AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Brooklyn

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Friday, November 22nd, 2013

L’Afrique Est Un Pays

This past October was the Dutty Artz crew’s 6 year anniversary, so we decided to celebrate by releasing a compilation in the form of a series of four free geographically-oriented EPs with accompanying DJ mixes. The final edition has Africa as its loose geographic focus (even though we’ve already dipped into Africa with our What Edward Said EP), and is

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

The Dust Bowl

Sean Jacobs took this picture, enhanced by Instagram, in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, yesterday. This is a regular pickup game that’s been in existence for as long as Sean can remember. Here, btw, is how Elliot Ross...

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Review: Andrew Dosunmu’s “Mother of George”

From the opening moment of Andrew Dosunmu’s magnificent new film, “Mother of George” (we’ve talked about the film before here and here), the viewer is immediately transported into a dream space – one of deep indigos, radiant golds,...

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Photographing the African Diaspora in New York City

In a world ever more saturated by images, understanding how to read pictures has never been more important. In a course this summer at the New School in the GPIA, students learned how to read images, and...

Monday, August 12th, 2013

When Jean-Michel Basquiat went to Africa

Jean-Michel Basquiat, the first American artist of African descent to achieve international stardom, often referenced Africa or the African diaspora in his work. Take, for example, 1983′s “The Nile” (a painting that featured nods to Egyptian hieroglyphs,...

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Rap Comes Home

It’s quite a weekend for New York’s prodigal child. Hip-Hop, that burst of youthful energy that was put out into the universe 30 plus years ago is coming back home from several places at once. It’s arriving at...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Watching the African Cup of Nations at Madiba in Brooklyn

In the Fall, I (along with two other New School students Rob Navarro and Owen Dodd) created a blog Global Soccer, Global NYC, to document watching world football in bars and restaurants all over New York City. We...

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Social Media in Africa’s Revolutions

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (better known by its acronym MoCADA) in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn to view its current exhibition: NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond. Running...

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Photographer Gregory Chris: Shooting Nneka, Meta and Just a Band

Photographer Gregory Chris shot African music stars Nneka, Meta (of Meta and the Cornerstones) and Just a Band in and around New York City. Here he talks about how he came to chose these artists and what...

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

‘The Love Mantra’

The new video for single from Brooklyn-based Rwandan singer Iyadede‘s new album, “The Demo.” (Remember her recent cover of Theophilus London’s “Flying Overseas”?) The video is directed by Sam Kessie.

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

Five for the weekend. First up, via AfriPOP!, Nomsa Mazwai’s new video for her song ‘Nguwe.’ (The video comes with a translation.) Then, Vox Sambou (below) and The Narcicyst tell how they read ‘Article 14′ and its relation...

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Pharoahe Monch is ‘Still Standing’

One of the best rappers alive, featuring the lady who sang the original hook on “You Got Me.” Off Monch’s ‘W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)’ – the album has been out for more than 6 months already, but...

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

It’s Friday night, so we’re unwinding with some nice videos. We start with Liberians Nasseman and Takun J, on a pan-African roots reggae tune.

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star

Last Wednesday the Brooklyn rappers collectively known as Black Star*–Mos Def (now going as Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli–were guests on the satirical news show,”The Colbert Report.” They last brought out an album, “Mos Def & Talib...

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Blitz The Ambassador Speaks

Blitz The Ambassador talks about the initial reception of his music (“slow”), the musical Fela! (“it made the people more open and made the people understand the larger context”), his early records, his collaboration with Corneille for...

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...

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Free Fort Greene

My neighborhood Fort Greene in Brooklyn, one of the oldest in the borough, is changing beyond recognition, but we still have the annual Fort Greene Festival on Saturday, June 25. This year’s headliner: Mos Def (above with...

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Music Break

As a bonus, see also the 10-minute video for “Clap” also off “W.A.R.,” below. This is not your usual music video. This one is really a short film. I don’t want to say more about the plot...

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Street Photographer

Charlie Ahearn’s new documentary of Brooklyn photographer Jamal Shabazz screening on June 26 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Native Son

Youtube is streaming all of the 44-odd minutes of Blitz the Ambassador’s second studio album, “Native Sun.” The album will be released May 3rd in North America, and May 6th Worldwide. I have already pre-ordered my copy.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

‘Coming to America’

Writer Teju Cole– he has a new novel, “Open City”–talks and writes about identity and immigration to The New Yorker.

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Music Break

Brussels rapper Brams aka L’Insatiable (born in Cameroon) has been working on some promising collaborations lately. This one, ‘Stop Look & Listen’, with wandering hip-hop artist Juba Zaki (hailing from Crown Heights, Brooklyn) being a case in...

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Somewhere in Africa (The Remix)

Remember Meta and Cornerstones’ tune “Somewhere in Africa“? It got a makeover as a remix (with a new video) featuring Peeta of Jamaican reggae band, Morgan Heritage. Have to say I like the remix better.

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Jeffrey Wright Reads Walt Whitman

This is from a minute ago, but I had to post it as it features part of my neighborhood. Wright, actor and unassuming Fort Greene, Brooklyn, resident (that’s also my neighborhood) reads his favorite Walt Whitman poem...

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Music Break

Video of The Robert Glasper Experience’s covering Little Dragon’s “Twice,” earlier this month. H/T: Dylan Valley.

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

T.I.A. (Nollywood Edition)

Nollywood film posters in a store window on Nostrand Ave. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Photo: Boima.  

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

T.I.A. (Thrift Shop Edition)

Myrtle Ave, Fort Greene in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Music Break

Meta and the Cornerstones is a Brooklyn based roots reggae band, headed by Senegalese singer Meta Dia. I spotted the video for their song Cornerstone at the Large Up blog (If you don’t know Large Up, it is...

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Janka in America

By Chief Boima This past September I had the privilege to see Ahmed Janka Nabay, a Sierra Leonean singer currently living on the U.S. East Coast, perform at an underground party in Brooklyn, New York.  I had...

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Brooklyn Block Party

Via Soul of Brooklyn

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