Various Artists – Africa Raps

Various Artists
Africa Raps

Hip-hop seems to be going through a revolution these days. The majority of mainstream artists have gone in whichever direction there is money to be made – be it blunts, hoes, or cars. At the same time, the underground scene is starting to have its presence felt more and more. There are many unique MCs and groups that crop up every few months, and their freshness is giving the genre a much needed shot in the arm. However, even though fans crave an increase in originality, many are not willing to look outside the lines of American hip-hop for hints of new directions. This compilation from Triage could make doubters think otherwise.
Africa Raps is a solid compilation of many hip-hop artists directly from African descent. While there is nothing wholly groundbreaking on this release, it does show that there is a love for hip-hop all around the globe. Those that want the genre to grow should be willing to look in all directions for signs. This is a good place as any to start.
“Africa Child” by Abass Abass opens the record with traditional African music over the top of synth and hip-hop beats. The lyrics are in French, but that doesn’t lessen the effect of the song. It’s a nice, head-nodding way to begins the album. “Kay Jel Ma” by Bibson/Xuman provides a slightly more old-school hip-hop feel. It’s a straight-forward cut that is a bit more aggressive in rhyme style than its predecessor. Again, the lyrics are in another language, but the intensity of the rhyming reminds one early Onyx at times.
“Kunu Abal Ay Beut” by Omzo is a lengthy, slow-tempo song that has a political feel to it. It’s hard to tell exactly what is being talked about due to language barriers, but with the track’s spoken word intro there seems to be something worthwhile at play here. This transitions nicely into “Libre Ego” – a funky, rhythm and blues flavored track that offers female vocals combined with sharp, powerful rhymes.
Africa Raps is a good overview for hip-hop fans that crave something a bit diverse; something from another perspective. While the songs may contain lyrics that are in foreign languages, the listener can easily notice the heart and soul put into each and every cut on this release.