HHAP Episode 13: Tanzanian Hip Hop Artists on English Rap in Tanzania

We sat down with 2 groups of young hip hop artists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The first interview includes Mukimala, Salma, & Catalyst. The second interview includes HIM, Victor the Traveler (who is a producer), & Sima. Both groups have completely different styles and approaches to hip hop culture. But both groups are among a new generation of Tanzanian MC’s rapping in English, instead of Swahili.

The goal of the interviews was to have a conversation about language an hip hop in Tanzania. There are so many views on the language debate, but hip hop artists in Africa have been debating it since hip hop first began being performed in Africa. Tanzania has been known for its Swahili hip hop, but there is an increasing number of young artists who feel better equipped to perform primarily in English.

The conversations also touched on a few interesting topics, including consciousness in hip hop, self censorship, gender, the use of the N word, and thoughts on the African Diaspora.

There are two warnings for listeners: 1. There is some profanity in both the interviews and artists’ songs. In addition, There are some sound issues in the second interview. We’re trying out new equipment so bear with us.

Podcast time stamps

00:00 Episode intro
10:00 Muki & Salma “How You Feel?”
11:50 Catalyst “Drowning”
12:31 Interview with Salma, Muki, & Catalyst
37:30 Interview conclusion and introduction of the next interview
40:05 Brian Simba “Mambo Mbezi”
41:52 HIM “Soul Truthful”
43:53 Sima “Pawn Dreams”
46:06 interview with HIM, Sima, & Victor
1:06:07 Interview conclusion and episode outro message
1:08:32 Mukimala& Sima “Inspiration”

Artist information

@TemaYaiNation (the collective of English speaking artists) on Twitter and SoundCloud

Salma is @naitwasalma on Twitter and SoundCloud

Muki Mukimala is on SoundCloud

Catalyst is on SoundCloud

H.I.M. in on SoundCloud

Victor the Traveler is on Twitter as @VictorZtraveler

Sima is on SoundCloud

Brian Simba is on SoundCloud (on the SoundCloud page there is information on how to download his mixtape Masaki Theory).