Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Politricks, funk, brews & Samba Boys

It's always unfortunate that people will resort to self destruction when they fail to gain attention by any other means. It is even sadder that when there are bigger troubles looming large, like the current drought and the dismal rain forecast for 2009 long rains, there is the Moi-era style of dabbling in student politics by the Kenyatta University administration, which certainly doesn't help keep things peaceful. But the destruction of KU, which is one of the more peaceful Nairobi pubilc higher education campuses is highly lamentable.

I had relatives who did battle in those early 90's Karl Marx era rampages as part of rowdy University of Nairobi students who have regaled me with great war stories, and some even recall that the mob at times even had a stategy of defending the hostels especially the womens' residences from the fury of of the regular and administration police and the GSU riot squads. Sadly, there are reports of rape by law enforcement elements and the bloodshed never ends well for some. Say a prayer dear friends.

Say a prayer for these too, perishing chasing a good thing in high seas with rickety vessels off the coast of Libya. 300 feared dead including children.

Google Maps Kenya is up and looking for your participation. Google Kenya is making good strides, ahead of the fibre-optic cables that will soon bring broadband to that part of the world.

Last year there was an interesting National Geographic piece about the existence of a dynasty of Black Pharoahs in Egypt circa 8th Century BC. Now, recent research uncovers a hidden face under the bust of Nefertiti. It always gets me how a lot of this priceless treasure is now in the hands of Westeners who won't hear nada about giving it back to it's rightful owners. How would they like it if Kenya, for example, owned a good portion of Rembrandts or Van Goghs? I won't even lie, this piece in The Daily Nation had me going for a little bit.

Africans doing it bigly: I just recently got hip to Norway based hip hop duo Madcon and their international hit single Beggin which was also incorporated into an Adidas tv ad thats been running stateside for many months now. They have a new album So Dark The Con Of Man hitting all shores in 2009. I don't know their heritage, but at one of them has an Ethiopian sounding name (Tshawe Baqwa and Yosef Wolde-Mariam), but I might be mistaken. They've been around since 1992 but Beggin is definitely the first I heard of them. It's a nice funky track. And the raps are reminiscent of a Black Thought.

Also worth checking out is Sierra Leone-born and New York based Chosan. He's currently promoting his debut collection The Beautiful Side Of Misery Vol. 1. It's hard to hate on his showmaship especially with the laytees fron-an-cenna as exposed below.

MsaniiXL's most recent podcast is definitely bumpin' and ready for your listening pleasure. Also in the vein of Afrocentric hiphop podcasts, check out Hiphocalypse's latest compilation featuring a slice from sincerely yours.

I was snooping around on the KBW aggregator and ran into this foodie's review of a microbrewery and lounge in Nairobi. The weather just broke where I'm at, and I can't look at the suddenly bearable, sunny outdoors without thinking about irrigating throats, a la the late great Whispers, and then I stumble on Nairobi microbrews in the german tradition. They might as well be the Holy Grail to me right now.

The recurring nightmare for Kenyan football in it's quest to qualify for any international tournament seems to be that the draw always puts a good North African team or West African team in our path. It is especially harrowing this go-around with Tunisia and Nigeria in Kenya's qualifying group. Mozambique aren't pushovers neither. At the end of the day, we don't invest in the game what these nations put in, so it eventually shows up on the score line. However it goes down in June 3rd when Nigeria comes a-calling (by which I mean them KE boys better win), the visit by Brazil's national team in July is sure to be a bigger sensation, and yet another personal Holy Grail, which I will only be able to savor in my imaginations and through the vicariousness of you lucky bastards that get to breathe the same air as the Samba Boys.

Three words: You are hated.

This better not be some more April foolery. I'm already emotionally invested.


Friday, February 20, 2009

54 Kingdoms, Blu & Kiss

Already up online but coming soon to brick-and-motar stores across the US this summer is a brand new afrocentric line, 54 Kingdoms. Not necessarily just a collection involving t-shirts and denim apparel, and the prints are defintely muthaland repping. Check out a recent write up on a pretty tight afro-centric portal Jamati Online. I know the economy got most of us hemmed, but you can definitely cop off their current teaser selection.

Check out the new project by fast rising West Coast wonderkid, Blu called Her Favorite Colo(u)r available here. Initial reviews are saying he sounds a little bit jaded a la Kanye West after coming correct for a good stretch. I haven't listened to it but you can't go bad with a Blu joint even as weepy as this joint is supposed to be.

You also can't go wrong with a little street heat from Jadakiss whose long awaited collaboration with DJ Green Lantern Kiss My Ass is available now as a hard hitting appetizer for the soon coming Def Jam album.

Even with new trillion dollar government spending and mortgage salvage plans, the stock market continues to slide. No one is really saying how badly the big US Banks doing and I can't help but feeling a little Republican. Some of them are so badly leveraged, they are going to die a horrible death or will cost the US Government heavy cake. Meanwhile as it is Oscar Awards season, best actor accolades should go to Bernard Madoff. He never bought a security in the last 10 years as he ran an investment enterprise. Bravo!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's so hard to say Goodbye...

....Way easier and more sumptuous to say hello.


It's been an extended minute. I mean, the last entry had Frank Lucas in it, written from deep in the G.W. Bush Dark Days. I hope the intervening period was blessed.

It wasn't without a grandiose ruckus that I walked away from these climes. Belee dat. Kicking and screaming, slugging and slapping. In the end, they say sometimes Life gives you lemons, and therefore, lemonade is on tap. In my goblet however, was a nice piece of hot vinegar. But if it won't kill, it will build. Praise Due to Him for Graces, Mercies and Learning both collasal and minute.

But I wasn't going to come around without a gift.

Available for download now, a brand new mixtape from Massachusetts-based, Kumasi, Ghana Godchild and a long time collaborator Smalls.

A.D.D. Afrikan. Dun. Did-It.

The concept was a long time in the making but with the recent ascension of the Son of Kogelo it might seem extremely timely or extremely opportunistic. Commemorative plate anyone?

That whole Inaguration souvenir cottage industry must be crying now that the historic hoopla is done with. Personally, I'd love to see it go on. Say, for example, he gets the $0.8 trillion fix-me-up through the House intact, these guys should make commemorative knife. Free healthcare, a bowl. Lobby reform, a spoon. Iraq withdrawal, champagne flutes. And then bring it all together with dinner napkins emblazoned with G.W. boarding that Marine helicopter to oblivion. In this manner, in 4 years they could have a commemorative dinner set and, then they would really cake it if he scores a do-over in 2012.

Minus my 7% consulting fee, of course.

Hopefully there's something for you on A.D.D. It feels good to break the drought.

Bon apetit.