AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Film Review: ‘100% Dakar–More than Art’

Dakar has long been hailed as a center of African visual arts since President Leopold Senghor hosted the World Festival of Negro Arts in 1966. More recently African Artists and art enthusiasts descend onto the city for the Dakar Biennale, a major exhibit of contemporary African art that happens every two years. In the lead

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The State Of African Hip Hop In 2014

In 2014, African hip-hop has graduated from the bedroom and walked into the boardroom. It’s left its cape (baggy jeans) at the door and picked up a pair of tight-fitting pants. In extreme cases, hip-hop has shed...

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s death. When we sent around the AIAC...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Songs for Mandela [International Edition]

When we sent around the AIAC “office” inviting our contributors to suggest songs for Nelson Mandela (both music about him and tracks that could stand as tributes to the man), the suggestions came flooding in. This is...

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Wogdog Blues for Burkina Faso: An Interview with Art Melody

Art Melody, the Burkina Faso-based gruff-voiced emcee who also completes the high-octane duo Waga3000, came to my attention through the group’s 2012 song entitled “Dal fo yikin bao”, which translates to “remain strong and feisty”. Their furious spit-fire...

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Bonus: Friday Music Break, N°37

10 new music videos to finish this week of blogging. Here’s a first video by photographer and graphic designer Laurent Seroussi for Salif Keita’s new Tale album, produced by Gotan Project’s Philippe Cohen-Solal: Vimeo clip above. (The YouTube version...

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Friday Music Break, N°24

Hello! Boima here, and I’m back helping out with the Friday music break. A Haitian Rara (not Ornette Coleman) sampling rap/poem by Hyperdub affiliate The Spaceape got me excited this week, so that’s my lead off pick...

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°16

Above is how people keep warm in Johannesburg winters. And below is what you hope to bounce to during long summer nights.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The United States of Africa

The rapper Awadi was a founder of a Senegalese’s brand of political hip hop. As ‘kola wrote on this blog, Awadi was at the forefront of a 1990s social movement that helped to galvanize a youthful constituency...

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The new type of Senegalese

Just in case you were busy being distracted by Kony2012 or the rising sales of Hoodies, I am pleased to inform you that after their 25 March 2012 election, the people of Senegal voted for the removal...

Monday, March 5th, 2012

CNN does a story on Abdoulaye Wade’s praise singer, Coumba Gawlo

Senegalese griot singer Coumba Gawlo Seck is a rising star both in her native country and in Europe. People also occasionally ask her about her political opinions. What makes Coumba Gawlo interesting is that she is a...

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

All Senegal has left is a fight song

So in the end Senegal have been eliminated from the African Cup of Nations after two bad defeats–first to Zambia and today to one of the co-hosts Equitorial Guinea. And I thought they have an expensive strike...

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Is Youssou N’dour qualified to be President?

One decisive factor is N’dour’s shaky relationship to traditional Sufi religious authorities who have some sway in electoral politics. (Wade is very deferential to them.) In the past N’dour has riled them. In the most famous case,...

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Music Break

Today is Senegal’s independence day. Carlou D transformed himself from the rapper he was in Didier Awadi’s band Positive Black Soul to the singer-songwriter (supporting for Youssou N’Dour) he is these days, and did so in style....

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Music Break

We like Dakar-based rapper Awadi around here. Now he’s teamed up with Tunisian artist Samy Dorbez to bring us “Dégage” (Leave), a warning to all those that refuse to relinquish power (many on this list) and a hat tip...

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Presidents of Africa

We’ve already written about some of the songs featuring in Didier Awadi’s latest project, Présidents d’Afrique, which has been in the making for over five years. The full ‘album’ is finally here.

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Music Break: Unité En Guinée

This Sunday, Guineans will go to the polls in a presidential run-off contest between ex-Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo and his rival Alpha Condé in what is considered their first democratic election since independence in 1958. It’s...

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Senegal’s Dream President

Senegal’s 83-year old president, Abdoulaye Wade, is running for a third term.  What is it with these guys? Don’t they know when to go? The last time when he won, the opposition had a good case for...

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

The Darkness in Senegal

My former PhD adviser, David Styan, pointed me to this mixing of popular protest and music in Senegal (not widely reported in English speaking media):  Both old school crooner, Youssou N’Dour, and Senegalese rap pioneer, Didier Awadi,...

Monday, August 10th, 2009

The Young Lions

Great radio series of five ‘emerging cultural voices’ by NPR’s Africa Correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. From her base in Dakar, Senegal, Quist-Arcton focuses on young artists from making an impact not just musically, but politically. Good for them. The...