AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Youssou N’Dour

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Friday, April 25th, 2014

News from Nigeria

I told my son that he would get his first sense of things as soon as we boarded the flight. Planes bound for Lagos, I told him, were filled with black people and not just in economy but in first and business class too. Lagos, capital of the Black Atlantic and megacity of nearly twenty

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s death. When we sent around the AIAC...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Songs for Mandela [International Edition]

When we sent around the AIAC “office” inviting our contributors to suggest songs for Nelson Mandela (both music about him and tracks that could stand as tributes to the man), the suggestions came flooding in. This is...

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

A fast train from Dakar

Young Philippe Ndour is the nephew of Senegalese pop star Youssou Ndour. And just like his uncle and his mother he wants to be a pop singer (see his Justin Bieber impression here). And like his uncle, Philippe dabbles...

Monday, March 5th, 2012

CNN does a story on Abdoulaye Wade’s praise singer, Coumba Gawlo

Senegalese griot singer Coumba Gawlo Seck is a rising star both in her native country and in Europe. People also occasionally ask her about her political opinions. What makes Coumba Gawlo interesting is that she is a...

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Youssou N’Dour’s family politics

Youssou N'Dour's campaign team today released the video for his presidential campaign song 'Fekké Maci Boolé'. Strangely, N'dour's official French facebook campaign's biography (apart from punting the obligatory "Yes You can!" profile) only mentions the wives he...

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Is Youssou N’dour qualified to be President?

One decisive factor is N’dour’s shaky relationship to traditional Sufi religious authorities who have some sway in electoral politics. (Wade is very deferential to them.) In the past N’dour has riled them. In the most famous case,...

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Music Break

Today is Senegal’s independence day. Carlou D transformed himself from the rapper he was in Didier Awadi’s band Positive Black Soul to the singer-songwriter (supporting for Youssou N’Dour) he is these days, and did so in style....

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Africano Hondureño

Remember Aurelio Martinez’s 2004 album Garifuna Soul? The above song, ‘Wamada’, is taken from Laru Beya, his new star-studded album – members of Super Etoile de Dakar and Orchestra Baobab, amongst many others, make a guest-appearance. Aurelio...

Friday, December 10th, 2010

T.I.A. (Stoop Sale Edition)

Spotted in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. * T.I.A. stands for This is Africa, our new meme.

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Stereo President

In a May 2, 2010 article in “The (UK) Guardian,” the singer Youssou N’Dour is quoted saying of the very unpopular Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade (above in the picture with N’Dour):  “I get the feeling the president hears only...

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Africa Day

On May 25th, 1963, the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union), composed of 32 newly independent African states, came into existence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. * The clip is from the documentary film, “I Bring...

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

The Darkness in Senegal

My former PhD adviser, David Styan, pointed me to this mixing of popular protest and music in Senegal (not widely reported in English speaking media):  Both old school crooner, Youssou N’Dour, and Senegalese rap pioneer, Didier Awadi,...