AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Lesego Rampolokeng’s Elegy To Robo The Technician

“Raise your hand up if you’re a hip-hop head” said Lesego Rampolokeng, rallying a house full of poets at a gathering in Melville on a wet Sunday afternoon in 2013. I put mine up, as did a few audience members seated towards the back. The rest sat in the sparsely-occupied restaurant and gazed at the ones who

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...

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...

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

South African Hip-Hop needs more artists like Molemi

A harp hard-panned to either side of the speakers constantly loops while a flute sample pulsates in lock-step with the reverb-drenched hi-hats sounding off on every fourth beat. The drums kick in; snare; bassline. Suddenly the listener...

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Papa Ghana’s tribute to Amsterdam

For those planning to visit Amsterdam anytime soon, there is no need for a Lonely Planet guide. Just have a listen to Papa Ghana’s new track ‘Damsco’ (slang for ‘Amsterdam’) which he just released. In case you...

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...

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...

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...

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.

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Art and assassination in Angola

Benguela-based human rights group, OMUNGA, attracted international attention last year when it sponsored an international festival of urban art and culture. Organized by a group of Angolan artists and social activists, “Okupapala” was launched as an effort...

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Documentary–’I am Malawi’

‘I am Malawi’ is a short documentary by Geert Veuskens and Pieter de Vos. (Part 1 above, part 2 below.) Veuskens gave us some more details about their project:

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Really FOKN Crazy

The Ghanian Hip Hop pranksters FOKN Bois (who are deliberately setting out to prove that Ghanaian music is more than highlife, hiplife or azonto) are back with perhaps their craziest project yet. In celebration of yesterday’s day of...

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

M.anifest has a new music video

Big up @M.anifest for the new video (showcasing Accra’s transportation infrastructure), and congrats to the Black Stars for topping their group at the African Cup of Nations!

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.

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Music Break. Sarkodie

Sarkodie takes a break from the Azonto and jumps on a Hammer beat, getting back to his rap (Hip-pop? Tema-pop? Hip-life?) roots. The interpretive dancing, and artsy black and white beach shots make it seem like the director...

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Found Objects No.18

First released in 2003, Rappin’ Hood’s (real name: Antônio Luiz Junior) ‘Sou Negrão’ is one long tribute to the black Brazilian musicians who have contributed to the country’s 20th century music scene. The list of artists reads...

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Independence August

Since we’ll be on break for a minute (details tomorrow) when the following central African countries celebrate their independence days, let’s do a quick roundup for Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, and Gabon. August 13, The Central...

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Independence Day: Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire celebrated their 51st year of independence from France yesterday. Music has played a role in national political identity throughout the country’s conflict. I’m sure that it will continue to play a role as the country...

Friday, August 5th, 2011

August 5, Burkina Faso

Why not start the celebration of Burkina Faso’s Independence with an explosive live performance by rapper Art Melody. (You gotta love his t-shirt!)

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Cape Doctor

Photo Credit: Doreen R

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Baloji on Tour

Baloji is back in North America, and while we’re a little late on the draw, you can still catch him in a few cities this summer. Two dates in Quebec (tonight and tomorrow night) and the final...

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Rap Visionaries

Two AIAC favorites, Baloji and Blitz the Ambassador have been busy.

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Music Break

A little Luso Rap infatuation I’ve been harboring for a while has led me down interesting paths throughout the years.  The attention that I’ve given to sounds like Kuduro, House Angolana, and Tarraxinha has led me away...

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Snoop Dogg’s Africa

The music video for a new song by Nigerian rapper/R&B singer D’Banj featuring Snoop Dogg that went online yesterday. The usual quota of hired cars, half-dressed models and money rolls follow the two showmen. The song title...

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

North Africa Stand Up

Since we’re on revolutionary soundtracks, check this: The first song on this mixtape (cover above) of North African rap is the one that apparently got rapper El Génèral, arrested by Ben Ali’s police in the run up...

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

The Worse Rapper on The Internets?

That’s the only way to explain the “career” of  the really bad rapper, Bangs (Sudan-born, Australian-based), that includes doing TV commercials, being mocked as “The 11th Hottest Rapper in the Game,” getting interviewed by hip hop journalists, and...

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

World Cup / Mondiale / Mundial

From Nomadic Wax comes World Cup “a one-of-a-kind World Cup-inspired transnational hip-hop collaboration” featuring rappers from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, and Europe.

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...

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

NEW MUSIC / MOS DEF, ‘TAXI’

Mos Def’s best work is still coming.

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