Lord Ekomy Ndong with a gentle rocker called "Un soleil s'n va" (a sun departs), featuring his funky harp playing.
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.
30 2008 Didier Awadi protests EU-African accord
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.
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
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
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.
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.
29 K'Naan the future of Hip-Hop?
Great to see another African rapper
getting some mainstream attention. In this 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! Read
the review here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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"
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
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.
16 2006 Daara J available on iTunes Europe & US
Daara J are amongst the post popular groups on
African-Rap.com. 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
tracks from the award-winning "Boomerang" album. Click here for the
direct link (if you have downloaded iTunes software):
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 GhanaMusic.com.
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 Roetes.be.
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.
30 Bataka Underground reunion album on the way
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
Native unveiled his new single “Wansi Wagulu”, which was available on
www.indigenous.be (but now seems to be down). Krazy Native's album,
"Tujababya, The Hard Way",
drop next year .
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
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
- 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.
- 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
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
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,
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
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
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).
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.
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.
13 Hip-Hop activities in Belgium
Move quickly and you can catch theUrban 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.
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
We've just added two new biogs to
African Rap.com: Didier Awadi,
founding member of Positive Black Soul, and Shaka Babs, a former member of Pee
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.