A native of Dakar (Senegal), Amadou Barry, aka Duggy Tee founded with Didier Awadi, August 11, 1989, the Positive Black Soul (PBS).

As a teenager, they start their separate ways, a career in the clubs of Dakar. In 1985, Didier needed on the music scene with his band, The Didier Awadi’s Syndicate. A few years later, it was the turn of Amadou, who became very popular with the King’s MC.

In 1989, the two rappers come together, and decided to pool their talents within the group Positive Black Soul. The creation of the duo advances, their writing, their style and their voices complement each other. It is an immediate success, building on already strong reputations and local.

In 1992, the catch: MC Solaar, pitches for the first time in Dakar, is seduced and to design the first part of his tour.

In 1994, with the support of a friend, Mamadou Konte, their first album Blvd Falé was promoted throughout the African continent. Stitches in the PBS public meeting of all Africa, and stands out on the international stage. The same year they signed to Island, which propels them directly at the forefront of global music landscape.

In 1995, they recorded their first international album Salaam. Since 96, Positive Black Soul, continues the tour, parties and other festivals, and is building a real reputation. The achievements and awards keep coming, the PBS is a dream all the young Senegalese or African, fully supporting its cause.

Yet in 2002, Amadou stopped to spend some more time to himself and his family. it follows a retreat than a year, giving it time to take stock of his career. He spent the sabbatical to recover from showbiz and his ambiguous reality, he says, tired and exhausted by touring, the reverse of the medal.

He decides to spend more time with his family. This becomes even a new source of inspiration and creativity innate directs again, albeit weakly, to the studios.

His passion for Africa, its rich culture and its core values lead Duggy to establish a production and promotion of African culture: Nubian Enterprises (nod to Egyptian civilization).

It does not stop to write and describe the daily lives through new legislation that accumulate on his bedside. In 2005, he returned to the music scene with Ngema, the first act of a trilogy that promises to his audience. Ngema is consumed without moderation by fans and nostalgic.

It is also voted best Hip Hop album and the hit “WADIOUR” is still enjoyed by a mixed audience of all ages.

The performance of the artist are always appreciated and frequented by a public that chant again and volo “THE KING IS BACK”.

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Nazizi Hirji popularly referred to as ‘The First Lady’ is among the select few veteran female Kenyan hip-hop, reggae and dancehall artistes. At only 16, her first single Ni sawa tu was already making ripples in the Kenyan scene.   She then went ahead to compose her first proper hit, Mama. With those now-memorable lyrics ‘Mama, mama nataka kuwa rapper’, her face was thrust into the music scene but it was not until October 2000 when she became a force to reckon with. That is the time she became part of Necessary Noize together with singer Kevin Wyre and rapper Bamzigi. Their self-titled debut album under Audio Vault Studios, which contained hits like Clang Clang, and La Di Da, catapulted them to fame. Bamzigi later left due to personal reasons— leaving the duo to steadily grow in popularity and later to release a second album Necessary Noize II: Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy in 2004 which included popular regional hits such as Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy and  Bless My Room . Although mainly hip-hop based, the group also did some reggae and Rhythm and Blues tracks. Their socially conscious lyrics that deal with issues affecting youth such as AIDS, drugs and politics gained them traction in a wider audience. Together with Ugandan ragga musician Bebe Cool, they released music under the name East Africa Bashment Crew. Due to their fast rising popularity Necessary Noize was nominated at the inaugural (2008) MTV Africa Music Awards. The duo also collaborated with the Tanzanian hip-hop group Gangwe Mobb with Tunajirusha hit. Guest on their debut album included Mizchif from Zimbabwe, Jerry Doobiez of K-South and Mombasa based artiste Nyota Ndogo. Nazizi and Wyre also did solo productions, before and during the existence of the group.

Some of the awards won as Necessary Noize include the 2004 Kisima Music Awards for Best Group and Best Music Video (“Kenyan Gal/Boy”) and Best Ragga Group, 2004 Chaguo La Teeniez Awards and the 2006 Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards) for Best Group (Kenya). On top of these they have been nominated for various awards among them the 2005 Tanzania Music Awards for Best East African Album, 2006 Channel O Music Video Awards, Best reggae video, 2007 Pearl of Africa Music Awards for Best Kenyan Group. In 2008 Nazizi decided to take a low profile as far as music goes because she needed to concentrate with family matters, having been newly wedded. “We got married in December 2008 in a simple and private wedding. Vini Hamza Leopold, my husband, and I both value privacy. I’ve always wanted people to know me for my music and not my personal life. Vini is supportive of my career, but he does not like to be at the forefront and I respect that,” she notes. They soon welcomed a newborn to their union and according to Nazizi having a baby is life changing. It has made her more responsible and she has had to ditch her previous life. “Before, my reply to invitations to perform abroad would be, ‘when?’ And if they asked me to stay three more weeks I would oblige, but those days are gone. Now I want to know the first flight in and out so that I can be home as soon as possible,” Nazizi says. As a solo artiste Nazizi has had a successful career in addition to being a member of the popular Kenyan group, Necessary Noize; the East African group, East African Bashment Crew (EABC); and, the newly formed all female MC international hip hop group, Lyrikal Roses.

She has also completed a joint album’ Motherland’ with Jamaican reggae star Ginjah. As a solo artist, Nazizi released a number of singles including her latest dancehall hits, Take the People Away and Can’t Have Mi Man. Take the People Away was nominated for a Channel O Video Music Award (2011). She has won 17 awards, including CHAT Female Artist of the Year seven times in a row and most recently Best Directed Video and Video of the Year at the Channel O Video Music Awards (2007) for the hit EABC song Kube.


Caroline Nyanga

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The idea of positioning Nigeria on World’s hip-hop map had always been the preoccupation of music critics. Their keen observation or otherwise is often based on audience’s acceptance of themusic genre and the influence of the music on popular culture.

In the western understanding of the hip-hop culture, hip-hop had roots in the streets. On the streets of New York, young ones engage themselves in rivalry, sometimes transcending the artistic. Hip-hop is the tool of expression of emotions. Anger, passion, joy even warning had been conveyed through the changing tides of hip-hop over time.

Hip-hop in Nigeria has grown under the influence of American hip-hop gurus. In the late 80’s, Emphasis’ “Which One You Dey” is one of the very first lyrical attempts at domesticating hip-hop. The track is subsumed in Afro-beat and it enjoyed loads of airplays in spite of the poor sales recorded. Many Nigerians encountered rap music in Pidgin English for the first time. But others will argue that Felix and Mozzy or Junior and Pretty did that. Well, everyone has a way of rewriting history through the word of mouth.

Some rewrite history through documentaries. Documentaries are used in preserving articles of history. Proper research is involved in articulating findings. Anyone who does a documentary on hip-hop culture around the world would do Nigerians a disservice if the contributions of our hip-hop artistes are not included. Looking at the Nigerian hip-hop landscape, we have observed hip-hop’s evolution from mere intellectual exercise to the language of the street. At the recent Lagos screening of Mohammad’s documentary on Hip Hop, an observation was made by a commentator that in all hip-hop dominated culture, graffiti, drugs and guns are accompanying phenomena. Well, in Nigeria, people will readily say that the equivalents of those are “Alomo bottles, shepe sachets, broken bottles and incense from cigarettes and Indian hemp”. That kind of observation has the risk of coating hip-hop in a dirty colour. It is regrettable that people quickly associate hip-hop with all manners of social vices.

Many academic researchers have studied hip-hop in the context of oral literature. Rap which is described as rhythmically applied poetry has long existed in Yoruba oral literature and we know it as, “Ewi”. So, when someone argues that rap originates from New York, it is really a western understanding. The same happened with drama and theatre which had long been traced to the Greek Culture by many western authors. Greek inherited it from Egypt and it started as ritual, with strong similarities with indigenous African practices. Just because we lacked academic references in the era of “Ewi” in Nigeria does not mean we learnt rap from America. Our hip-hop has only been refined to reflect the true nature of post-colonial African spirit. To illustrate, many new hip-hop artistes draw from the elements of indigenous language and the language of the colonisers to make danceable songs. The hip-hop scene was initially dominated by the artistes who incidentally have south-eastern origin. Illbliss, Mode9, Naeto C, Ikechukwu, Ruggedman, Nigga Raw to mention a few ran the show. That “Ibo Boy Movement” became intimidating and their Western and Northern counterparts dusted their microphones and sharpened their wit. The results have been the likes of MI, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Dr Sid, Idris Abdul Kareem, Six Foot Plus, Lord of Ajasa and Olamide.

Emerging artistes bubbling with lyrical energy like Splash have repositioned Nigeria as a nation to reckon with when researching the hip-hop culture in Africa. Genre experimentation has created strong landmarks and critics are following this trail with interest. The question of the popularity of hip-hop in Nigeria has been answered at every concert and every show in Nigeria. The fans go wild when hip-hop takes control. Nigerians may not have the graffiti on walls as in other cultures. Our contemporary laws in cities may not even encourage the tradition as it amounts to defacing the walls. Hip-hop still has strong intellectual base and is seen by some critics as mere commercial enterprise in Nigeria. Yet, we see many young in Bado caps like Olamide and sporting cock-hair like Phyno. That is the beginning of a popular culture.

Huge commercial success is another cause for positioning ourselves on the world hip-hop map. Our hip-hop artistes are on the list of high grossing artistes in Africa. So, the next time any filmmaker decides to make a documentary on hip-hop culture around the world and forgets the impact that Nigeria has and is making around the world, we will say: talk to the hand. We know our position and we know how hip-hop videos by Nigerians have constituted a source of income for video editors in South Africa and other parts of the world. The Black Entertainment Television pans its camera to Nigeria whenever the hip-hop discourse turns African. We deserve the attention. Like Olamide said, we are just getting started.


Yinka Olatunbosun

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Legendary hip-hop activists Public Enemy align with Ethiopian shoemaker SAWA to produce a collaborative sneaker that utilizes the brand’s Dr Bess model as a base. In support of African-made goods, Chuck D gives his stamp of approval allowing the young brand to place the iconic Public Enemy logo atop one of its mainstay models. In addition to joint branding along its tongue, the limited edition release will also see a mix of denim, leather and leopard print materials for a trendy combination. Furthermore, the low-riding sneaker features a message on its insole that reads, “SUCKERS NEVER WEAR ME.”

So take note “suckers, these are not for you”.

This Public Enemy X SAWA Shoes creation is currently available through the brand’s webstore as well as select global stockists with a price tag of 95 (approximately 125 $US).

Website :

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We live in a world crumbling under the weight of information. The frantic race to scoop the story is so hot that they are as serious topics, only last time a debate before the media and the masses will turn to the next controversy. This is why the JTR chosen to return to the news that are often cooler but are relevant to dissect and understand the Senegalese society.

Emission humorous type, ambition beyond the newspaper to make people laugh by his impertinence is to interest young people in particular to the news by offering a treatment closer to the Senegalese lambda information.

Done in rap and in two versions (French and Wolof), the newspaper takes the time of a song (3 to 4 minutes) and review the weekly news Senegal and the world.


Xuman is a rapper, music producer and songwriter. Born and raised in ivory Coast, he moved to Senegal at the age of 16 after his family failed to endorse his music career. In Dakar, he was kicked out of his aunt’s house for following his career and he had to face hardships to eke out a living.

In the early 90′s, Xuman founded a hip-hop group named Pee Froiss, originally produced by the legendary group Positive Black Soul from the same city. The group used to perform in Wolof, French, and English and features traditional Senegalese instruments such as the kora as part of its instrumentation. Pee Froiss was one of the first rap groups to include a female performer in their lineup, Sista Joyce. The group’s members create all of their own music videos with very sparse resources, the first of which was released in 1996 with their first album.

Today pursuing solo career,  Xuman is one of the most successful artists in the Senegalese music industry and he performed in different parts of the world, including Europe.

Keyti is one of the first and most prominent hardcore hip hop artist in Senegal. With his famous group Rap’Adio, he offered a radical approach to Hip Hop Galsen violently recalling the initial purpose of Hip Hop as a means to denounce society’s flaws. Still radically critical, though less hardcore, Keyti now evolves in solo. He is part of the West African hip hop collective AURA (United Artists for African Rap) and performs in its well-known musical comedy The Extraordinary Stories of Poto-Poto Children.

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The year was 2005. Ernest Zamba aka GNL Zamba started making strides in the entertainment industry.

Even when he was cutting his teeth with Hip Hop All Stars and Mother Africa, a group of young rappers, the story was bleak. Hip hop remained a salad for the mainstream genres. It was taken as a genre for spoilt rich kids wanting to ape western lifestyles. To even fuel the sceptics more, GNL was doing his thing in Luganda, coming up with his own genre – Lugaflow.

But GNL would go on to disprove critics with his first album Koyi Koyi; the riddles of life. It ruled Kampala. It brought hip hop to the fore. Later in 2009, he launched his album at Kyadondo rugby grounds to a massive crowd, pulling all the stops. He even formed his own group, Baboon Forest. He wanted to follow that success up with another album, Dreaming in Colour. He changed his mind because the album was in English and he believed the Ugandan audience wasn’t ready for it.

He went on to sign hip hop sensations Mun G and Big Trill. Together they call themselves the three musketeers. Zamba would go on to produce his second album, Speaking Vernacular. On his journey to complete his third album, The Renaissance, Club Beer decided they should sample Zamba and so he was lined up for his first unplugged show, a show where artistes perform live to their fans.

GNL has always been a crowd-puller, but last Thursday at Club Silk, he struggled to pull the numbers that the shows usually command. By 10pm, there was still a handful of guests, but nonetheless, he decided to start the concert. GNL chose Magic Horns band to back him up but the band was a little stale. The guys on the drums and bas guitar were so off key.

However, despite that, GNL proved he is still the Ugandan hip hop king. I know many think that describing him as ‘king’ is overrated, but hip hop is not about vocal ability, it’s about the rhyme, the poetry and the lyrics. No one on the Ugandan scene beats him to that. The only one who comes close to GNL is Mun G.

GNL sampled his lyrical genius, doing songs like; Uganda Yaffe, Mr Right, Machozi, Elly Wamala’s Ani Yali Amanyi, Koyi Koyi and his first hit, Soda. He gave people a sneak peak into his new album, sampling tracks such as Power, Bump and Grind, and they are powerful songs. Like at most hip hop gigs, during the break, there was a rapper cipher.

He was later joined on stage by Mun G and Big Trill to do Zina and Seesetula. However, the people he had collabos with didn’t show up; Goodlyfe, Vampino and Leilah Kayondo. Only Aziz Azion made it. After two hours of his freestyle and rhymes, the writing was on the wall; GNL is keeping hip hop alive.



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Sister Fa, a Senegalese rapper campaigning to end female genital mutilation, is still traumatised by her memories of this violent rite of passage, an experience she has turned into a powerful song.

Now 30, she remembers being taken as a small child to visit a favourite aunt , and arriving to find about 50 girls and a party atmosphere.

“It was amazing, so beautiful. There was a lot of love and a lot of fun. The next day the love and fun turned to screaming, fear and pain,” said Sister Fa, now Senegal’s most famous female rapper.

Sister Fa – real name Fatou Mandiang Diatta – tells her story in the song ‘Excision’ (Cutting).

Female genital mutilation, still practised in 28 African countries, involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris, and in its most extreme form the vaginal opening is also sewn up.

Senegal banned it in 1999, but it is still widely practised by some ethnic groups – including the Diola which Sister Fa belongs to – and about a quarter of Senegalese women have undergone it.

Sister Fa’s mother died before she got the chance to ask her why she was cut. For years she felt her mother had betrayed her, but recently she came to understand she had no choice – that is why she refers to the practice as “cutting” rather than the more judgmental “mutilation”.

In the communities that practise it, cutting is a prerequisite for marriage and social acceptance. Girls who aren’t cut are ostracised and treated like animals, Sister Fa says.

“If you are not cut it is very hard to have a place in the community … No boy will marry a girl who isn’t cut. She’s not allowed to cook food, she cannot give people water, she won’t be involved in ceremonies and there are certain places where she cannot even go because they will say, ‘You have a clitoris’.”

The singer, who grew up in Casamance in southern Senegal, first questioned the tradition as a teenager, when two babies in her community died after the circumciser applied bleach, thinking it would reduce the pain.

“They had very bad injuries but no one dared take them to hospital. It was a big tragedy and no one was talking about it,” she told TrustLaw during a visit to London this month to speak at an event at the House of Lords, parliament’s upper house.

Sister Fa appears equally at ease addressing politicians and chatting with teenagers. She is fluent in five languages, glamorous, articulate and forthright.

She is also fearless. Campaigners against FGM have been attacked and even killed in some countries.

When Sister Fa goes to Senegal on tour and appears on TV and radio shows, people phone up to abuse her. But she is not worried by threats.  “I’m a rapper. I say things exactly the way I think,” she said. “I’m not really scared. If one day I have to give my life to save this future generation …  well, so what?”


Sister Fa, who now lives in Berlin with her Austrian husband and their daughter, says moving to Europe in 2006 gave her the space to gain a clearer perspective on FGM.

“Before, I was a little bit ashamed about talking about it because it’s a taboo. It was my father-in-law who told me it’s time to break the taboo,” she said.

“I started talking in a very shy way, to say that I’m not a complete woman. There’s something missing in my body.  Now I’m not ashamed any more to say this happened to me, and to explain to people that it’s time to stop this practice.”

Senegal has made considerable progress in tackling FGM, thanks to the grassroots movement TOSTAN which has persuaded thousands of villages to abandon cutting.

The government aims to eradicate FGM by 2015, but Sister Fa says that when a community declares it has abandoned cutting, many people do not stop. Perhaps 60 percent do, but others simply get their daughters cut in another village.

There is still strong resistance to ending cutting, and it is vital to put FGM in the school curriculum and involve young people, she says. “There’s a generation we must focus on to get them to abandon it before they become mothers and fathers and cut their own children.”

Sister Fa is used to breaking down barriers. As a woman she had to battle to be accepted in the male-dominated world of rap, but she says it is the best music for protest songs – she also sings about child marriage, AIDS and war.

She now has her sights set on Senegal’s neighbour Guinea, where FGM is almost universal. She plans to travel there shortly to work with local musicians who can then continue to spread the message.

During her Senegal tour last year, Sister Fa was particularly proud of helping  persuade her home village to abandon cutting.

The singer says her father, a teacher, was disappointed when she decided to pursue her music rather than go to college. He was hoping she’d be a diplomat.

Today he is one of her biggest fans. He has also made her a solemn promise – he will never cut her two youngest sisters.


Emma Batha

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Lighting up Nairobi’s roughest neighborhood with three “stop-the-violence” shows after a chain of bombings and riots, the Somali hiphop group Waayaha Cusub glides into its comfort zone.

EASTLEIGH, AN URBAN GRID of muddy, broken streets on Nairobi’s east side that currently reigns as the global home of Somali music, has been so overpopulated from the influx of refugees and migrants that even taxi drivers sigh painfully when asked to travel there. Leaving downtown eastbound into Eastleigh, just as the music playing from radios in traffic changes from Kenyan reggae-fusion to the more Eastern dance beats of Somali pop, there are more pedestrians, more cars, and worse roads. Rather than markets lining structured arcades, they now spill over the street with hawkers leaning out into the traffic jam ankle-deep in mud to offer you shawls and shirts. Two weeks ago, to add to Eastleigh’s social intensity, extremists here increased their rate of terror from monthly grenade attacks to sending a bomber into a Swahili Kenyan-filled matatu mini-bus just as it was crossing Eastleigh. They bombed another car last week, and a mosque this week.

Dikiryo Abdi. Photo: Daniel J. Gerstle

But musicians like Waayaha Cusub believe the community has to react to terror not with fire, but with love. It is their attempt to reduce the cycle of retaliation extremists seek to cultivate. Here, last Sunday night at the packed, hidden hotel lounge, there was tall Dikriyo Abdi out front, reversed baseball cap, mic up, dimple in, and free hand conducting the audience to sing along, “Dhibaatada waa, liska dafaa…” Violence gotta stop, to move ahead…, he raps, the audience echoing the song by heart.

Joining him were Falis Abdi, the adored songstress who has transformed in half a decade from groovy young dancer to idolized vocal legend and mother of two; Lihle Muhdin, the eleven-fingered rapper known for his single “Kaca kaca wada kaca…” Wake wake wake up and fight for your rights…; Burhan Ahmed Yare, the laid back, shy singer; and Shiine Akhyaar Ali, the sage poet who survived an execution-style assassination attempt just a couple years ago.

The crowd was livelier than even most Nairobi concert crowds. The kids knew all the songs, the lyrics, the dance moves. The cause of trying to warn against further fighting in their community is dear to them. Even in the back, rows of girls were dancing on some higher plain. Somehow in the midst of this, trying not to get danced on, I crouched with camera, attempting to take it all in. This is as accurate a portrait as one can get of what kinds of nightlife you can find on the Somali side of Kenya.

While rappers from JayZ to Pharoahe Monch rhyme on Western airwaves about growing up in tough streets, this humble collection of rappers, singers, and poets — and even many of their fans — have taken bullets, stab wounds, beatings, threats, and stalking by those who oppose their messages of peace, love, and reconciliation. On top of that, they are refugees who fled Somalia’s bloody war and still stand up and rap against an al Qaeda-backed extremist rebel force of a hundred thousand guns called “The Youth,” aka al Shabaab, who even banned music as part of their failed strategy to conquer the minds of Somalia.

The three “Stop-the-Violence” concerts, including this one plus two recently concluded at the Kwani Literary Festival December 9th-16th, are rallies to call youth to turn away from extremism, to imagine what their future could be like with reconciliation. Sure, since it’s a “stealth,” aka surprise show, they are relatively small and take place hidden behind walls and guards, but still they’re packed. The rappers are singing with a Somali DJ; in future, bigger shows heading back to Somalia, they plan to bring along their Kenyan partner band Afro Simba and any others willing to risk their lives to bring the music back.

Waayaha Cusub

Where extremists who want to twist culture back a thousand years and put ladies on leashes are able to command millions of dollars of rockets, rifles, and explosives, and a legion of propagandists invoking God to preach hate, the guardians of the middle, the government, backed by African Union troops, struggles to barely, just barely get enough resources to push back. Meanwhile, cultural leaders like Waayaha Cusub and their allies who spin songs, lyrics, and talks of reconciliation scrounge for pennies but push onward. They are the bravest artists I’ve ever heard of, much less gotten to meet and jam with. I’d like to invite any gangsta, punk, or metalhead banking on badass to come join the group on their ongoing tour to bring their musical message back to the world’s most dangerous city, Mogadishu.

Enjoying Somali Nairobi is all about knowing which street is which. Even as I write this, Shiine, the head of Waayaha Cusub, calls me to share that more fighting broke out on one side of town; within the hour I meet him at a hospital to find a kid with stab wounds front and back, others killed just a few streets from where they ran this tremendous peace concert.

Over the long run, to enjoy the peaceful Somali culture in Nairobi, the best place to start is to follow Waayaha Cusub and their Somali Sunrise Concert Tour for Peace and see when their shows are coming. You should try to meet up with a Somali friend who can show you the sweet spots or bring you to a show, or failing that, head to the Laico Regency Hotel Cafe downtown, where you may easily meet a Somali journalist who can advise you before you head to Eastleigh, or even to northwest Kenya. The Somali side of Kenya is full of rich frankincense and cardamom culture, and in the northeast you can walk amid herds of giraffe or witness one of the largest open livestock markets in the world.

Waayaha Cusub

If you do decide to learn more about Somali music in Nairobi, first, try to attend this week’s Kwani Literary Festival, which will feature not only two performances by Waayaha Cusub, but also poetry readings and talks by celebrated author Hadraawi and UK-based poet Warsan Shire in the safer side of Nairobi. Then, travel with a Somali guide / translator and grab a cardamom and camel milk tea at the Gulf Palace Hotel Restaurant overlooking the markets at Jam Street. Slip into the labyrinthine tunnels of shops inside the arcades and underground. And then check out the Waayaha Cusub Music Studio & Store. Imagine what Somali towns — and dance clubs — will be like when peace finally comes to this neighborhood and many of its inhabitants’ home country, Somalia.

“Nabad waa muhim, nolasheena waa, naruurada eebi hiyo naxariista waa,” raps Shiine in the group’s latest song, meant to keep the community’s spirits high. “For everything we want in this world, first we must achieve reconciliation and peace.”


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Public Enemy, the firebrand rap crew that urged fans to “fight the power” in the ’90s, is headed to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

PE will be the fourth rap group to be inducted, following Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (2007), Run-D.M.C. (2009) and The Beastie Boys (2012).

At the 2012 ceremony, Public Enemy frontman Chuck D pulled double duty, inducting the Beastie Boys with the help of LL Cool J and inducting Red Hot Chili Peppers with comedian Chris Rock.

P.E. charged into the fray of rap’s Golden Era with members Flavor Flav, Chuck D, DJ Terminator X, Professor Griff and the S1W security force. Their charging production–whistles, buzzes, DJ scratching–courtesy of the Shocklee Brothers, gave PE a distinct sound that overwhelmed rap records of the time.

As a black militant rap group, PE incited controversy with combative lyrics and anti-establishment messages. At the height of their popularity, Professor Griff, PE’s minister of information, was ousted for anti-Semitic statements.

While Flavor Flav has become known in later years as a reality TV show star, Chuck D has emerged as rap’s elder statesman.

Other 2013 inductees include disco queen Donna SummerRush, Randy Newman, Heart and bluesman Albert King. The Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers will go to Lou Adler and Quincy Jones.

The 28th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place Thursday, April 18th 2013 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, and it will air on HBO on Saturday, May 18th 2013 at 9 pm ET.

Tickets to attend the ceremony go on sale on Friday, January 25th 2013.

For more information on tickets, go to

– Erik Parker, CBS Local

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Public Enemy may not be the first band that you think of when you think of the phrase ‘rock n roll’ but the ground-breaking hip-hop group have been nominated as one of 2013’s potential inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joel Peresman, the president and chief executive of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame spoke about the variety of this year’s list of nominees. “The definition of ‘rock and roll’ means different things to different people,” said Peresman, “but as broad as the classifications may be, they all share a common love of the music. This year we again proudly put forth a fantastic array of groups and artists that span the entire genre that is ‘rock and roll.

Public Enemy are amongst a sub-group of nominees that are elected for the first time. Joining them are Deep Purple, Motown band The Marvelettes, NWA and Rush, amongst others. Returning candidates include Kraftwerk, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Donna Summer, Heart and Randy Newman. Donna Summer has been on the list five times before, though this is the first time since her death, this summer. Fellow disco pioneers Chic have been on the ballot six times previously, as well.

The final decision on who gets to enter the hallowed Hall of Fame is decided by a group of 600 members of the music industry, including musicians and music historians. Once the decision is made, the entries will be honored at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 18, 2013.


“No one has been able to approach the political power that Public Enemy brought to hip-hop,” Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys told Rolling Stone in 2004, “I put them on a level with Bob Marley and a handful of other artists – the rare artist who can make great music and also deliver a message.” Public Enemy brought an explosion of sonic invention, rhyming virtuosity and social awareness to hip-hop in the 1980s and 1990s. The group’s high points – 1988’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and 1990’s Fear Of A Black Planet, stand among the greatest politically-charged albums of all time. Powered by producer Hank Shocklee and his crew the Bomb Squad, Nation Of Millions was a layered masterpiece that took the ethic of the hip-hop breakbeat – using only the best parts of any given song – and advanced it geometrically, building new music out of a thicket of samples and beats: tracks like “Rebel Without A Pause,” “Night Of The Living Baseheads” and “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” are triumphs of funk, fury and collage. Chuck D. – routinely rated as one of the greatest rappers of all time – pushed the art of the MC forward with his inimitable, rapid-fire baritone as he connected the culture of hip-hop with Black Nationalism and the ideas of Malcolm X. His counterpart, Flavor Flav, brought humor (in the case of “911 Is A Joke,” pointed humor) and a madcap energy. Along the way, they brought a new level of conceptual sophistication to the hip-hop album, and a new level of intensity and power to live hip-hop, inspiring fans from Jay-Z to Rage Against the Machine to Kurt Cobain. After Public Enemy, hip-hop could never again be dismissed as kids’ music.


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