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December 12, 2012 Video of the week: Lord Ekomy N'Dong

CLIP LORD EKOMY NDONG "Un soleil s'en va" by sam

Lord Ekomy Ndong with a gentle rocker called "Un soleil s'n va" (a sun departs), featuring his funky harp playing.

October 2 2008  Global Hip-Hip at CMJ

This year’s CMJ INTERNATIONAL HIP-HOP THROW-DOWN will unite the talents of a creative and diverse group of lyricists and DJs from Africa, Korea, Canada, and Europe at club DROM, located at 85 Ave A in New York’s East Village on Thursday October 23rd 2008. The event will begin at 8 PM and will last until 3 AM and will feature live international hip-hop music and DJs spinning music. The show feature a handful of rising stars including Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana), Drunken Tiger (Korea), King Reign (Canada), Empire Isis (Canada), Chachi (Cape Verde) and Too Many Fish (France). DJs Boo and Soulscape from Korea will be on the turntables. V.J Kwon from Korea will set the tone and visuals for the night. There will also be an all French Hip Hop showcase at Hiro Ballroom on Friday, October 24th featuring La Caution, Mangu and Wax Tailor.

December 30 2008  Didier Awadi protests EU-African accord

Senegal's Didier Awadi and Kirikou have taken a stand against the economic accord between the EU and the ACP (Africa-Caribbean-Pacific) countries. Like many observers, they feel it is too heavily biased in favour of the developed EU rather than the developing economies. Their reply is simple: "On ne signe pas" (We're not signing) in French, English and Wolof - which I still think is one of the world's bet languages for rapping. Check it out on the Sankara site.

September 26 2007 Awadi announces concert dates next year

I know it's a bit early, but Didier Awadi has announced concert dates for the months of May/June 2008. What I can't seem to find, however, are the dates of his current appearances as I hear he is playing in Antwerp (Belgium) on September 28. He will also be appearing in the Bataclan in Paris on October 14. More about Awadi

June 22 2007 RIP: Mamadou Konte

Although largely unknown to the general audience, African rap has lost one of its most important players. Mamadou Konte founded the Africa Fête festival in France in the late seventies, later bringing it to the US and Canada. He also set up a label in Senegal that was responsible for uncovering Positive Black Soul and Pee Froiss, amongst others. One of his most important contributions to music, however, was the continued development of a music business in West Africa, where he ran numerous programmes for training mangers and other professionals. He died in Dakar on June 21, and is survived by two sons - and a whole generation of musicians and music professionals.

April 2 2007 Alkhasser/Bigg voted Best Artist in Morocco

The infamous Moroccan rapper Alkhasser (or Al Kaiser) was doubly recognised at the recent Maghrib Music Awards when his album "Mgharba Tal-mout" was voted album of the year, and he himself was hailed as the artist of the year. The show, hosted at the Théâtre Mohammed V in Rabat, also gave awards to the Moroccan rappers Muslim (Zanka Flow) and Hell L'Mkane.

Dec 10 2006 Documentary on Ugandan Hip-Hop

"Hip-Hop Revolution" charts some of the performers in Uganda, including Hip-Hop Activists and Rah-P. Quote of the day: "they don't want to listen to bling-bling". Check it out.

Oct 29 K'Naan the future of Hip-Hop?

Great to see another African rapper getting some mainstream attention. In an article in the UK's Guardian, Robin Denselow argues that Somalia's K'Naan could well be the future of Hip-Hop after seeing him in concert at the Jazz Cafe in London where his guest was US rapper M1. It's rather a grand claim, but he makes the case well!

Oct 23 Kwaito star Lebo Mathosa dies in car crash

Lebo Mathosa, the flamboyant star of South Africa's Kwaito style, died in a car crash near Johannesbourg on October 22. Mathosa rose to fame in the group Boom Shaka, and had considerable success as a solo artist with the album "Drama Queen". She was nominated for a MOBO award earlier this year.

Oct 20 2006 Lord Ekomy Ndong plays in France, announces new album

Arguably Gabon's best hip-hop act Lord Ekomy Ndong (one half of Movaiz Haleine) appeared in France recently, playing at the Hip-Hop Atypique in Montreuil. The second release from Movaiz Haleine "On detient la harpe sacréee Vol 1" was released in September in GAbon. More news and links when they become available. More about Lord Ekomy Ndong.

Aug 22 2006 Kenya's Gidigidi Majimaji recognised at home

Kenya's rap duo Gidigidi Majimaji have returned home after a series of high-profile concerts in the US. The Standard Online profiled them in a full-page article. The makers of "Many Faces" are currently planning a new release. See The Standard for the full article.

July 27 Amkoullel releases an album to the web

We haven't had a chance to listen to all the tracks, but Mali's Amkoullel has just released an album to the net as MP3s. Amkoullel is known as one of the country's most commited performers. He has been busy performing with the jazz group Cheik Tidiane Seck. To find out more, see Bamanet. More Amkoullel information here.

June 13 2006 New compilation showcases Nigerian rap

"Lagos Stori Plenti" is the first internationally-distributed compialtion to feature music from Nigeria. The reviews are glowing, with the UK's Daily Telegraph saying, "Nigerian rap feels like a world in the making where everything is literally up for grabs". Featured artists include Terry Tha Rapman, JJC, Weird MC and Bantu. Plenti Stori on Amazon UK

April 27 African Dope Soundsystem does Europe

South Africa's "African Dope Soundsystem" is currently in Europe, playing dates in germany and Austria until August 2006. The MCs are Crosby, Gee, Black Dillinger and JJ., with Zoro from Sweden appearing at some shows.

Dates confirmed so far:

29.04. D-Tübingen Radioshow mit DJ Lamin
02.05. D-Berlin Jam FM Radioshow
06.05. D-Berlin tba
07.05. D-Berlin "push it" Radioshow
14.05. D-Mannheim Dark Tales Radioshow
24.05. D-Schelklingen "Stellwerk" feat. DJ OS (Tübingen)
10.06. D-Göppingen "Chapel" feat. Ganja Bonanza Soundsystem (Wiesbaden)
07.07. D-Stuttgart Afrika Festival
09.07. D-Berlin Heimatklänge feat. Michael Berth Radio Jam FM (Berlin)
16.07. D-Stuttgart tba
22.07. A-Seeboden "World Body Painting Festival"
28.07. S-Stuttgart tba
19.08. D-Heroldstatt "Rössle"

March 8 K'Nann on tour in Europe

Somalian rapper/spoken word artists is currently touring Europe, with dates in France, Germany, Belgium and a few in the UK through March and April. K'Nann is known as the Dusty Foot Philosopher. His website is quite cool, with lots of info about Somalia. For details, see Dusty Foot Philosopher. Or tune in on
 K'naan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher - The Dusty Foot Philosopher

Feb 17 "Bunny" Banaissa video download

I think this is cool. Moroccan-born rapper Banaissa has put his video of "Set Language" for sale. And for the royal sum of €.25 (that's 25 eurocents!). Benaissa is currently working on a new album in Germany. Check it out.

Feb 16 2006 Daara J available on iTunes Europe & US

Daara J are amongst the post popular groups on But finding the CDs is not that easy - plus some people would like to hear more before buying a CD. So we have partnered with iTunes Europe & US to enable you to check out the band and buy single tracks from the award-winning "Boomerang" album. Click here for the direct link (if you have downloaded iTunes software):
Daara J Europe
Daara J US

Feb 8 2006 "...the only way to sell is to sound obscene"

Does this sound familiar or what? But no, we're not talking about the bling scene in the US, these are comments made about Ghana's once-exciting Hiplife scene, so well defined by Reggie Rockstone. It's a comment that is being heard in many countries from Jamaica to France. People complain about violent, senseless lyrics but they continue to be played. The writer in this case has a suggestion: censorship. Yikes! Read the full story on

Jan 18 2006 "Mzansi" documentary to screen in Belgium + South African DJs

Anyone in the north of Belgium and south of Holland should check out this opportunity to catch "Mzensi", a hard-hitting documentary from Bart Van Dijck about the subcultures in South Africa. Screenings are in Turnhuot and Antwerp on January 27 & 28, followed by sets from South African DJs Cybot and Neon Demon. For details (in Dutch), check

Jan 8 2006 New compilation features Wa BMG 44

We have been banging on about Senegal's WA BMG 44 for some time, but it's been almost impossible get some of their material. The good news is that they turn up on the compilation "African Underground Vol 1". See WA BMG 44 for the link.

Nov 30 Bataka Underground reunion album on the way

Uganda's Bataka Underground played an important role in the local scene. They are now working on a reunion album, which is almost finished. Babaluku and Krazy Native aka Saba Saba have been doing a lot of charity shows in the slum areas of Uganda under the umbrella name Bavubuka Foundation (“youth”). Krazy Native unveiled his new single “Wansi Wagulu”, which was available on (but now seems to be down). Krazy Native's album, "Tujababya, The Hard Way", is to drop next year .

Nov 21 Awadi/PBS to play Angola

Angolan heads should tick off the date of December 2, when Positive Black Soul creator Didier Awadi will be appearing at the National Cinema in Luanda. Awadi is one of the true pioneers of African rap, and picked up the RFI World Music Award in 2003 and the best African Artist at Mali's Tamani Awards last December.  In addition to having created Positive Black Soul, Awadi also runs a TV show in Dakar.

Nov 14 Cameroon to host new Hip-Hop fest in 2006

The Cameroon town of Kribi is organsing a hip-hop festival early next year. Guests will include Didier Awadi, Faso Kombat & Smockey and Zara Moussa. It will also host a workshop organised by Belgium's tireless Fondation Jacques Gueux. For details, contact

Nov 3 - Kenyan Hip-Hop film to be shown in new York

"Hip-Hop Colony", the movie mentioned below, will be showing i New York on November 9 at 2.30pm. at the ImaginAsian Theater, 239 East 59th Street. It's worth catching if you're int own.

Nov 1 - JJC & 419 Squad at Overground, London

Overground is a night dedicated to showcasing exceptional underground artists in London. The audience includes die-hard fasn, as well as journalists and music biz people.  The next show features Nigeria's JJC & 419 Squad as well as JD, Funky DL and SLK.

Address: Cargo, 83 Rivington St., Shoreditch, London EC2A. Doos open 7.30 pm. More about JJC.

 Sept 15 - Int'l Songwriting Competition open to Rap/Hip-Hop entries

One of the largest songwriting competitions in the world, ISC offers entrants a chance to win over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including an Overall Grand Prize package of $10,000 (US) in cash and $20,000 in merchandise. ISC is open to both amateur and professional
songwriters, and all R&B/Hip-Hop artists are invited to submit original songs. Judges include Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC), Macy Gray, Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records), Darrale Jones (VP A&R Urban, Atlantic Records), Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive VP of Gospel/Urban Music, Sony Records) and more. Check the ISC website.

Sept 5 - UPDATE  Kenyan Hip-Hop celebrated in film

"Hip-Hop Colony" is a new documentary that traces the scene in the East African state of Kenya. People in the Los Angeles area will have an opportunity to catch at a special showing on August 6 at Art Share (801 E 4th Place).

The film is now also getting a London showing at ICA, The Mall on September 12 at 6.15pm. For more details, check Hip-Hop Colony.

June 3O  Daara J tour dates

Senegal's mighty have been on tour in Europe since March already. In July and August they will be continuing their tour with major festivals, before leaving for North America. Find the upcoming dates visit the Daara J page.

June 27 2005  Kallitz material available on their newsgroup

Fans of South Africa's Kallitz might be interested in subscribing to their Yahoo group. The band has just uploaded an unreleased track, "Stiek Nou Uit". To subscribe, click here. For more about Kallitz, click here.

June 3 JJC and 419 Squad to play London's Rise festival

JJC & 419 Squad have been confirmed for the Rise Festival which will take place on Saturday, 16 July, at Burgess Park, London, SE5, from 12 noon to 8:30 pm. Formerly known as the Respect festival, the Mayor of London’s huge FREE anti-racism festival will also feature performances by Lemar, Mitchell Brothers, Kano, Horace Andy, Eska and many more (including numerous African acts to be announced, too). JJC & 419 Squad will be performing with a live band on the main stage (1.25pm - 1.45pm).

More about JJC& 419 Squad

April 20 Mali K7 and Seydoni Mali close shop due to piracy

Two of Mali's most important labels, Mali K7 and Seydoni Mali have had to close due to the levels of piracy in the country. Both labels have been fighting piracy for years. But due to a lack of support from the authorities, notably the Malian authors rights society BMDA, the pirates have been openly flooding the market with bootlegged material. The artists and producers association estimates that a stunning 9 out of 10 cassettes for sale are bootlegged. A recent haul brought in 20,000 cassettes - a pittance given that 10 million were sold last year. Mali is an extraordinarily musical country, perhaps the real source of the blues. Artists include Ali Farka Touré and Issa Bagayogo. Rap artists include Yéli Fuzzo and Fatokan. But without a structure that enables a music industry to exist, things look very bleak for the future. Keep up with the news on MaliMusic.

April 15 Lord Ekomy Ndong in Aix/Marseilles

One of our favourites, Lord Ekomy Ndong will be appearing near Aix/Marseilles (France) on April 23 next. Venue: Espace Culturel Georges Duby d'Aiguille, with a shuttle bus. Apart from being a cool performer, this offers an opportunity to pick up the CD "L'Afrikain".  Details: 06 96 29 51 56. Read more about Lord Ekomy Ndong.

April 13 Hip-Hop activities in Belgium

Move quickly and you can catch the Urban Stories festival in Brussels, Bruges and Ghent on April 15, 16 & 17. Amongst the hip-hop films on show are "Ouaga Hip-Hop" presented by director Benny Malapa, "Style Wars" and "Freestyle Art of Rhyme". Details: Urban Stories. May 4-7, Lezart Urbaines are organising the 7th "Rencontre de danse et culture urbaines". Details on Lezarts Urbaines.

March 6 2005 JJC: UK interview and London show

If you're in the UK, look out for an interview of JJC & 419 Squad on OBE TV (Sky TV channel 223) on Thursday March 10 at 6 pm. The crew will also be appearing with a live band at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the London African Music festival on March 10 at 7.45 sharp. Guests include Kween, D'banj and Danielle Senior.

More about JJC & 419 Squad

Jan 16 New biogs: Awadi and Shaka Babs

We've just added two new biogs to African Didier Awadi, founding member of Positive Black Soul, and Shaka Babs, a former member of Pee Froiss.

Jan 10 Uganda's Rocky Giant releases debut album

19 year-old Rocky Giant's debut release "Rafiki" is picking up good airplay in Uganda and Tanzania. The album is named after his susccessful single of the same name. Rocky Giant sings in Luganda and Swahili, and has worked with Hyper-Com's Mark and True Vines' Geoffrey.

Dec 17 - Maskiri banned in Zimbabwe?

Controversial Zimbabwean rapper Maskiri is back in the news - if not on the airwaves. He told a local paper that some DJs had been told not to play tracks from his new release "Blue Movie". Maskiri frequently angers people in Zimbabwe with his lyrics. "I will not change my style in order to get airplay," he said. "Otherwise we will all end up singing the mundane stuff you hear on radio."

Full story on

Dec 15 2004 - WaBMG, Daara J and Nix pick up awards at Dakar fest

Hardcore rappers WaBMG44 picked up the coveted Best Cassette award at the recent Hip-Hop Awards in Dakar (see below). This is seen as quite an achievement, as the group is recognised as one of the most committed on the Dakar scene and had considerable difficulties in finishing the album. Other winners at the event were Daara-J (Best Live performance),  Nix (best video clip), Ass Malick (best Solo Cassette), Carlou D (Best Sales) and PBS Radikal (Revelation 2004).

Dec 7 2004 - Hip Hop Awards in Dakar

The 4th edition of the Hip-Hop Awards is currently being held in Dakar, with the support of Optimiste Produktions. The event will bring together international artists such as France's Antilop Sa,  Ivory Coast's Kajeem, Cameroon's Négrissim and Benin's H2O Assouka alongside local heroes Daara-J and WaBMG44. A cassette is being produced, with the proceeds going to the fight against Aids. For more details, visit SeneHipHopAwards. Drop back here for the award results.

Dec 2 2004 - Sorry about the absence!

We had some server problems recently, which meant African-rap was not available. As you can see, we're back! We will be adding new biogs and news over the coming days. Thanks for your patience!

Nov 9 2004 - JJC & 419 Squad nominated for a Kora

Nigerian hip-hop outfit JJC & 419 Squad are nominated for a Kora award. The annual African event will take place in Jo'burg this December. JJC & 419 are in the "Best Arfican Group" category.

More about JJC & 419 Squad

Nov 7 2004 - Late news from Amkoullel

Mali's Amkoullel was interviewed concerning his latest projects, piracy in Mali and a new mixtape on the MaliK7 site a while back. Sorry about the late link.

More about Amkoullel

Oct 29 2004 WaBMG to headline at Belgian spoken word event

Senegal's WaBMG are to headline at a special "spoken word event" in Brussels on Nov. 6. They appear after a series of local artists (including Pitcho), French and US performers. A round table will be held in the afternoon, with a concert at the Botanique in the evening. Full details on the Lezarts-Urbains website.

Read more about WaBMG44.

August 17 2004   Daara J feature in Womad Singapore

Great to see African rap getting recognition in Asia too. Senegalese masters Daara J will be appearing alongside Talvin Singh, Zap Mama and Natasha Atlas. Read the preview here.
Read more about Daara J

August 16 2004   JJC dates and compilation

JJC have a number of UK dates lined up, including Celebrity Overnight (Antonia Okonma's birthday bash) at the Café Royal on Regent St., London on August 19 and the Fast Forward festival Trafalgar Square at 3 pm on August 22. JJC also feature on the new Afrobeat Sessions compilation on Union Square.
Read more about JJC

August 1 2004  New biog: Black Noise

They just finished touring Scandianvia and are heading back to South Africa. Let's hear it for the pioneers Black Noise.

March 18 04. The East Coast scene.
The scene in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya has exploded over the past few years. This article charts the changes and debate.

Read the article on

March 12 04. "Stop debasing women"

The debate about abusive lyrics is not limited to the Western world and Jamaica. In Ghana, the International Federation of Women's Lawyers is using the upcoming Ghana Music Awards as a platform to challenge the increasing use of profanity and abusive stereotypes against women in Ghanian lyrics. The Awards are expected to be dominated by Hip-Life perfomers, playing a combination of Hi-Life and Hip-Hop.

Read more on Ghanaweb

Mr Devious RIP. It's a sad fact that most people will not have heard of Mr Devious, the South African rapper that was killed on January 23 last. His almost childlike voice was laid over some serious Hip-Hop grooves. recognised as one of the country's most influential MCs, Devious spent most of his time trying to help kids in his community. He died in a fight, protecting his father from an attack and is survived by a wife who is expecting his child.

Add your condolences on the African Hip-Hop site.

Check the African Rap archives for older news.