Posts Tagged ‘daara j’

The Politics of HipHop in Dakar

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment


After HipHop came to Africa in the 1980s and went from being a fad to an African youth movement, communities emerged in a number of countries to dominate the continent’s HipHop scene. Among the leaders of this movement are Senegalese artists, who are not only among the best and most political in Africa, but also the most respected in francophone Africa.

The first generation of African youth to make a collective impact on the fabric of politics and society in modern Africa comprised the visionaries who brought its nations to independence. Some took a revolutionary direction and as a result some African states have legacies of radicalism and political action. Senegal was not one of those states. But now, through the art form of HipHop, the youth in Senegal are rising up as some of the most socially provocative artists in Africa.

Senegal’s HipHop scene is distinctive and its artists extremely talented. The country has a history of strong musical traditions, including tassou, which is similar to rapping. Senegalese rap artists today often blend local sounds and, realizing they will have more of an impact rapping in a local language, they rap either entirely in Wolof or a in blend of French and Wolof. Examples of such artists are Daara J, Pee Froiss, and Positive Black Soul (whose music was featured in season one of the American HBO television show, The Wire).

Read the rest of the article HERE.

The country’s first all-female rap group. ALIF, or Attaque Liberatoire de l’Infanterie Feministe, hit the scene in 1997.


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100% Galsen: a HipHop Documentary Made in Senegal

February 6, 2012 Leave a comment


First up in the 15 Years Online series: the short documentary ‘100% Galsen’, directed by Cheikh Sene, better known as the Senegalese rapper Keyti. The film was produced as part of the project ‘Redefinition: African hip hop‘, a collabo between, Optimiste Production (Dakar, Senegal, the guys behind the Senegal Hip Hop Awards) and the Faculty of Hip Hop (Cape Town, South Africa). Each partner produced a short film about their local hip hop scene and how artists define the ‘African’ in their hip hop.

‘100% Galsen’ (Galsen is slang meaning ‘Senegalese’) is a unique film on various levels. Optimiste Production approached Keyti (real name: Cheikh Sene) to direct the film. And while the last ten years saw many documentaries made about hip hop in Senegal (and other parts of Africa), there were no films entirely made by a Senegalese team – every film production involved a director from abroad, usually Europe or the USA.

Keyti, being one of the pioneers of Senegalese hip hop who has been actively involved in the scene since the mid nineties as an emcee, activist and producer, had access to all the major players in the scene, and most of the interviews he did for the production were more like talks among close friends, creating a completely different dynamic from some of the ‘shoot and go’ style foreign doccies that we have seen in the past years. As you may know, Senegalese people have a way with words, and ‘100% Galsen’ features a lot of talking heads, but the combined insights of everyone from Awadi and Duggy Tee (PBS) to Xuman, Gaston, Maxi Krezy, Fou Malade, Fatim, Daara J, radio presenter Coco Jean and many more gives a unique look into Senegalese hip hop as defined by the artists themselves.

Watch ‘100% Galsen’ above and share the link to this article – the idea of the Fifteen Years series is to spread the treasures from our archives and educate the world about the art that we have been promoting for so long.

Executive producer: Optimiste Production / Safouane Pindra (Senegal)
Director: Keyti (Cheikh Sene)