Good doses of pan-Africanism*

Since it first came out last year I’ve had Nas and Damian Marley’s concept album “Distant Relatives” on repeat. There are some lapses on the album, but I really like the track “The Promised Land.” Basically Marley and Nas updates Dennis Brown to big up Africa.


Nas doesn’t make much sense, but Damian Marley stays true to Brown’s sentiments:

Imagine Ghana like California with Sunset Boulevard
Imagine Ghana like California with Sunset Boulevard
Johannesburg would be Miami
Somalia like New York
With the most pretty light
The nuffest pretty car
Ever New Year the African Times Square lock-off
Imagine Lagos like Las Vegas
The Ballers dem a Ball
Angola like Atlanta
A pure plane take off
Bush Gardens inna Mali
Chicago inna Chad
Magic Kingdom inna Egypt
Philadelphia in Sudan
The Congo like Colorado
Fort Knox inna Gabon
People living in Morocco like the state of Oregon
Algeria warmer than Arizona bring your sun lotion
Early morning class of Yoga on the beach in Senegal
Ethiopia the capitol of fi di Congression …

Okay, I know, what with “Magic Kingdom inna Egypt”? Or maybe that’s deliberate going by the video for another track “Patience.” (That video is something to behold with its mix of Egyptology, “The Never Ending Story,” Indiana Jones, Shaka Zulu, and “Coming to America” references.) And why model African cities and countries only after the highly unequal glitz of north America?  But we’ll forgive them those lapses. To the Promised Land.

* This is hopefully a new meme on AIAC.

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is the Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country. He is on faculty of The New School in New York.

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