Celebrating African Hip Hop at the Kennedy Center

July 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Maimouna Youssef performs with her band at the Kennedy Center

At the Kennedy Center July 12, it was an evening that music site Okayafrica called a celebration of hip hop’s new African renaissance. As part of the 10th Anniversary of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, the show started with a “warm up” dance class led by Zimbabwean dancer Rujeko Zumbutshena (Fela!) to prep the audience for the rest of the night. She guided a fairly sizable group through hip-hop and African dance moves. Local rap star Tabi Bonney was the host of the show, and introduced Baltimore native Maimouna Youssef, an amazing grammy-nominated singer, MC and poet. Youssef got the crowd on its feet, taking them through an energetic mix of African infused hip hop and soul, « Read the rest of this entry »

Phil Ade and Levelz: Busting Loose on the DC Hip Hop Scene

November 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

The DC Diaspora of music is celebrating the creme de la creme of young hip hop talent in Washington, DC as they roll out rappers Levelz and Phil Ade for their DC Diaspora Thanksgiving Kickoff event. They are both of Nigerian descent, and together with a new crop of young rappers are poised to pull DC hip hop out of the hulking shadow of go-go music, where it has been languishing since the 70’s. We can go way back in history to radio stations not supporting quality hip hop (“Radio stations, I question their Blackness, they call themselves black but we’ll see if they play this!” – Public Enemy, “Bring the Noise” 1988) but in DC, they really take it to ridiculous levels.   « Read the rest of this entry »

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