Jacques, popularly known as Jaak is a hip-hop artiste from South Africa. As he puts it, his name is an Afrikaansified (flattened) version of his birth name with graffiti cultural influences, in which a good tag name consists of five characters or less. Although he does not double in the art form, he strongly believes that there is a distinct overlap of concepts with hip-hop. Thanks to his cousin-a barman, who was friends with the local deejays, he was exposed to music at a very young age and was always privy to the latest hits. One of those hits happened to be that of the Native Tongues, a hip-hop collective of artistes from the U.S, who he took an immediate liking for because of their musicality and newspeak. He cites Big Daddy Kane and Busta Rhymes as being his biggest musical influences back then. Their rhyme capabilities and technique, as far as he was concerned were supreme to none. They were as a matter of fact, Olympian. Continue reading →
Zeddie Loky and Syd Owino are the dynamic Kenyan duo behind the Blackbird Jeans brand. They make colorful menswear with an African inspired aesthetic. They are currently based in NYC. Get familiar and support these African brodas. In the meantime, imma let them finish and let the pictures do the talking.
This inset picture is of a man who loves to over use quotation marks like they are going out of style, a comic nerd, and a truly creative spirit. While editing this interview, I honestly thought I was going to loose my mind with the sparodic quoatation marks littered all over. Nevertheless, I made it through the end to discover an artist who adamantly refuses to be boxed into a particular genre and instead chooses to re-invent the wheel, in the name of Mizuka.
Mizuka in short, is a fusion of electronic dance music, RnB, hip-hop and reggae with an African twist. Bamzigi, is a veteran artist in the Kenyan music industry on a passionate mission of educating the masses of an alternative music scene that is so far left to the mainstream, that one can’t help but wonder, why? Is the mainstream so shortsighted that he had to name his movement 3050, to bring to attention to the need of a futuristic sound-that is different? Hmmmmmm…….intrigued? Click on for more juice.Continue reading →
By now, everybody should be familiar with the Kukere master, Iyanya! His highly anticipated sophomore album, Desire dropped yesterday to much chatter from retweets of fainting girls. They nonetheless regained strength to support their man’s efforts. He has come a long way from his days as a Project Fame (2008) contestant and eventual winner. This Nigerian heartthrob with a body that has been giving many a women sleepless nights in the motherland, is currently ruling the African charts with his two lead singles, Kukere and my favorite, Ur Waist. The album is certainly a welcome deviation from his 2009 debut R&B heavy album, ‘My Story’.
Surprisingly four years later, although we don’t get to hear him showcase his velvety smooth vocals as much, this is the album that has been able to catapult him to the front and center stage The streets are buzzing and I’m sure his blackberry too [if he has one, i.e.] is pinging now more than ever. Although he had lackluster success with his first album, this one is definitely promising and a defining one in his career . 2013, seems to be the year of Iyanya and the ladies are certainly not complaining. Join me on a thororugh review of Mr.Ur Waist’s album.
This was inspired by an aritcle I stumbled upon randomly, when I googled “I love milk” and and an essay about a girl who absolutely loves milk availed itself at the top spot of my search. Like the essayist, I have a serious love affair with milk if not, a yet to be diagnosed addiction. I have it with all my meals. It is my water, my daily sustenance-if you will. Now, you are probably wondering about my google search and how it came to be.
Well, I was thoroughly enjoying my evening glass of milk when it dawned on me I needed to find out and possibly ‘connect‘ with others who are passionate about this liquid and the consumption of it. Mind you, this essay was responsible in securing her entrance into her first college of choice. So, I thought to myself, if she found enough words to shower praise on a liquid that the children of Israel were sure to find in the promised land of Canaan, together with honey flowing in copious amounts, and most importantly, managed to hold my interest from beginning to end; surely, I too could churn out a somewhat respectable essay that pays homage to the beautiful chaos in Nairobi and Lagos. Continue reading →
Bryte is a rising Ghanaian goldstar in the rough who was discovered in the BiginGhana talent search competition last year organized by Africa Unsigned. I had the fortune of interviewing this ‘Bryte’ star. Get the exclusive deets, here.
When I put out the A&R thingy out, I did it not really with the belief there’d be any artiste interested. I was serious, yes, but still very doubtful and skeptical of getting any feedback.
Well, lo and behold, sometime in December, just before we ushered in the new year, an up and coming group from Kenya emailed me. Somebody out there was willing to take a RISK with this chicka & risk they did. Can I just tell how excited I am for them! These youngins are fresh, raw, and HUNGRY. As I said, they are FRESH. Fresh to mean that things are a bit subpar [ya'll know I don't mince my words], but that’s where I come in. We are working on a revamp of their freshness to dopeness! This is a labor of love on my part, and actualizing of dreams on theirs.
Without further ado, please welcome into my lovely stable, DREAMVILLE.
Humor is good for the soul, especially the kind that provokes a chain of laughter. I’m talking about the good natured, rib-cracking, tear inducing kind. Dry humor should only be the reserve of my favorite late night talk show host, Conan O’Brien. His wackiness and absurdity, just makes it that more interesting, weird, and oh so funny than the Letterman’s of this world. Continue reading →
Often times, I’ve found that African artistes I appreciate, confine their musical talents to the stages in their homelands, and pretty much that of their neighbouring countries. This has been reiterated to me, on several occassions where I’ve played music by local heavyweights , only for Kai to ask who is that. In actuality, their talents should be noted on an international scale, hence easily identifiable. Over a span of two years since the launch of this project, I have come to the realization that I am particuarly interested in artiste [music] development and management.
Wangechi Mutu is an accomplished Kenyan artist based in the U.S who primarily uses collage as her medium of expression. Her works have been described by some, using very strong, oxymoronic language such as groteseque, repulsive, yet beautiful at the same time