegrounds in the struggle for Pan Africanism, non-alignment, and socialist ideals. These factors have influenced the use of hip hop for social commentary in both cities. This examination of hip hop in Accra and Dar es Salaam reveals important conversations occurring around politics and economics, on both a national and international level. Hip hop artists and the youth they represent are an important component of any social or political struggle towards progress. This research contributes to the need to engage with African hip hop culture and understand its growing implications for Africa.