The Senegalese-American singer Akon may be a very talented musician, but he has terrible politics. And he likes to share them. Remember when George W Bush was still President in the United States and Akon opined to rap magazine, “The Source”: “… (Black people in the US) can nag about the president all they want and how the system is against black people, but if they saw how other people lived (in Africa) they would see how blessed they really are. All the decisions they think the government has made against black people really are for black people here.” He later defended Barack Obama against Lupe Fiasco’s criticisms of the President’s Middle Eastern policies. Then there was his association with the very unpopular Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade (who was eventually voted out) or the government of Gabon and that party anthem he wrote for Michael Bloomberg’s doomed presidential run.
A music video by Senegalese singer Ouzin caused some online stir in Senegal when it debuted last month on Youtube. “Beureung Barigo,” which means “rolling the barrel” in Wolof, is a mbalax style song with simple lyrics calling on listeners to ‘clap’ for the singer. Ouzin tells his audience that that he “doesn’t know anything yet, but I’m learning….” As of early February, the clip had been viewed more than 140,000 times on Youtube, discussed on local websites, Twitter and TV. But the attention to the video has more to do with denigrating Ouzin than with the popularity of the song.