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coverpic flag Senegal - Full Moon 100 - 11/26/04

Various Artists
African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal
Nomadic Wax

Senegal, West Africa, 2004. Ben Herson of Nomadic Wax has collected and produced a presentation of what's going on hip-hop wise in the streets and back alleys of Dakar with its outskirts and suburbs. As a pale Norwegian I have not much clue (which means close to nothing) about the music scene of Senegal. As a former French colony Senegal became independent in 1960. Over the last couple of decades American hip-hop has been a major cultural influence in Senegal as well, and it's said to have had a major impact on Senegal's first successful democratic election in 2000. Fight the power. Fight poverty, corruption, war and lies.

African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal is a collection of 13 tracks of the central voices of the scene today, and it's indeed a good listen. Some use the English (and French) language, others chant and rap in a wide variety of African tongues and dialects. Veterans BMG 44 kick off with their "44", with the most brutal sounding vocals. They appear later with Slam Revolution (Featuring BMG 44) on the more melodic and awesome track "Begguma". Slam Revolution has another track called "Wax Degg". Shiffai ('The Remedy' i Arabic) kicks out catchy rhymes and rhythms, and has got two tracks included here; "Shiffai" and "Never Forget". Another violently beautiful track is the ultra tough "Africans Don't Wanna Understand" by Las MC. The African lyrical twang is highly present. Really, really cool.

Some tracks are raw to the bone, others smoother, more of the rap to find its way to "western" hit lists. Without missing the roots feel. Some tracks are hardcore rap, others include a dub appproach.African Underground Vol. 1: Hip-hop Senegal is indeed a collection to check out for the hip-hop hearted off the mainstream. You can feel the street cred is for real. Blood and sweat. No tears.

Now that the G.W. Bush administration gained 4 (three fingers in the air...) more years in the US we'd better look to Africa to get rid of him. Start the revolution! Remember, Bush, even if they might lack education and a career and you think they're living in the bush: they're so much, much smarter than you.

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