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!)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRm0VjHE1W8&w=600&h=373]

The Hip Hop scene in Burkina Faso has grown, with the help of the annual Waga Hip Hop Festival in Ouagadougou. Waga has been on my destination radar for awhile as well as Fespaco (the film festival).

Nomadic Wax recorded Burkinabe group Yeleen, doing an acoustic performance at the last edition of Waga:

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/27298612 w=600&h=337]

The duo travels back and forth between Paris and Ouagadougou, giving them some international connections as evidenced by this collaboration with Magic System:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wrQdAV2NUQ&w=600&h=373]

I had first heard that Burkina Faso had a rap scene through Yeleen, as well as from the Vrai to Vrai compilation posted at Awesome Tapes from Africa, which is still available for download, (Side ASide B).

Staying in the era of that compilation, Dancehall and Reggae not surprisingly find their way in. The following classic looking video reminds me of some early Reggaeton a la Big Boy (This too!).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl0MNEH84rI&w=600&h=373]

Burkinabe traditional music is typical of the region, using instruments such as the Kora, Balafon, and the Ngoni. It always excites me when rappers mix elements like those in, as seen in this video showcasing what seems like local youth arts programs:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDcSxNf6G94&w=600&h=373]

Or when they sample:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LaB6XJqnLE&w=600&h=373]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd2ZttW8IQU&w=600&h=373]

For more great Burkinabe Rap footage, check the always dependable Nomadic Wax, and their Waga wrap ups.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3LvJXQj-CM&&w=600&h=373]

Further Reading