AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Baaba Maal

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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 in time for our weekend special of ten. Video above. Janka and the Bubu Gang (Sierro Leone via

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Africa Utopia and London’s “Festival of the World with Mastercard”

The London Olympics starts tonight and certain streets of the city are swollen with purple-shirted volunteers, track-suited athletes and tourists. In Hyde Park, the continent of Africa has been reincarnated as ‘Africa Village’ and ‘Africa Land'; the emphasis...

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

‘Very African and Very Modern’

It may be tempting to read Congolese-Belgian rapper Baloji's music as a relatively straightforward exercise in “indigenizing” or localizing hip-hop, but the story of his transnational musical moorings — especially his ambivalence toward Congolese pop — complicates...

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Occupy Africa

How do Africans–ground zero for resource extraction by the world’s 1%–feel about the now global ‘Occupy’ movement? Thus far it’s mostly restricted to South Africa (according to OWS’s own data collection) and to small once-off protests by mostly white, middle...

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Music Break / Baaba Maal and Duggy Tee

My Brooklyn neighborhood is a center for Pulaar speakers in the United States. The community has its own association, a significant proportion of the local masjids’ membership, and plenty of great restaurants that provide food from countries...

Monday, March 14th, 2011

‘Tales from the Sahel’

This coming Friday Maal and British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah will begin their UK tour of “Tales of the Sahel.” Maal and Kwei-Armah “… will spend the six performances talking, the conversation interspersed with songs from Maal and...

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Dakar Moon

The video for Baaba Maal’s first single off his new album. Brilliant song.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

BAABA MAAL LIVE

I was watching and listening to this performance–recorded live last month on Los Angeles station, KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” (musicians come to perform live on air for about one hour)–early today.  Maal is a genius. Listen here.