Wakazi is a bilingual Tanzanian hip hop artist. He grew up in Dar es Salaam, but spent several years in the United States, where he was active in the Chicago hip hop scene. Like many MCs who spend several years abroad, when he returned to Tanzania he had to prove himself on the local scene. He was able to craft his brand, largely by harnessing the power of social media. In this interview, Wakazi talks about his experiences in Chicago, with the local hip hop scene and how his experiences there have impacted his career. He discusses his return to Tanzania, the reception he faced on his return, and how has managed to build his career. Wakazi, who is fluent in English and Swahili, also talks about multilingualism, and the use of other Tanzanian languages in hip hop. Wakazi also reflects on some of the struggles within the hip hop community, some of which he feels is largely due to a lack of mentorship by the first generation of Tanzanian hip hop artists. He also discusses perceptions & understandings of African American culture in Tanzania.
Wakazi’s music can be purchased on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wakazi/928220403
Nomadic Wax Super MC: https://nomadicwax.bandcamp.com/track/super-mc-v2
Wakazi is online at
Twitter @Wakazi: https://twitter.com/Wakazi
Facebook @wakazimusic: https://www.facebook.com/wakazimusic/
Instagram @wakazimusic: https://www.instagram.com/wakazimusic/
Youtube @wakazimusic: https://www.youtube.com/user/WakaziMusic
This Saturday (25 of March) is the 3rd anniversary of Lyricist Lounge in Dar es Salaam. Lyricist Lounge celebrates 3 years of spoken word, poetry, and lyricism by bringing to the stage a lineup of international MCs, poets, and DJs.
This year features some of the finest poets & MCs in TZ, including MCs like Mukimala from Wanaitwa Uhuru and Wakazi.
This year there will also be a set by DJ Kaka Kahlil, by way of California & Puerto Rico. LL will also feature legendary NYC graffiti artist Kool Koor. You can see more of Koor’s work at http://koolkoor.wix.com.
Lyricist Lounge TZ
30 days of Tanzanian hip hop: Day 14 – Wakazi. He represents the Ukonga neighborhood in Dar and later moved to Chicago where he was part of the underground hip hop scene. He returned to Tanzania a few years ago and has been making a lot of moves.
*30 days of TZ hip hop is to show some of what I experienced the past year in Tanzania.