AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, February 28th, 2013

There’s more to Angolan music than Kuduro

Angola has an underappreciated independent music scene. It’s no worth denying that kuduro is our biggest export, and when you mention Angola to most savvy music fans they will instantly identify it with Cabo Snoop and perhaps Buraka Som Sistema, although the latter is more easily recognized as a Portuguese act. For all of kuduro’s

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Kuduro’s International Wave

Earlier this month, I had the rare opportunity to throw on some of my favorite Kuduro tracks at full volume in back to back succession as part of the first Os Kuduristas showcase at the iBomba party...

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Brand Kuduro

Kuduro has already received some attention on AIAC. (Is this Cabo Snoop clip intra-continental cultural colonialism?) Kuduro means ‘hardass’ or ‘in a hard place’ in Angolan Portuguese or a mix of Portuguese and Kimbundu, depending on how...

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

A Decade of Kuduro in Angola

Kuduro literally translates as ’stiff bottom’ in Angolan-Portuguese.

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Old Money’s Mothership Is Here to Save Us All

Dutty Artz, the New York-based record label I run and release music with, just put out a new EP by Old Money. This morning I put my remix of the title track ‘Mothership’ on Soundcloud, and for a limited...

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Azonto Soca in Your Area

It’s Carnival time again! Besides being one of my favorite annual excuses to party (although I usually partake in August, as I’m usually stuck in the northern cold at this time of year), it always gives me...

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Weekend Music Break 63

We kick off our weekly installment of new music videos with OttawaParis-based Mélissa Laveaux riding the crunchy electronics with flair on her new offering, ‘Triggers’, in a video directed by Terence Nance — remember also this other...

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°43

It’s been far too long since we had a music break. So without too many words, we’re going to jump right in with what’s been on our radar for the last couple weeks. In a fascinating illustration...

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

The battle over the 27th of May in Angola

On Monday May 27th, the Political Bureau (BP) of the ruling MPLA condemned the political appropriation of “o 27 de Maio” (the 27th of May) by people who had no direct involvement in the events or their...

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°42

Gata Misteriosa and Lee Bass (the Mozambican-Portuguese-Ghanaian-German duo who go by the name of Gato Preto) dropped this new video for “Pirao” last night: no longer strictly kuduro, not yet sure what to call it, but right...

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°41

From Luanda: Dj Djeff has Nacobeta, Agre G & Game Walla doing their thing in the new video for “Mwangolé”. There’s a standard success script for all those kuduro videos out there. Not that we mind:

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°40

South African kwaito group Mafikizolo underscored their comeback this week with the release of the video for “Khona” off their new album, Reunited. The video which also features vocals from Uhuru and Mapiano, takes the group back...

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°39

This year’s turning into a good year for quality music videos. Here’s another selection of 10. First one below is a single from Durban’s Nandi Mngoma’s new album (she has a fancy blog though there’s more chance...

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Angola: One Party, One Voice

Angola is a country that has been ruled by the same party, the MPLA, since independence in 1975. The party has effectively transformed itself from a socialist bloc into a purely capitalistic organization with a diverse array...

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Weekend Music Break, N°31

Once again, demonstrating Azonto’s global reach, the Azonto London Allstars conquer a myriad of urban landscapes with their indefatigable dance moves to the beat of a mix by DJ Sawa. Above. Next, with hair fit for the...

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Review of new film on heavy metal in Angola

In case you thought kuduro—most recently discussed on this blog here, here, and here—is all that Angola’s music scene has to offer, you were wrong. Although Angolan death metal is nowhere near as popular as the dance and music style...

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Weekend Music Break, N°29

Here’s a resolution for the new year: to feature more Togolese pop. If you don’t know who the above Toofan duo is, google “Cool Catché”. Kuduro on the other hand we can never feature enough — this...

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Os Kuduristas: Hip as Nationalist Project

Let’s say you’re the son of a very wealthy political leader, from a country that was fighting a long war for independence in the 1970s (remember, that war that’s been reduced to a subplot in a video...

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°28

Kuduro pioneer Sebem (fresh out of prison; he was in for repeated traffic violations, from what I understand) has a new video out (above); the clip’s rural setting is surprising, given kuduro’s over-all urban flow. Next, a...

Monday, November 5th, 2012

80% of Angolans alive today have only ever called one man President

Eighty percent of Angolans today have only ever called one man President. Sure, some have had other allegiances; there was a serious armed opposition and there were 27 years of civil war, but José Eduardo dos Santos...

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°21

Nigerian-Swedish pop star Dr Alban features in this new St. John’s Dance video above. Swedish-Finnish-Gambian (yeh) rapper Adam Tensta is the guy behind the group. (Tensta started with more straightforward rap, but has since found a slightly different...

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°18

Another ten music videos that we’ve been playing a lot recently. The first one above. Kudurista Titica’s ‘Ablua’ is a stomper. (Talking about Angolan music, and its history: Marissa Moorman has been consulting Afropop Worldwide for a...

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Kaleidoscope goes to Africa

The summer issue of Kaleidoscope, a contemporary art magazine based in Milan, is devoted to ‘art and culture produced in (or related to) the African continent today.’ It’s full of good stuff. Many of the artists we’ve...

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Take The A Train

I’ve recently taken on a new daily commute from Bed-Stuy to Harlem via the A Train. This route, once celebrated in song by Duke Ellington, was and remains famous for connecting New York’s two largest and most historical Black...

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Friday Bonus Music Break, N°7

Nowadays we’re doing multiple #musicbreaks on Twitter and Facebook when the spirits move us. We figured we’d put the ten favorite ones up every Friday as our #BonusMusicBreak. First up, old school jazz man Pharoah Sanders is still doing...

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

‘Africa’s first* transgender music star’

African governments don’t want us thinking that “homosexuality” is within the realm of their “traditional values”. So these leaders, even Nobel Peace Prize winning ones, use that as an excuse to justify the persecution and lack of protection for...

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Rapping in ‘Father Banana’s Country’

The Angolan rap artist MCK (MC Kappa) released his third CD, Proíbido ouvir isto (Listening prohibited) in December 2011. Musically and lyrically it is his most complex and mature work yet and includes collaborations with a number...

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The whole ‘Afrobeats’ thing

Two recent features in the mainstream British media turned out to be enough to spur some debate about the so-called "Rise of the Afrobeats" in the U.K. The Guardian interviewed DJ Abrantee (quoting Abrantee as him having...

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Rock Angola

Angolan rock band Café Negro's "Kilapanga do Orfão" (the Orphan’s Kilapanga) fuses rhythms from northern Angola fused with rock music. The latter has been popular in Angola since the late colonial period (which ended in 1975...

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

10 West African Club Tracks

I’m a DJ. So it’s only right I give you ten songs that filled up my crates in 2011 to play out the year. No rankings, just the first 10 club friendly Afropop tracks I could think...

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