AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

MUSIC

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Friday, October 24th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Video Profile On Rapper Sam Turpin

“The thing about Joburg,” observes rapper and producer Sam Turpin “it’s kind of on the scale of rich and poor.” Sam’s music explores themes of growing up in a changing South Africa. He’s constantly questioning, learning and adjusting according to the dictates of his environment – oftentimes one not receptive and trusting of white people

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Music Revue, No.2: Dookoom Rises Up

Finally South African hip hop is spurring national debate, and it’s not Die Antwoord.  No it is Dookoom, the new Cape Town hip hop outfit fronted by local legend Isaac Mutant, which has caused a huge stir with...

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Thoughts On The Late Rapper Mizchif

I was home alone one Friday night around 2001 watching, as was tradition, one of the music shows which came on at SABC 1 during that period. It could’ve been Studio Mix during its dying years, or...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

#SAHipHop2014: Rapper Flex Boogie Live At Fingo Festival

As member of the hip-hop quartet Ba4za, Hakeem Lesolang presided over one of the most fertile yet under-appreciated eras in South African hip-hop. Capcity Rapcity as it was referred to by the bundles of heads scattered across...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Music Revue, No.1: Is DJ Lewis’s “Stop Ebola” his “Grippe Aviaire” pt. 2?

DJ Lewis recently released a “Stop Ebola” song and video that reminds me of “Grippe Aviaire”, a song he released during the global Bird Flu pandemic some years ago: As I mentioned in my Cultural Anthropology contribution, “Grippe Aviaire” was more making...

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Ebola in Perspective: The role of popular music in crisis situations in West Africa

Cultural Anthropology published a series of articles last week called “Ebola in Perspective,” curated by two experts on crisis in the Mano River region, Danny Hoffman and Mary Moran. The Hot Spots series is an attempt by the journal to...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 6

(photo via NBC news) Africa is a Radio episode 6 opens up with a transnational blend, combining remixes of Dotorado Pro’s “African Scream” with its sample source: DJ Sbu & Zahara’s “Lengoma.” From there we travel around...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A museum in the middle of the street

Three towering moko jumbies stroll up behind the stage, as if on cue, dressed in suits of glow-in-the-dark yellow and electric blue. The sun is setting on the second and final day of ChaleWote, Accra’s annual street...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Get Well Soon, Ashoka

Today the American network NBC announced publicly that friend (and contributor) of Africa is a Country, Ashoka Mukpo, is the freelance journalist who has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being flown to the United States for treatment (read Ashoka’s...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Jitsvinger–Practicing, Not Preaching

This article by Lindokuhle Nkosi originally appears on the PASS website. She kindy agreed to let us publish it. Lindokuhle is one of two South Africans partaking in this year’s Invisble Borders project. She documents her encounters...

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The Upright Citizens of Burkina Faso

‘Here in Burkina Faso, we put the dust under the carpet… but there are so many things to sweep!’ Interview with Smokey, burkinabè rapper and cofounder of the movement Le Balai Citoyen (The Civic Broom) In Burkina...

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Transgender in Botswana

“Pula, pula, na, na, ke tla gola leng.” The ethereal club banger “My Body” by Kat Kai Kol-Kes and her band Chasing Jakyb is an ode to the physical meeting of human body and rain. Kat is...

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The Fingo Festival Revolution in South Africa’s Eastern Cape

“You’ve got a car? It’s less than two hours from here” says a Rasta woman I’ve known for a total of ten minutes. In that time, she’s managed to convince me to travel with her to a town...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hipster’s Don’t Dance’s Top 5 World Carnival Tunes for September 2014

The second edition of the Hipster’s Don’t Dance monthly chart on Africa is a Country is here! Check it below, and be sure to visit the HDD blog regularly for all their great up-to-the-timeness out of London.

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Mos Def/Yasiin Bey: ‘I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa’

Mos Def, now living in Cape Town and collaborating with Petite Noir, talking to Dazed Digital. I don’t think that there’s necessarily one sound of Africa. Consider the Blk Jks and The Brother Moves On, those that are...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Hip Hop And Religion

Off the whim, I asked Kwanele Sosibo if he’d be interested in contributing to the series. He swung me this fascinating, unpublished piece about hip-hop and religion within a South African hip-hop context. Sosibo writes for the Mail and...

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

‘This Ewe Boy’

New video for ‘Hope,’ by Ghanaian rapper Abladzo Kwame, off his EP ‘This Ewe Boy.’

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Epsiode 5

Africa is a Radio went on break last month along with Africa is a Country, so I’m just now able to get to posting July’s show here. This episode focuses on South African Hip Hop, both commercial...

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

It may be time to drop the ‘world music’ label (and The Brother Moves On has something to say about it)

Last week the second Cape Town World Music Festival (CTWMF) took place, and warmed up a very cold and wet “Mother City” weekend. The notoriously lax Cape Town audience (myself included) got out from under our duvets to...

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Watch’s Umlilo’s new music video “Magic Man” here first

You’ve seen the teaser, now see the video. Umlilo, is back with his fifth music video single, ‘Magic Man’ from his upcoming EP, ‘Aluta’. 

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Rap Songs About Weed

Hip-hop’s love affair with marijuana is a much-publicized affair. Artists such as Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg have built careers by co-opting the good ganja crop and working it into their public personas. Of late, the likes...

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Goma Rap: The 9th annual Salaam Kivu International Film Festival

When the M23 militia took control of Goma, the capital of North Kivu in Eastern Congo, in late 2012, the premises of Yole Africa were quickly occupied by a large crowd of youngsters. Some of them were...

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Interview With Khuli Chana

On the morning of 28th October 2013 – a Monday – South Africa woke up to news that rapper Khuli Chana’s vehicle had been shot at by the police after they mistook it for that of a...

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

South African Hip Hop Series: Ill Skillz In Five Videos

Cape Town’s self-proclaimed two dope boyz Uno and Jimmy Flexx are Ill Skillz. At the end of 2013 they released Notes from the Native Yard (NFTNY), a collection of songs steeped in the tradition of great storytellers...

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

This Studio Of A Life–The Tale Of A Great Producer

Inyambo Imenda is the birth name of producer Nyambz (or Nyambo). He went to high school in the proverbial ‘middle of nowhere’ — a small town called Harrismith in South Africa’s Free State Province where him and a rapper friend...

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

On being young, black and queer in South Africa

Umlilo (previously profiled on Africa is a Country here) continues to push societal boundaries, crushing the norms of sexuality and gender roles with ‘Magic Man’, a track from his latest album, which will be released in July...

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Pretoria’s Forgotten Hip-Hop Scene

In 2010, documentary filmmaker Sara Chitambo packed up five years’ worth of life in Cape Town and relocated to the eGoli, ePitori to be precise. Among her long list of priorities was to immerse herself the Pretoria...

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Music: Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali goes global

Listening to Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali’s newest album Tzenni is like enjoying a complex and meticulously prepared meal. Like an aromatic spice, her striking voice adds richness to each song, combining gorgeously with guitar, bass, drums...

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 4 (World Cup Special!)

I’m shortening the name of Africa is a Country Radio. From now on (save for when I slip up) the show will be known as Africa is a Radio! This month’s show dives fully (rather than the...

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