|X Plastaz / Maasai Hip Hop|
|Add Date:||2006-07-16|| ||Pull Date:||2006-09-17|| ||Charts:||Hip-Hop, Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||3 Sep||27 Aug||20 Aug||13 Aug||6 Aug||30 Jul||23 Jul|
X Plastaz – Maasai Hip Hop (Out|Here Rec)|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 7/6/06
Maasai hip hop – known as “Bongo Flava”, straight from the streets of Dar el Salaam and Arusha (Tanzania), rapping in Swahili and Haya, mixing some traditional sounds in with their own style of urban hip hop. Although only one cut has even a little bit of English, the lyrics appear to be pure “conscious” hip hop – no pimps and hos. 4 adult male rappers are joined by two kids, a very young boy and a teenaged girl, so there’s an interesting combination of vocals, too. This is an important piece of ethnomusicology, and I hope will be of interest to both Hip Hop and World DJs. Play with Daara J and Issa Bagayogo.
FCC clean, at least in English. I like 12 best, 2 and 6 quite a bit.
1. **starts with some call and response, cool, spare midtempo combo of hip hop beats, voice box, rap, Maasai vocalizations. About the dangers of excess.
2. ***Somewhat uptempo, nice melody and chorus behind rap. Look out for the chick rapper! Yeah, girl! About friendship.
3. **Midtempo, cool but dangerous groove, about losing friends to drugs.
4. *Downtempo, story of a young man who struggles but gets deeper into trouble – sadness and desperation are evident. Some odd vocalizations.
5. **midtempo, dance beat with bits of traditional vocals, young boy and girl rapping about working together, sweet!
6. ***Midtempo, fun bounce – interesting sound with the interplay of straight rap and Maasai vocalizations. All about the importance of traditional cultures.
7. **Downtempo, trippy harmonies between the kids – all about child abuse.
8. **Midtempo, tough sounding adult rap with odd dreamy musical backing, mourning those lost in accidents and to AIDS.
9. **a bit downtempo, some rap in English, about kids caught in war zones. Ends with several seconds of chanting w/out music.
10. *intense, sparce music, almost whispered rap, about hardcore life in Africa.
11. *midtempo, odd vocals, about losing one’s way to greed.
12. ****great midtempo groove with simple but effective piano and syncopation, interesting sounding vocals, about minding one’s own business.
13. **Melancholy, slow intro, theatrical story of the underclass of Dar es Salaam.