Africa’s best music duo, P-Square have so far proved that with great music,connections and daring collaboration across countries and culture is possible and dope. After all, when you take a deep look, its a win win situation. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country [which explains the market] and US is well…the HQ of almost everything [I know,you may not like that fact]
Few days ago, P-Square released a video for song Ejeajo Featuring Atlanta born and raised rapper T.I [incidentally, he is my first son's favorite Rapper]. While I know you may have seen this video already, I just thought I should post it because BC ain’t about yesterday or today only. It is the future. Here is Ejeajo
Rumor has it P-Square might soon drop something they have done with Usher. Can you imagine how that is gonna be?
As you can imagine, sometimes I receive too many songs for review and publication. While some weeks can go almost “dry”,some weeks are busier than all blue Mondays combined. Every artist wants to release their new materials. In the music business [it applies in many other industries too] timing is crucial. You want to release your stuff when you are almost guaranteed to grab people’s attention. That goes along with a silent prayer like the one you give or should give the moment you take a seat at church. In your silent prayer you should ask for calmness into the world. No calamity or no one famous than you passes away or create anything more sensational than your new music. Therefore, I understand [and not complaining] why some weeks are heavier than others.
One of the new releases I received last week and I couldn’t post [You know I have a 9-5 equation] came from Anna Peter [stage name Anapita], a radio presenter who has tapped stage performance and doing some excellent work. In her new song, Garasa, Anna Peter decided to work with Barnaba one of the best vocalists in the country. Barnaba is also a good song writer and arranger.
The song Garasa is another love themed song. Its different though…Take A Listen
His known “dark” side is being violent. However, you can hardly deny the fact that he has a unique flow and mastery to the art of Hip-Hop. I am talking about Chid Benz [Mtoto wa Ilala]. From the days when he shot to fame with Dar Stand Up, Chid has remained one of the artists who rarely make a turn into wrong hood.
Here is his new track titled Mpaka Kuchee featuring Diamond Platinumz and AY who I recently chatted with him and released one of the songs from his early days. Listen Up…
Bushoke is one of the most naturally gifted vocalist of this generation [in Tanzania and East Africa-good to be specific]. Even with such a gifted voice and coming from a family of artists [his Dad is Max Bushoke-one of the earlier generation great vocalists] he can’t claim to have been very lucky. His career so far has had twists and turns. There was success that came from his hit song Barua. Then he fell off…drifted like a bus meandering through mountains in deep Chile. Substance Abuse became part of his ordeal.
I am therefore glad to see him bouncing back. His voice is definitely one thing of which music fans across the nation have missed. The new song is titled Bwagamoyo. For some of you not familiar with Tanzania, Bagamoyo is a small town about 75 Kilometres from Dar-es-salaam on the coast of Indian Ocean. It is said, Bagamoyo is a place where you can go relax and put your mind to rest. The song connects the place and image of love where Bushoke announces to rest his mind[love] on someone. Listen
Nicki Minaj’s video Anaconda will premier Wednesday on Vevo. To hammer the anticipation, these photos from the video shoot tests our patience. You can’t wait huh? It’s a lap dance that Nicki Minaj gave Rapper Drake for the video. Thankful to Vevo, you won’t have to wait for too long…Wednesday. Meanwhile..here are the images shared by Nicki through vlog.
The last time these two collaborated in a hit song [ to the best of my knowledge] is when they remixed Mzee Wa Busara. That work followed long time rumors that these two didn’t see eye to eye. They had a “beef” for a while. It became almost a street war for these two popular artists hailing from Temeke in Dar-es-salaam, the neighborhood that is known to be “tough land”. Mzee Wa Busara collaboration settled whatever “beef” they had. They proved to be grown ups who wouldn’t depend or live with grudges forever.
Years later, these two are back in studio-together. They are actually rumored to be making a collaborative album. I can’t confirm that. However, if those rumors have truth element in it, the proof could be from this single. It is titled Mungu Ndio Anapanga produced by Duppy at Uprise Music.
Listen Up and share. There is a good feeling in sharing. If you feel down[hey we all have fading days]…send someone this song. It’s a good song and a good message. Enjoy
Recently I saw the biopic of James Brown titled Get On Up [ I recommend any movie lover to go see this movie]. As you know or have heard countless times, James Brown [The Godfather Of Soul] is often referred as The Hardest Working Man In Showbiz. He was vocal,flashy and witty. He worked hard to change the way things run in music industry. What JB did is valid to this day. Hard work pays.
I am not sure if Professor Jay has seen Get On Up yet. But his lately energy of working hard somehow made me connect him into the throne of artists who works hard. With fans eagerly waiting for the video of Kipi Sijasikia, Professor dropped Tatu Chafu. You may think [with success and fame that he has enjoyed -and continue to enjoy and attract] he’d slow down. Nah! He is busy than ever before. Right now he is shooting for the video of Tatu Chafu, a true hip-hop single he released recently. The image you see above is from one of the location during the shooting of the video. Jiize is on the fastest lane and not even a highway patrol trooper is about to catch him. He doesn’t seem to sit down and depend on wind and the rain to bring success. He is running after it even harder.
As the world was welcoming the new millennium with illusion global threat of Y2K, the east African nation of Tanzania was also going through its own share of changes. The scene resembled of a man standing in the middle of a burning lake of himself, unable to escape with time running out faster than a rocket.
The country had lost her founding father, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere a year earlier. Everyone was devastated and worried. The future of the nation without him was certain but doubtful. It seemed like the engines for the country had suddenly gone off. Darkness had fallen! Dar-es-salaam, in particular, was then a city under a smutty darkness.
Five years earlier , the first multi-party elections had taken place. The seasoned journalist and diplomat, Benjamin William Mkapa had taken the oath with muted promises of changing the economical gateways. He asked everyone to tighten his or her belt. He had a daunting task of changing the sickening sensation of life plunging downward that had occupied the minds of millions of Tanzanians.
Benjamin Mkapa’s economical policies [under the wings of his party-CCM] were not clearly understood. Few people, to this date, have grasped well what he wanted to do. All I know is; he wanted the country to be self-reliant. Mkapa thought [and I agree with him] that for a country as wealthy as Tanzania to be like a poor and lonesome global peddler is ridiculous.
People who had lots of money during the tenure of the second President of the United Republic, Ali Hassan Mwinyi [Mzee Ruksa], suddenly were broke. Money was simply not available and jobs weren’t visible. They were trying times that got nicknamed “ukapa”. People who had felt delicious and were able to laugh at practically anything during the Mzee Ruksa era were no longer laughing. Their living quarters suddenly had somber moments close to funeral homes.
In the midst of all that, a young man with a wide boyish smile had taken a journey from the nearby city of Morogoro to Dar-es-salaam. Unlike his many trips to the “big city” before in the 90s, this time he wasn’t going to visit. He was determined like a brave soldier to realize his dreams. He wanted to conquer the city [and the nation] not just an artist but also a great artist. From the distance, he had formed a vision to become a pioneer in how Tanzania’s music can be business mixed with pleasure. That boy with a boyish smile and charm is whom we know today as AY although he still answers to his real name, Ambwene Yessayah.
Before he boarded those fast moving mini-buses [Toyota Coasters] to Dar-es-salaam, he had all signs of fears and anxiety. You could understand him. Dar is a big city. It’s the city that thrives on its rough-edged traditions. No wonder it first adopted the nickname “Bongo” before the whole country became known for the same name. He had decided to conquer the fear of the unknown head-on.
Apart from few relatives in Dar-es-salaam, he personally knew and was in close contacts with very few people. Lucky for him, he had lived in many cities and towns in Tanzania. His parents were civil servants and according to Nyerere’s Ujamaa na Kujitegemea policies, people were moved from coast to coast in the name of efficiency and integration. Him having lived in many regions of Tanzania would become an “asset” for him in years to come. He found himself able to relate well with anyone across the nation. Lots of regions can claim him being their “homeboy”.
In Dar he had maintained close contact with two friends whom he had gone to school with in central and midlands Tanzania. These were Snare and Buff G with whom later they would form one of the most talented music “gang”; The East Coast Team. That is where he met Hamisi Mwinjuma [MwanaFA] who would become his best friend and music collaborator todate.
These friends officially welcomed him in the city that had engines in its blood. As he later on watched trains chuffed out in their clouds of smoke and steam, he became more confident that his dreams wouldn’t disappear as a smoke. He firstly settled in Upanga, the neighborhood that was known to harbor the wealthy and famous. By then, Upanga was one of the most desirable “hoods” in the city.
For AY and his friends, Upanga was just like any other “hood”. They were broke. The statutes and concrete benches meant nothing than decorations. Daring to be unique was in their vocabularies but it was muted.
Before the end of June, Dayna Nyange, one of the few female artists in Tanzania pushing waves with male artists, released her latest single, I Do. If you never had it please click here. Now it seems Ms Dayna is getting ready for the video featuring former Big Brother Africa representative for Tanzania in the past episode, Nando.
I once heard[rumors of course]that Dayna and Nando were getting “busy”. I never got any further confirmation. You probably know why.At BC we try to focus on things that matter. We are simply a No Gossip site. While awaiting for I Do video I have a question for you[especially ladies]. Its your wedding day or just shopping for wedding gowns,tuxedos etc. Your husband to be[fiancee] insists that he wants to wear lime-green socks at your wedding to match his tie. Would you let him do that? Lime-green.
MwanaFA [real name Hamis Mwinjuma] is, without a doubt, one of the most successfully and respected Bongo Hip-Hop artist in Tanzania, across East Africa and certainly beyond those borders. If that statement made your eyebrows tilt even a bit, I’d suggest you take one step back and think a little.
His lyrics and songs have inspired new words, idioms etc into the street and classroom dictionaries and thesauruses of Swahili. The grandness of his lyrical abilities staggers even me who was once upon a time considered by my peers and schoolmates to be a walking Swahili dictionary. He can rhyme quickly, confidently and cleanly while making sense of every word that come out of his mouth.
Recently I approached him with an idea I have wrestled with for a while. How about re-releasing some of the biggest hits from the time when Bongo Fleva/ Bongo Hip-Hop was starting to see the white-blue sky.
The motivation is to flaunt the standards of the past and give today’s generation a renewed chance to hear not only the “old school” stuff all over again but to gain a hindsight of the stories behind. He didn’t hesitate even for a second. He agreed and here we are. Let’s Go!
Like a ship starting a long journey across the world, in 2000s what we now know as Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip-Hop had just left the harbor. Its destination wasn’t known. Regardless, some bold minded fellas had decided to slow down the Congolese music influx that had dominated Tanzania’s music scene for years. The likes of Sikinde and Msondo had also lost their mojo among younger audience. The youth needed something different to entertain themselves and make one of those postcard-perfect days.
Tanzania’s youth, like many youth across the globe, had also failed to resist a time capsule of American culture. American Rappers/ Artists etc were becoming more popular among Tanzania’s youth than their own President. Times were changing…and changing at high speed. President Mwinyi had allowed the influx of foreign culture. The country became an opportunity society.
For the first time, people could watch television in their living rooms. Entertainment channels like MTV, BET, and CFI etc were now accessible at the comfort of an arm length holding remote controls. Those are the days when it was cool to walk around holding James Hardley Chase novels, magazines such as Ebony, Yo Rap etc with video cassettes tapes for movies that we hardly understood.
As the new decade was getting into the groove, Hamis Mwinjuma whom we now know as MwanaFA’s career was also starting to take shape. It wasn’t an easy. He was a struggling artist. He was broke. The penetrating tropical sun of cities such as Dar-es-salaam was unleashing its ultimate “burning” power even in his pockets. His only wealth, was his songwriting abilities, vision and confidence that he was/is a good songwriter and therefore his breakthrough was on the way.
He had chosen a difficult-to-cope with stage name. Mwanafalsafa [A Philosopher] had to act like one. He had to write like one. I am sure the pressure of living his name was as high as the feeling you get from the first attempt to jump out of plane [in a parachute]. He spent countless hours writing and contemplating. There were many days of gray unrest and discontent. He was eager to establish a pattern of excellence as far as Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip Hop was concerned.
His breakthrough came in 2002. Towards end of 2001, upon reflections, writing, deleting, editing etc, and fusing of intelligence and imagination, MwanaFA had penned down Ingekuwa Vipi. He clearly remembers where he was when he started writing Ingekuwa Vipi, “I was at home. As you can imagine, I was broke and trying hard to figure out how to move forward. I used to stay home a lot at that time. It was the safest place to be”, he tells me with a broad smile that never existed during those trying times.
It occurred that as soon as he had almost finished writing it, Jay Moe [who was to be featured on the track, popped in for a quick visit. MwanaFA let him listen to the lyrics while boom boxing their hands. The lyrics blew his mind. He wanted to be part of it. Success begins with a great idea. Jay Moe saw this as a great idea. It was.
What followed was going to Mawingu Studio to meet DJ/Producer Bonny Luv. At that time, Tanzania had very few established producers let alone studios. His choices were limited. Lucky for him, he had recorded some other tracks before with Bonny Luv. It wasn’t difficult to convince him to take on the project and that Jay Moe was going to be featured. Bonny understood and loved the lyrics as well.
Now, contrary to what many people believe today, Ingekuwa Vipi was not MwanaFA’s first studio recorded song. He had done it before. He just hadn’t penetrated the airwaves the way he did with this one. Ingekuwa Vipi was the first song he released on the radio. He had recorded 4 songs before.
He, therefore, had to hide the nerves inside with frequent smiles as he spent countless hours with Bonny Luv perfecting what would turn out to be his “breakthrough” song. He watched the clock as it edged toward “freedom”.
“We recorded and left Bonny Luv to mix etc”, He tells me as I attentively admire his recollections of events and struggles that he had to go through before “making it”
Those were no days like today. Softwares and technologies weren’t like today where you can e-mail the song to thousands or even million people in a second. Clouds FM was one the few radio stations championing most of grassroots movement of Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip-Hop. Radio One was another entity but was more selective of what went into air etc. MwanaFA had to take to the radio stations the CD with hand-written [using marker pen] “Ingekuwa Vipi” on top.
On 2nd February 2002, Ingekuwa Vipi premiered during Bongo Fleva session, which was hosted by DJ Steve B. On the same day, MwanaFA remembers, Balozi Dolla Soul, Inspekta Haruni and Luteni Kalama and Imam Abbas had dropped their singles. Before the end of that session, Ingekuwa Vipi had captured the airwaves not once but twice.
He says, “Jeff, I felt like I had just inhaled the cleanest, crispest air I have ever breathed” In the first week since its release, Ijumaa newspaper reported that Ingekuwa Vipi had played 72 times in different radio stations. A record. To him, salvation was getting through the day.
Success in the airwaves meant Mwanafalsafa was now becoming popular but also with an opportunity to make money. He remembers his first show was for Embassy and was coordinated by Jimmy Kabwe, a veteran DJ who has recently re-joined Clouds Media Group after years of roaming in other stations. The event was held at The Leaders Club. He pocketed TZS 50,000/=. That was a lot of money then. He took the smile to the bank. The wind was suddenly sweet. The sun was warm over the country flowers. Life was getting better and sweeter.
His success was almost cut short though. The group Walume Ndago decided to challenge his song. It was almost an underground battle of Nine Miles. They released a counter titled Ingekuwa Poa [It’d be Just Alright]
When I asked Mwanafalsafa how did the counter song sink with him, he calmly said, “Not very well Jeff. See, at that time I was a newcomer into the game. I had no experience at all of being “crucified” like that. I thought was a huge injustice towards me”.
Lucky for him, someone else defended him. Another group released a counter over Walume Ndago’s counter. That neutralized the whole experience. MwanaFA had started his long journey into stardom. He had broken out of the lineup. Here is your chance to Listen And Download Ingekuwa Vipi.