Monday, April 28th, 2014

The African Hip-Hop Generation Arrives

I remember it like it was yesterday. My older brother had just returned from his freshman year of secondary school and the loud engine of my father’s old Nissan Stanza pulling into the compound had sent us all rushing to welcome him. Amidst my parents chatter about his grades and how he’d lost weight, my

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Necessary doses of pan-Africanism: Spoek Mathambo remixes Seun Kuti

Take this necessary dose of pan-Africanism with your vitamins. K’Naan and Nas’s “Nothing to Lose” video qualifies. So does Spoek Mathambo remixing Seun Kuti.  Kuti tours the US this summer and Mathambo has a new album coming out...

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

So drawn into the video (a plethora of faces, personalities and historic moments) Atlanta trio Algiers made for ‘Blood’, I forgot to pay attention to the lyrics the first time seeing it:

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Queensbridge, Rexdale and Mogadishu

Behind the scenes video of Nas and K’Naan on the set of the latter’s music video for “Nothing to Lose” in Toronto. The video premieres on Friday. * BTW, sometime later this week we should have Boima’s...

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Friday Music Bonus Edition

Let’s do a Friday Diaspora edition. There are some half-baked attempts at linking the videos in here. But don’t take them too seriously. French-Congolese Youssoupha on living in France in ‘Irréversible’ (he couldn’t not refer to the...

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Africa Makes Some Noise

Last night, BBC Radio One premiered an hour-long documentary on the story of modern “African” music, hosted by UK-based Kenyan DJ Edu (whose weekly show, Destination Africa on Radio 1Xtra, I’ve been listening to for...

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Naija Does It Again

In yesterday’s special “Africa issue” of Canada’s Globe and Mail, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote this on contemporary Nigerian music: “The music is cross-cultural, polyglot, derivative, but is also, at its core, very nationalist. It is music whose...

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

No Comment

K’Naan and Akon have now produced versions of their World Cup songs for Coco Cola and Pepsi respectively. The transformation is complete. First Akon’s “Africa.”  It is not clear where that song took place?  The edge of a...

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Video: Akon’s “Africa”

The R&B singer, Akon has released his own 2010 World Cup song with the original title “Africa.”  (Akon is the second R&B or rap singer–the other is K’Naan–to release a World Cup related song.) Keri Hilson, in zebra top (it’s...

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The Transformation of K’Naan

K’naan, the Somali-Canadian singer, usually sings sort of earnest and sometimes strident political songs about war, refugees and militarism. His song, “Waving Flag,” is a good example. The organizers of the 2010 World Cup asked him to...

Monday, October 5th, 2009


Here’s some things I did not have the time to blog about properly or link to this past week: * Barack and Michelle Obama had to pose 135 times with visiting dignitaries to the UN General Assembly...

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009


Copying MTV, but a lot more low-key, went and ask “the authority of African street music,” Dj Edu of BBC 1xtra, about his list of the “Top 10 Hottest African MCs:”

Saturday, August 8th, 2009


“Democracy Now!” recently interviewed the smart Somali-Canadian rapper, K’Naan, in the program’s Manhattan studio. K’Naan also performed a few songs live–like the one above. All the songs here and the interview here.