Last week, I wrote about 5 on 5, a tv show broadcasted in the Francophonie that "gives a voice" to the honest citizen by letting them ask a question. This method leads a local reporter team to investigate the concerned field to answer their question. In a recent episode, Touré Yayé Alhousseini, a painter artist from Niger asked: " Why young nigerians are letting themselves influenced by american rap ?"
The investigation shows a Niger rap group called Black Daps, trying to "nigerianise" their sounds by recording with traditionnal instrumentists.
That reminded me thaughts and discussion I had about what was happening with kwaito or kuduro. It was also concording with the Fader Africa edition. I read Fader stories about hiplife and kwaito with interest but I couldn't stop thinking about the distorsion between our conception of african music and the music africans are listening to. I mean, is Fader really setting a trend on 2 genres that seems to be stuck in a dead end ? Is kwaito and hiplife are just still living in our western imaginary and romantism ? What if african rappers just want to sing in english and sounds like Tupac ?
theantisuck pushed the reflexion fwd with her comment:
"I disagree with the idea that musics mixing tradish and modern sounds are dying. that sounds also like a very western obsession. The roots obsessed decry HH for losing touch with indiginous sounds. they blame american rap for detroying indigenous sounds yet They love ali farka toure, amadou & mariam, ethiopiques, things that sound like american jazz and rock music. Then you have hipsters into african rap scenes, daraa j, kuduro, trying to find the music with the most dangerous street cred/booty beats and/or backpacker rap in africa. both "scenes" are perhaps dying yet so small and insignificant as to be nearly nonexistant next to the reality of african pop music and the actually huge scenes alive and well of coupe-decale, mbalax, swahili pop, zouk.
(...)Indeed we are creating our own african music scenes in our heads yet ignoring the scenes alive and kicking. "
So why not give exposure to mbalax, zouk or coupé-décalé ? Why building scenes around insignificance ?
Still, after further research this week, it appears death of a music genre is not just a western obsession. I read many articles on ghanaian web medias asking is hiplife was dead and proclaiming the death of it.
Reggie Rock Stone, founder of hiplife, is categoric: "hiplife is dead." He blames it on the payola system, the pay and play relationship between executive producers, artists and radio DJs, that he describes like a mafia, who makes it impossible for poor but innovative artists to breaktrough.
As for kwaito, globetrotters like Erin MacLeod and Maga Bo, who have traveled in South Africa recently, explained how it was difficult to found new kwaito. It seems that hip hop and imported house à la Fedde Le Grand are taking over in the clubs. Post-Mandela desillusion and the transition of model SA is living right now, like everywhere in the world, has relegate kwaito to people's house, out of the clubs and the shining spots. As Brickz says in Fader, talking about this sanitization by house music, "It's like the new South Africa trend to wear suits, it fits into some kind of perception of what a civilized world is."
Suits, dress codes, expensive cover, fancy cars, security... and exclusion.
I guess I could resume my thaughts by saying that I'm concerned about how globalization of the american rap industry affects youths from all over the world and tends to create a cultural and economic model uniformisation, killing diversity of rhythms and language.
Il y a 17 heures