25 March 2012

Hugh Masekela on restoring the African heritage

Just the other day I was watching the TEDxObserver lecture by UK actor, rapper, singer and now also a director Plan B, and I thought it was both interesting and important even if a bit self-congratulatory; arguably he's more than deserved a right for that. 

Somehow, however, in this process I missed that legendary South African jazz super star Hugh Masekela had also given a speech and a performance in the same event. Have a look at Bra Hugh talking about restoring the African heritage. 

On the same note, I must recommend Masekela's autobiography Still Grazing which he co-authored with D. Michael Cheers. In this book Masekela who has lived polically active life and for a large part having been an exile in the United States talks about the past without the diplomacy of actual politicians, offering the reader a great insight into the feelings and events of the apartheid era even if from outside of South Africa. If you don't mind a few x-rated anecdotes of Jazz version of the Rock'n Roll lifestyle, then definitily this book is worth your time.

14 March 2012

Children of VLA

The Megaphone State is a Finnish Hip-Hop duo where Ekow (remember him from that Gracias song) raps and Simonsound produces. They have thus far released one album  Home of the Knockout Artist which I have enjoyed a lot and then there was a song called Lights and now this – Children of VLA.

The lyrics are available in Soundcloud and I must admit that I can relate to them although I personally would never make the mistake of trying to fraternise on my old corners. That’s lived life and in the past, but nonetheless the song sounds good to me. Have a listen and if you’re one of the Finnish speaking readers (hei vaan) have a look at this video where Ekow explains who he is and where he is from. I believe that the video provides an answer to the question of what on earth is VLA. I assume it is Viljakkala* which is a small place where Ekow relocated to from his original home country Liberia after also having spent some time in Ghana in his early childhood. It must have been tad shocking culturally speaking, but life isn’t always straight forward. That much, I believe, we can safely state. This is music to explain some of it. 

*Edit (25.3.2012): In radio interview earlier this week it was clarified that VLA is not just Viljakkala, but also Viiala, which is eqaully small place in Finland and the home town of the other half of group Simonsound. 

12 March 2012


Today I wanted to post a few download links that I can recommend. The spring is in the air and I feel like sharing is caring, so let’s have it.

Genesis Elijah has been busy uploading all sorts of quality material online in the past and now there’s a new free EP (where he raps on the Alchemist beats) called An Emcees Worst Enemy. Download it here and have a look at the mini video for Chemistry Wars that accompany it.

From Cape Town, South Africa we have a new song by Ma-B from Driemanskap. I am impatiently waiting for the new album, Hlala Nam, by the crew, but here’s something to tide us over: Don’t Doubt Me.

Lastly, and this is also from the southern region of the African continent (SA and Lesotho), free download of the song Lifelines by KONFAB Ft. aNon and Matlhodi Matsei. You can also get the whole KONFAB album The Lost Tapes where this track is from. It’s pretty great.

La Bala

By now you should know that Ana Tijoux is cool. Ana became known as a member of the seminal Chilean Hip-Hop crew Makiza and her first solo album 1977 was great. Then there was also the Elefant Mixtape which was one of the most played on my headphones in 2011 and now, La Bala. Check out the powerful video above and check out the album (the title track is my favourite) and be sure to support quality music. 

8 March 2012

Art arrives

 Chuck D artwork

Recently I had bought a bit of art, which is not something I do terribly often. It’s not so much that I wouldn’t like to, it’s just that there are other places where the funds go as a part of average month’s survival. But this is nice – I’m very proud. The video tells the story and images say the rest. 

Chuck D artwork
Chuck D artwork