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Hip-hop and democracy in Senegal’s elections

February 26th, 2007 Posted in Film/Television, General, Music, Politics, Travel

Democracy in Dakar - Nomadic WaxI’ve often asked if hip-hop can save Africa, and now we’re getting to see for ourselves. Senegal, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, is currently going through elections and as in the past hip-hop is playing a serious role. It’s interesting being an African living in the States and experiencing both African and African-American cultures simultaneously. My position has given me a unique vantage point to which to compare hip-hop’s beginnings and where it has reached both in the States and on the continent. African hip-hop still maintains the revolutionary nature of hip-hop’s beginnings while American hip-hop has grown into a beast of another nature. As American hip-hop has grown to be accepted in the mainstream it has become a music of materialism and shortsighted goals. The music and culture that brought many black Americans out of struggle and strife is threatening to take them right back to those hard times. Maybe this is a lesson for both African and American rappers. Maybe taking American rappers to see the role hip-hop plays in Africa’s youth’s lives, as VH1 did last Thursday, will allow them to see how powerful hip-hop is/was and get them looking at whether they’re using it to it’s full potential. Ben at Nomadic Wax has been documenting the Senegalese elections from a hip-hop perspective with amazing results. The question is though, how closely will African hip-hop youth follow the path of their American counterparts?

  • http://yahoo.fr bocar mbacke

    i wanna know what kind of relation is there betwen our national president Mr Abdoulaye Wade and the rappers of senegal?
    THINK YOU FOR ANSWERING

  • http://www.annansi.com Kofi

    bocar, I’m not sure exactly what the relationship is between the president and the rappers. Though if I had to guess, I would think Senegalese rappers are considered a threat to the governmental power since they often criticize it. Check out the African Underground site for some more in-depth opinions.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • http://www.propagandarts.com Abdoulaye Aw

    Bocar I’m sorry to tell you that you just don’t get it. Abdoulaye Wade is so far the worst thing that happened to Senegal. The country is falling deeply into one of the corrupt & poorest country of the world. If you cannot understand that these rappers are calling for a better future, some infrastructures and freedom of speech, so poor you my friend. Go back to school or ask someone to help you understand that relation you talking about.
    Shame on you.

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