Unsung: African Allstar Edition
Yes i did it again.. let procrastination and writers block get the better of me.
But i’m back, emerged from what seems like an emotional, physical and creative black hole. Eh.
It is also my Thirtiethpostaversary, so i thought i’d keep it light, fun and celebratory!
Ps… shoutouts to the 12 people who read the blog yesterday. Bless your hearts…it’s been a graveyard for months, but you still come through, hoping i’ve gotten my act together. One day….one day.
Today’s post highlights artists that are SO…special, they transcend the upper limit of classification and morph into something magical.. like the Starchild from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Some of these guys you may know already, others not, but it’s time to acknowledge their artistry once again.
Riak was probably the first rapper to open my eyes to this very specific genre of ‘so-bad-it’s-transcendent’ music. Say what you will about his videos, 2000 and late swag and..ahem…flow; what you can NEVER say is he’s boring.
Riak is a South Sudanese native who relocated to Australia. He decided to channel his angst into musical expression, and the world is a better place because of it. I’ve decided he’s a bit of a romantic at heart, as both of his biggest hits are love songs : Do For Love and How Do You Want Me To (below).
I don’t know what exactly is in the South Sudanese water, ( or maybe this type of unique ability is genetic, given that he is apparently related to Riak), but Ur Boi Bangs is another Sudanese transplant in Australia who has taken the world by storm with his bars (rick ross voice). He was the first of the lot to go viral as well, featuring on Thisis50.com and even recording a diss track aimed at Jimmy Fallon, who had the impudence to call his song terrible on Late Night. Hate is just jealously in disguise Jimmy! Bangs, i’d love to go the movies with you ♥
THE R&B PRINCE
Who said rappers get to have all the fun? Namata holds a special place in my heart because he is clearly heavily inspired by late nineties/ early 2000 r and b, and he crafted one of my favorite music videos of all time.
He also holds the dubious honor of being the only time I’ve ever seen Africans on the internet fighting fiercely to deny ownership of a popular individual. Early reports suggested he was Ugandan, until Ugandan massive came and shut that shit down quickly. What followed was a round robin of passing the citizenship, but eventually his origins were pinpointed much closer to home;Cameroon. (He is based in Denmark though , in-case you were wondering about the back up dancers lol) .
Felicitations Les Camerounais!!… not every day Roger Milla and Eto’o.
Sometimes too, love must be shown to other national icons like Namata and Madame Chantal Biya’s wig. Enjoy the video for Treasure In You
Tips and Pointers:
*Ignore the fact that the visuals read as though the female lead is trying to escape from a serial stalker and sexual predator… focus on Namata’s dance moves instead
*If hip-hop is more your speed, check out the Romeo Must Die inspired video for Down With My Clique.
THE HOMETOWN HERO
We too we dey here some. I’ve never seen this brother discussed on any of the blogs or media forums, and that is a travesty. Ghana Tupac is another rapper representing the Tema musical movement.
Fun factoid: according to him, he and Fifty Cent’s are paternal half brothers ( their father was a seaman on the Black Star Line), further solidifying my point that this sort of talent runs in families.
If When he blows, remember where you heard about him first.
*I know what you were thinking… this doesn’t sound too bad compared to what i’ve heard.. until that flow hit you around the one minute mark.. GOTCHA! lol
THE UNDISPUTED KING
You knew this was coming…. who else could have closed out this list? No one but the 9 god Vic-O.
If you don’t know who he is, you’ve clearly not be up on your social media game. The Nigerian rapper went viral for his diss track aimed at Drake and Meek Mill, which had Aubz so shook he tweeted an apology before quickly deleting it.
But the King of Rap, Hitmaker and Stage Rocker ( his words) has been putting in work for a long while now.
Inspite of the brilliance of tracks like RIP and Why Evils, my favourite song of Vic-O’s remains After Party. The video features the world’s most disinterested female lead, and the teddy-bear she brought along for comfort.
And that’s it folks… welcome back to regularly scheduled posts each Friday (fingers crossed). Please consider going to the side bar and hitting the email subscribe button if you aren’t on FB much, so you can keep up with posts.
May you all wake up tomorrow with the self confidence of Vic O.