AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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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 its video “Larney Jou Poes” (roughly translated: Boss, your cunt.) Much has been written about the video, from

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...

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...

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The Contemporary Mark of Assata Shakur

This past July, icon of Black American activism Assata Shakur’s autobiography was re-pressed by Zed Books in London. At times thought to be dormant, black American activism has seen a resurgence in recent weeks across the United States after the killing of...

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 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...

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Discovering Prophets Of Da City

One late afternoon while milling about at the University of Cape Town’s main campus, I ran into Adam Haupt, the Associate Professor of Media Studies who’s authored books such as Static: Race and Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media...

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

20 Years of Freedom in South Africa: What do hip hop heads in Cape Town make of elections

Having been hosted by the likes of DJ Ready D, Big Dre, Shameen, and Wanda, just to mention a few, Headwarmaz is now in the hands of the new generation of Cape Town hip hop in the...

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Boogie Down Nima in the Bronx

For almost two decades now, the Bronx has been the focus of much of New York’s newest wave of Africans moving to the United States. Films such as Little Senegal, Bronx Princess, and Prince of Broadway, have...

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Rapping Against Impunity

Senegal’s rapper-activists recently collaborated on a new single in support of Amnesty International’s campaign against impunity in the country. The human rights advocacy organization launched the campaign to draw attention to the fact that there has been...

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...

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dama do Bling, Mozambique’s Queen of Hip-Hop

“A young person with a university degree can’t sing, but a minister with a 6th grade education can legislate?,” Dama do Bling sang in her 2007 song “Sai,” a musical response to inquiries why, in spite of...

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Yes, we’re discussing Danny Brown’s “Black Brad Pitt” music video

So Detroit rapper, Danny Brown (remember his breakout mixtape “XXX,” his video for “Grown Up” and a darling of music blogs) has new video for his song, “Black Brad Pitt.”  The first things that strike any viewer of...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Lesotho Hip-Hop: The New Breed

I am based in-between Maseru, Lesotho and Cape Town, South Africa throughout the year. Recently, when in Lesotho, I decided to see how far the Hip-Hop scene had progressed, seeing that I have been involved directly in...

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...

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

‘Syn City’ Harare

Zimbabwe is a paradox. A country riddled with contradictions. While the often unpalatable and sometimes hair-raising stories are making news, the stories of everyday people of Zimbabwe are less reported, if not altogether the country’s best kept...

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Soukous for Francophonie (and for Kabila)

Big concert this week, October 10, in Kinshasa to honor the 2012 Francophonie summit. Performances by Papa Wemba and Werrason with their groups have already been posted online. Also on the program were Mbilia Bel, Tshala Muana,...

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Big Frizzle’s ‘Africa’

This music video for Big Frizzle’s ‘All Black Everything’, produced by London-based media house GlobalFaction made me wonder about GlobalFaction’s politics, and their use of imagery. I’m struck by the flood of historical images featuring in recent...

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Is Hip-Hop artist Ismael Sankara related to Thomas Sankara? Does it matter?

There are many things in life that really don’t matter all that much, but are very intriguing. The line between a person’s privacy and how to inappropriately disturb it by sticking one’s nose where it’s not invited...

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

In North Kivu, R&B is pure art

The text that comes with Agata Pietron’s photographs of youth in Kiwanja and Rutshuru (North Kivu, Congo) flirts with the clichés (the Conrad reference; the brave missionaries; the photographer is a “muzungu” who “discovers” youth who are...

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Friday Music Break, N°12

I’m taking over the Friday music break this week. First up, the prolific Azonto producer E.L. surprises us this week with a 25 track debut album. He had so many songs stored up he decided to release...

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The BET Awards do Africa

Last year, BET introduced a category into their annual awards show called “Best International Act: Africa.” I wasn’t that surprised. We’ve been heading down the road towards a mainstream acknowledgement of #InternationalBlack-ness for a while. I chalk it...

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Africanos Latinos

Latin America and the Caribbean haven’t gotten enough attention on this site. We’re going to intentionally rectify that, and I’m excited to start by sharing this video from sometimes collaborators of mine, Los Rakas.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Parisian Africa: The artistic intersections of the Métropole

Guest Post by Lara N. Dotson-Renta Paris has always been renowned for its culture and support of the arts. Yet, as France has grown into an ever more pluralistic society, the traditional image of what constitutes art...

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°2: Scott Williams

South African photographer Scott Williams is the second guest in our new weekly series. He has, he says, masqueraded as a freelance photographer during his lunchtimes and after-hours for some eight years. “I love to document the...

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Now Soulja Boy takes on Joseph Kony

It has come to this. Musicians, especially rappers, had to wade in. Like everyone else who is now an expert on Uganda, they were quick to declare themselves on board with #Kony2012.* But some have taken it...

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Music Break. Khuli Chana

The video for South African hip hop head Khuli Chana’s ‘Tswa Daar’ comes with a nod to Craig Mack’s Get Down. Have we already said DJ Raiko’s beats (and writing) are underrated?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Paris is a Continent N°8

Loads of Paris suburbs gets shouted out in this song by a cast of the city's rappers.

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The Nordic Connection

New music from Finland and Sweden.

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