Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please Stand By

Yeah, I've been back in the States a few days now, but I'm probably gonna lie low for a bit while I try to get a new scanner and iron out a couple of other computer-related snafus. I should have that biz squared away by some time next week.

In the meantime, check out this video by my current favorite Nigerian MC, M.I.:

It's actually almost a year old, but it's new to me... I've had a somewhat ambivalent attitude toward Nigerian rap over the past decade and a half, and I guess I still do. But I'd say 2008 has been the year that hip-hop truly came of age in Nigeria, for better or worse. M.I. is part of the "better," I think; his whole style reminds me of stalwarts of the "Golden Age of Hip-Hop" that molded me--Brand Nubian, YZ, Ed OG, Chubb Rock, Masta Ace... and dare I even invoke the God Rakim Allah?

I'm going to be posting a bit more about Naija hip-hop in the near future.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to need an album link man

Frank said...

better get that scanner quick and post up all your record finds!
why are you holding out on us like that???

Anonymous said...

Do you know this guy?

Comb & Razor said...

Kwasi: yeah, i need to get an album, too... so far, "Crowd Mentality" is the only track i've heard, but i'm gonna give him a shout later this week to see if i can get some more.

Frank: hold tight... i think i should be back in action by Thursday, and i have some things i think you'll like (if you haven't already got them, of course!)

Anonymous: at first, i thought your comment was spam, but then i figured you posted it because i have Afflicted Yard in my links, eh?

i really admire Peter Dean Rickards' photos, but there are many aspects of his persona that turn me off... i have found myself particularly sickened by the terrorist threats he's spewed against Graham Brown-Martin's family during their years-long feud, and that time he threatened to kick the baby out of the belly of pregnant Source editor Ann-Marie Nicholson.

>sigh< what can i say? love the art... feel a way about the artist!

Quadzo said...

Agree with those comments on finally acknowledging the new African hip hop. I came to the same realization a couple of years ago about Hip life (Ghana's Version). In our defence, some of the output of the early yars of the phenomenon were pretty bad. I am amazed at what some of the new guys are coming up with. I have been listening to some Bongo flava from Tanzania as well and have been pleasantly surprised sometimes.

Comb & Razor said...

Quadzo -

first of all: nice blog. i'll be watching!

i'll agree that a lot of the new African hip-hop is pretty "good"... the problem is that "good" usually means "on the same standard as the current American stuff"... which gives me mixed feelings since i'm not that big a fan of the current American stuff.

i'm not advocating any kind of "authenticity," of course... obviously i'm a great lover of all kinds of African music that is blatantly derivative of Anglo-American (or Latin American) styles, but i guess it's all the more jarring for me when it comes to hip-hop since a lot of the tropes that are inextricably associated with the genre are so quintessentially American and foreign to the African cultural context.

take, for example, the dress code: you watch these African hip-hop videos and you see everybody in NBA throwback jerseys (and all kinds of basketball imagery), strategically tilted fitted caps, conspicuous bling, hoodies, and even winter coats.

Chineke God borrow me five naira, nobody actually dresses like this in the streets.... not even the artists themselves. but they don this costume for their videos and their photos because it identifies them as "hip-hop."

that bothers me somewhat.

but when i say that hip-hop has finally come of age, i mean that it has gotten to the point that it is undeniably the pop music of the times.

it's kinda strange for me because i was among the first generation of Nigerian hip-hoppers and we were considered to be weirdos and outcasts well into the 1990s. i never expected that i'd live to see the day when rap music would be so firmly anchored at the center of the culture.

and now... i feel so out of step with it all.

ah well... that's why i've got my dance band highlife records, i guess!

Undercover Black Man said...

Love the design work in that video. And it tickles me that, like you say, the spirit of "Golden Age" hip-hop is alive and well overseas.

Comb & Razor said...

yeah, UBM... i find that is the case in a lot of places outside the US: Cuba, Brazil, Japan...

you ask the rappers there the American MCs they admire and they all name "Golden Age" types like KRS, PE, Special Ed, etc.

i guess that's pretty cool...