In Liberia, if not anywhere else, rap is art. It is the poetry of a generation of youth that grew up in a civil-war-torn country. It is the reflection of the frustrations of Liberians about political corruption and extreme poverty.
Like American rap music, “hip-co,” is the music of the mean streets of Monrovia. A group of well-known Liberian rappers known as “The L.I.B” makes art for the sake of art. There are no million-dollar contracts or customized sports cars. Its about love of their country and a sincere desire to save the African continent.
“Peace In Africa”, by The L.I.B.’s Frankie, is fast becoming a fvorite track of mine. Check It Out!
Source: ‘Liberia Recovers From War’ Friday, May 4, 2007 slate.com
From the soundproofed surfaces and ground to the huge couches and key pad shelves, there’s only one color within Akon’s state-of-the-art individual studio room–white. The multi-platinum producer says it makes thinking easier.The July release of his 4th studio record will mark almost a decade since the Senegalese-American performer’s 2004 hit “Trouble”, brought him to prominence.
Along the way, he’s also stirred up controversy. He has been criticized for glamourizing his criminal past and for sexually explicit performances. At around the age of 8, Akon moved from Senegal to New Jersey. The transition led to running with a bad crowd, involvement in car theft and prison at age 14.
Events earlier in his career have changed him profoundly. During a show in 2007, the music performer threw a 15-year-old boy off the stage, causing another young fan to suffer a concussion. He acknowledges that early in his career he did not represent Africa well. But on his latest effort Akon sings of being a changed man.
Looking forward, Akon says his objective is to give back to his continent. He’s set up Konfidence, a Senegalese foundation, to develop educational institutions and medical centers in the country. Rather than regret about his past, Akon is grateful that it has molded him into a better man. “I am going to keep improving, doing as much as I can, but I really want to create the greatest impact in Africa”, he says
Miriam Makeba, celebrated South African singer and activist, joins a fairly elite group of African diaspora members honored by Google. Makeba was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1932. Though internationally known, her anti- apartheid stance caused the South African government to block her return in 1960. The voice of the genre now known as world music, “Mama Africa” returned to South Africa upon Nelson Mandela’s 1990 release from prison. Makeba died in 2008, but would have celebrated her 81st birthday March 4, 2013.
Though I generally think the Google doodles are not great artwork, I really like this one. Past “Google doodles” have honored Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Ray Charles and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was impressed that there were doodles featuring events like Kenyan, Ghanaian, Ugandan and Senegalese independence.
Check them all out at Google Doodles.
Suleiman Mohammed and crew are a rising voice in Kenya’s hip hop consciousness. With the support of the AMURT Program (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) a relief organization founded in India, AMURTZO spreads empowerment for Kenyan youth.
“Why are we going wrong?” he raps at such venues as youth football tournaments. Suleiman will tell you that he was on the wrong path after putting education on hold and picking up bad habits. Now, given a second chance he raps:
“I talk to my people about HIV, I talk to my people about drug abuse. Keep it real: You’d better change the way you use. Chill out baby and stop abuse.”
Recently AMURTZO was invited to perform at a public function during Kenyatta day, performing for over 1000 people. With the help of Washington DC musician, Gustavo Monje, Suleiman and crew learned sound engineering with the goal of building a studio and generating income for long-term sustainability.
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Actor Idris Elba will host ‘Koko Concert’ in Lagos, Nigeria on December 27. Tentatively scheduled to perform are The Kokomaster himself D’Banj, Big Sean, Pusha T, and Kay Switch.
Elba is no stranger to the DJ booth. He helped in an uncle’s wedding-DJ business in 1986.Within a year he had started his own DJ company with some of his best friends. Elba worked in nightclubs under the DJ nickname Big Driis.
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Youssou was born on 1st October 1959 in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. The son of a car mechanic grew up in Medina, a hard-bitten part of the city. His musical talent already became obvious as a teenager, when performing in the parking lots outside the city’s dance clubs.
Since the 1970s, Youssou has shaped the music style mbalax more than anybody else. In the 1980s, he and his band The Super Etoile even started making it famous internationally. Youssou’s awesome talent and his numerous albums brought him global fame. The New York Times called him “one of the world’s greatest singers” and countless fans around the world agree.