RFI Discoveries Award 2011
Cheikh MC (The Comoros Islands)
For the last fifteen years the Hip-hop pioneer from the Comoros Islands, Cheikh MC, has been creating and sharing his vision of the world in his country and beyond. With his latest work, Enfant du tiers-monde, he continues to show his political and artistic commitment.
Cheikh MC was born Abderémane Cheikh in Moroni in the Comoros in 1978. He showed an interest in hip hop early on, and in 1995 founded Les Pirates du Mika, and started performing.
In 2003, he was invited to take part in the Dunia festival in Madagascar. In 2005, he took part in an AIDS fundraising concert in Lusaka, Zambia. The following year he attended Mayotte’s Festirap.
His career really took off with the release of his first album Tout Haut. A track from this album, Mwambiyé, appeared on the compilation Francophonie Midem 2005, produced by the Conseil Francophone de la Chanson.
Cheikh MC has performed in Africa, the Indian Ocean and in France. He also has taken part in artistic productions with the Comorian community resident in France (in particular with the rappers Soprano and Vincenzo from Psy 4 de la Rime).
Always concerned by the socio-political situation of the Comoros, the rapper is committed to campaigning in the battle against AIDS (in many different ways, including singing his flagship song Nadia). He appeals to the young to take responsibility for their actions.
With his album released in 2010, Enfant du tiers-monde, the rapper is giving a message to the younger generation, those who feel abandoned and without hope for the future. He speaks for them. The track Kapvu lists everything that everyday life in the Comoros might be lacking –electricity, (frequently), petrol, teachers, hospitals etc. In this work he even takes up the Comorian hymn with the rapper Soprano (Beramu), to great success.
Proud of his origins and aware of the difficulties that young people from his country have to struggle with, Cheikh MC delivers rap which is politically engaged, and encourages the individual to take responsibility.