June 03, 2006


After two great compilations on African music focussing on the nowadays vibes instead of looking back, both African Rebel as Lagos Stori Plenti were good for a very positive shout-out on this blog, we figured it's also time for Lock it Down to look ahead. So instead of reviewing an album already released, we now bring you an update of artists that should fit perfectly well on a future comp. Trust us, if these tracks were to be released on a compilation, it would be a killer. For the lazy ones amongst you: stop reading, because this topic involves a lot of forwarding, a lot of reading and a lot of listening. Cha, what else is new...

check 'em out:

Fafadi was born in June 1975 in Ziguinchor, a town in Senegal’s southern region of Casamance. At nine years old, Fafadi started singing with his family, who were inspired by the music of Toure Kunda, a traditional Senegalese musician also from Casamance. Added to this was the influence of Reggae from Gambia. These two music styles combined to create Fafadis unique musical style. From 2000 to 2004, Fafadi was featured on many albums including Toure Kunda, Bideew Bou Bess, Bibson, and Samuel Winchester, a Jamaican man based in Senegal. In Novemeber 2004, Fafadi released his first album, Vitamine A, which focused on the topics of love, peace and Allah.

We prefer the track "Siga."
check sound here

Ahlou Bi
Ahlou Bi is a hip-hop, dancehall duo founded by Sang B and Ras Narone, formed in 1993 in Pikine, a suburb of Dakar, Senegal. The focus of their message is on the injustices of discrimination, the power of God, and love for all humans. While the majority of youth in Senegal gravitate towards hip-hop music, African Akhlou B broke away from this trend to find a style that would stand out and spread their message. Dancehall reggae became their primary sound, but to it they added some real African flavours. A vibrant mix of singing and toasting.

We prefer the track "Drugsida."
check sound here

Meta & The corner stone
Meta, born in Senegal, reggae artist and also a very skilled hip hop artist, moved to the U. S. in the spring of 2000, residing in Detroit. Meta's powerful writing and his deep singing voice have gained him great respect and recognition both nationally and internationally. Meta speaks 7 languages fluently and has been very innovative in creating new ways of communicating by combining two or more languages together thus creating his own "patoie". When Meta first began performing on the streets and stages of Dakar, many people were very resistant to this style of music along with the political content of his lyrics. In the year 2000, when Meta released his 1st album, "Yalla Suuren" (God Bless) the government tried to ban the album release. Despite the opposition Meta succeeded. Meta since then has performed on many stages, along with numerous interviews for television shows, radio shows and newspaper media in Africa, France and the U.S.

We prefer the track "Struggle" (familiar riddim, ain't it?)
check sound here

Gokh-bi System, aka GBS A, was formated in 1994 with three members: Mamdou Ndiaye, Pape Bathie Pouye and Diasse Pouye, who all grew up in the same neighborhood, or to be more exact: practically in the same house. The original sound of the group was based on rap backed by synthetic beats. Two years later, the group fused a traditional sound with the rap through the music of the ekonting, played by Sana Ndiaye, and traditional drums, played by Backa Niang. Not long after, the group invited Abdou Sarr to bring an additional energy to the music through local dance styles. GBS has been performing internationally since 1999, in Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, and the United States. Currently, GBS is the most well known African hip-hop group in the United States, the result of 8 US tours in 22 states in five years.

We prefer the track "Unity Laobe"
check sound here

As Malick
As Malick El Hadji Malick Mbaye, aka As Malick, is a young artist who grew up in HLM de la Gueule Tapee. In 1993, As Malick started his first musical group, TMT, with neighbourhood friends in the suburb of Thiaroye/Pikine. Later in 1993 he joined another band in the same neighborhood called Gestu Gui. In 1998, As Malick decided to embark on a solo career. By the year 2000, he had joined up with two other R&B singers, Seydiman and Carlou D to form the group Ska Blue. It was working with Ska Blue that broadcast As Malick’s beautiful R&B and Reggae voice across Senegal. This recognition came without having a record on the market, but through being featured on numerous other artists’ albums. Many of the songs that featured As Malick were hit singles in Senegal. In 2003, As Malick recorded his first hit single entitled "Yaye Bagn." In 2004, As Malick released his long awaited first solo album: Benene Vibes.

We prefer the track "Number One"
check sound here

Wa Flash
A group of friends who share a passion for music, the members of Waflash live in a town called Thies, 60 miles east of Dakar.In 1988,Senegal experienced a crisis in which students went on strike to demand better materials for their studies. As a result, many students did not go to school that year. This became an opportunity for the members of Waflash to focus their attention on music. As a result, in 1990, Waflash completed their first recording. The music of Waflash is a mixture of African, European and Asian music styles that speaks to the themes of love, environment, women, and a united Africa.

We prefer the track "Linke Diyo"
check sound here

For now, we'll leave it at that. This list doesn't yet make up a complete compilation album, merely a good start, but hey: undiscovered artists are hard to find! Recommendations are, ofcourse, always welcome. In the meantime make sure you are on the lookout for tracks of Awadi (no website, no myspace, no record: but killer group!) who made a crucial appearance on the "roll back malaria" dvd.

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