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Afropop – The rise and rise of African hip-hop


19 October 2005 No Comment

Nigerian-born, London-based JJC, frontman of Afropean hip-hop outfit JJC & 419 Squad and producer to UK R’n’B stars Jamelia, Liberty X, Big Brovaz and Lemar, looks at the rise and rise of African hip-hop in this four-part documentary, Afropop from Wednesday, 2 November 2005 on BBC 1Xtra, broadcast as part of the TXU programme, 2 – 4pm GMT…

African hip-hop is spreading across the African continent like wildfire. JJC talks to young Africans about the trials and tribulations of creating music that reflects their lives in the 21st century. He looks at how the traditional music of Africa is being morphed and fused with Western hip-hop styles to create a unique musical movement. From the major label presence of the South African region to the independent, self-financed productions of the northern regions, JJC explores the music industry in Africa, highlighting the ways it compares to the western world. 

JJC, the series’ presenter 
© Sophie Laslett

He hears stories from Senegalese hip-hop superstars Daara J (who won the award for best African group at the World Music Awards 2004) and Reggie Rockstone, the inventor of hip-life in Ghana, to the ghetto realism of Kenya’s Ukooflani Mau Mau Camp (part of the 38-strong collective Nairobi Yetu). He also learns about Arabic hip-hop acts like Moroccan group H Kayne through to the established music industry in South Africa which is ruled by acts like Zola, Godessa and Bongo Maffin. 

Maji, one half of Kenyan duo Gidigidimajimaji, Nairobi 
© Ilka Schlockermann

He also looks at the relationship between youthful rebellion and parental disapproval and the clash between old and new African sentimentalities. JJC learns about the opposition that musicians face from politicians and policemen. He also discusses the sometimes unique language and content of young stars’ music, whether rapping about HIV/AIDS or political corruption or simply how they just want to dance; and the difference between rappers who celebrate their personal wealth and those who use their music for protest.

Roba, one half of hip-hop pioneers Kalamashaka who belong to the Ukooflani Mau Mau Camp, based in Dandora, one of Nairobi’s slums
© Ilka Schlockermann

The story of Afropop is the story of a new African youth.

Presenter: JJC
Producer: Bobby Seiler (BBC World Service)
Researcher: Ilka Schlockermann

This programme was first broadcast on BBC World Service as part of The Music Feature.

Broadcast times: 

Afropop, 4 x 30 minute programmes, to be broadcast as part of the Africa Lives season on 1Xtra’s TXU programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/tx/ 
Wednesdays from 2 November 2005, between 2 and 4pm GMT
2 November 2005: Part 1 – West Africa
9 November 2005: Part 2 – East Africa
16 November 2005: Part 3 – Southern Africa
23 November 2005: Part 4 – North Africa

Listen live:

Via DAB digital radio
Via digital satellite or cable television
Via Freeview
Via the internet http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/

Listen again with BBC Radio Player: 


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