As winner of this year’s RFI Discoveries Award with a first solo album entitled AfrikanKouleurs, the Burkinabe Smarty has emerged as a key figure in African rap after ten years performing in the duo Yeleen.
Histoires d'un continent, the first solo album by YaoBobby tells stories of the continent close to his heart, Africa. The Togolese rapper has produced an album in his image, comprising 12 tracks that blend the limpid sound of kora with a determined flow. Despite the revolutionary tone of his lyrics, our meeting in Lomé revealed a calm rapper committed to the cause.
An icon of the Boul Falé* generation along with Didier Awadi in the 1990s, Duggy Tee launched into an on-off solo career in 2005. After six years off the scene, he’s now back with a new album, Fit (“courage” in Wolof), marked with a more diverse style but just as committed.
DJ Mehdi has died at the age of 34. Little known by the general public, he started out on the French hip-hop scene before moving towards electro. Music has just lost an inventive artist who has left his mark on urban music in France and round the world.
Recent Senegalese political social events have spawned the "Y’en a marre" (or "had enough") collective, comprising members of civil society, journalists and at, its heart, a whole bunch of rappers. The movement was launched in January 2011, and has upset the political balance in Senegal with some new messages. Where these apprentice politicians really shine out, though, is in their music. They include names like the group Keur Gui, Fou Malade and Simon.
The Quebecer DJ, singer, and arranger, SoCalled has just delivered his fourth record-producing experience. Spiced up with rap, soul and klezmer music, and featuring an assortment of unexpected guests, it manages to both surprise and delight the ear.
Since the end of the great raï era, the Gnawa Diffusion craze and the beginnings of rap, there had been little for young Algerian music enthusiasts to get excited about. Since late 2008, however, they’ve been dancing to Djmawi Africa’s fusion sound sensation.
Fed-up with the phony playback performances of stars like Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Madonna, the Cameroonian Richard Bona champions authentic music on his new album Bonafied, while working on future collections by Lauryn Hill and Stevie Wonder. He may be a wizard on the bass and have music running through his veins, but whatever you do, don’t ask him to change a light bulb.