30 November 2011

Few links for me online elsewhere


Recently I haven't been posting as much as I wish I had.That's such a boring phrase to use in a blog, but I wanted to post now a few links since I have been active elsewhere online.

This week I guest-blogged for Africa is a Country. I wrote about my experiences with contemporary art. Read it here:

For last week, and also by the way this, I am flying solo as far as Planet Earth Planet Rap goes. Catch the last week's show from here.

Here’s the playlist
1. Lowkey – Hand On Your Gun from the album Soundtrack to the Struggle (Mesopotamia Music 2011)
2. Rattex – Ewe Nje from the Streets, Raps & Us EP (Pioneer Unit 2010)

29 November 2011

Lesotho Stand Up... again.

In this blog I have written about and linked to quite a bit of Hip-Hop from Lesotho. A lot, at least considering that the country is small, but what can I do, when I have enjoyed the music of Konfab, Isosceles and of course also Core Wreckah, who pretty much has been the original supplier of these links anyway.

Some time ago I posted a video for song called Ts'epe by Kommanda Obbs. That song had a fresh sound to it and video was interesting and Now Kommanda Obbs has a new video for song Hona Joale. Have a listen and enjoy the beautifully shot video. 

21 November 2011

The End of Poverty?

The End of Poverty? is very powerful documentary film investigating the global economics and colonialism that continues. I am not going to explain the matter any further here, I really recommend you watch it above.

20 November 2011

Congolese Hip-Hop (DRC) | #PEPR

This week on Planet Earth Planet Rap we were paying respect to, talking about and playing Congolese Hip-Hop. The show is available on Rapstation, so have a listen and here’s also the videos for the songs played.

First song was by Lexxus Legal featuring LeslyMan and Pitcho – Fauch├ęs

Other song of the week was collaborative track by Salaam Kivu All Stars. The song is called Saisir l'avenir (Seize the future) and you can read a bit more about it from the Africanhiphop.com.

As a bonus here is a wonderful short video giving some context to the music of Lexxus Legal.

Last additional link; here is a great bank of knowledge on DRC - Friends of Congo.

This week special thanks to Tom from Africa is a Country blog who was helping with the music selection.

17 November 2011

In hindsight

Rattex in Studio
Image: photographs from the studio sessions for Streets, Raps & Us EP. Note that in the top left corner are the original handwritten lyrics of Ewe Nje.

I remember this time very well. Perhaps to a large extent because I focused on it differently; I was writing about it, and also, of course, due to the fact that I have recently read what I wrote about it. Rattex was recording his then still unnamed – as far as I knew anyway – EP that later on became known as the Streets, Raps & Us and I had the opportunity to observe the process. I found it all very fascinating.

Clearly some time has already passed. I am reading now how I went on and on about how poorly this kind of music is treated by the mainstream media and it feels like an exaggeration. It feels like that now, because Rattex has been played at least on Yfm in Johannesburg and his label mates Driemanskap have been played probably everywhere in South Africa, but all that was a bit like the fall of Soviet Union; you couldn’t have guessed it a lot before it actually happened. It's still not great - the playing field is far from leveled, but at the time almost any chance for major airplay was still very distant. That is what the song Ewe Nje is about. At least partly. 

It has to be added here, in all fairness, that there's been quite a bit happening in my private life since these events, so I feel like all of this is a long time ago, but it isn't really. Especially in terms of music business it's been a short time and the song sounds incredibly fresh which is what counts and now there is also a video for it. It takes me back in time, but also, to me, it redefines the song. It gives it a new feel. I always liked this song and I still do – a lot is an understatement – but the visuals have added a new dimension to it. The video is stylish black and white one and it’s made by Pioneer Unit’s creative director spo0ky.

Have a look at the video, read my article Rattex: labour of love & hard entertainment and buy the EP from the label’s online store. It’s a bargain full of bangers, but since its on Bandcamp, you can listen to it first to make up your own mind. 

RATTEX: Labour of love & hard entertainment

10 November 2011

A few songs

While many exciting albums, mixtapes and videos seem to be on their way, as if out of nowhere yesterday the song above - Natty's Change remix featuring Akala, Mic Righteous and Alborosie who has collaborated before at least with Blak Twang - came into my life via Twitter. I was unable to turn it off, so even though it's been featured in many blogs already, I put it once more here just so you don't miss it.

The video below has also been featured in many blogs; it seems that a few weeks old video is already a bit of old news, but regardless of that, the song is cool so have a listen and check out the wonderful video from a place warmer than Helsinki this morning when I had to get my winter jacket out. It's legendary African Hip-Hop crew X Plastaz from Tanzania repping the Maasai and beyond. The song called Africa features Fid Q & Bamba Nazar.

8 November 2011

#PEPR | New episode - Dutch Hip-Hop

After a few weeks of reruns for various reasons last week we returned with a brand new episode of Planet Earth Planet Rap. This time Dutch Hip-Hop. Listen to the audio and have a look at a few related music videos by some of the top emcees of the Netherlands.