The Link Was Never Broken: African Connections Prevail

Although I already covered music by Ghanaian-American hip hop artist, Blitz the Ambassador, I had to revisit his work—his solo work. From taking another look, I have come to see that Blitz is a visionary. The genius of his work can be attributed to his ability to develop well- thought out concepts that are both visually striking and intellectually stimulating. The video for his song, ‘Shine’, is a direct representation of the former. Rather than the music being the primary focus, Blitz allows it to amplify and complement the underlying message. Blitz clearly has a pull to convey the Diasporic experience in most of his works; it is evident in the stories he chooses to tell, the characters he chooses to highlight and the lyrics that never fail to mention Africa as a centerpiece. {I guess this makes him an Ambassador of hip hop, of sorts.) What’s most fascinating is his use of hip hop as platform to incorporate elements of history, visual art and the like.

In the video, ‘Shine’, the storyline is about a father seeking validated immigration statuses for him and his daughter. In order to complete the process, he is asked to hop in the vehicle with two men who appear to “make things happen.” In agreeing to go along for the ride, he must abandon his daughter who accompanied him to the  initial meeting place. The father instructs his child to go home, and on the bus, the magic appears. An African deity personified, emerges next to the young girl, acting as her spiritual guide and protector, as she navigates the streets of the unnamed urban city.  The deity dressed in traditional garb and the young girl dressed in all- white “church” dress dance in unison, perfectly mimicking traditional West African movement. The significance of this video is that the child who is obviously distanced from the Motherland, still receives love, protection and an unbroken connection to an ancestral presence.

Video “Shine” by Blitz the Ambassador

I believe Blitz sought to spread the implication by way of this video, that one is never too distanced from Africa, genealogically or spiritually. Navigating life, assimilating into a foreign land and desiring security and protection are expectations African people throughout the Diaspora experience on a daily basis, whether they are conscious of it or not. The message by Blitz the Ambassador is clear, for he even says it repeatedly, “You already know, they can never change you.” Remaining cognizant of the self that is inextricably linked to humanity’s birthplace is the only sure way to ensure survival. We should all take his advice and “shine our light[s]”, persevering in our walks, because ancestral guidance and protection are never too far off— the link was and never will be broken. Kudos, Mr. Blitz.







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