Talented women rappers are still in abundance if you know where to look. Emcees such as Eternia, Rapsody, Jean Grae and Janelle Monae carry the torch for lovers of hip hop—like Harriet Tubman—in the underground. Meanwhile many popular media outlets choose to ignore their genius.
Recently, I have found myself in a unique position as a creator of content for a significant media outlet at PBS. I have the freedom collaborate on music, beats, and stories of my choosing, and I would like to hear more women's voices in hip hop. So in March, I traveled to Dakar, Senegal to build a studio with an amazing group of women called GOTAL.
GOTAL is a collective of Senegalese rappers, producers, singers and beat makers; who paired with a woman-led NGO called Speak Up Africa to write songs about global health issues in their communities. They made some incredible music, which I've been secretly banging in my iPod for two months. I'm proud to help unveil their work today. Stick around if you want to hear what Lauryn Hill would sound like if she spoke Wolof.
Publiée le 22 mai 2013
"The people need a female rapper," says Toussa, the president of GOTAL; an all-women's collective of Senegalese rappers, producers, singers and beat makers who paired with a woman-led NGO called Speak Up Africa to write songs about global health issues in their communities.
Developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Beat Making Lab is a program that brings the tools and techniques of digital music making to young musicians in developing nations. Episodes documenting the experience in Senegal will air Wednesdays on PBS Digital Studios' Beat Making Lab channel. Professor Pierce Freelon and producer Apple Juice Kid host.
The Architects: Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Pierce Freelon
Mastermind of Videography and Editing: Saleem Reshamwala aka Kid Ethnic (additional camera work by Felix Sarr)
Musical Poetry: Apple Juice Kid and GOTAL
Show Wrapper Magicians: Josh Souter (stop motion/logo), Emily Forsberg (photography), Kelly Mertestdorf (producer)
Senegal kin folk: Speak Up Africa: Fara Ndiaye, Awa Ndoye, Yacine Djibo, Felix and Abdul; Toussa's family, Intrahealth, Blaise Senghor Cultural Center, Darra J Family, Julie Pitts [Woodville NC].
We would like to give special thanks Ali Colleen Neff, who introduced us to Toussa and GOTAL. This project would not have been possible without her insight and support. Read more about Ali Colleen Neef's work on women artists in Senegal : http://www.socialtextjournal.org