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Nat Geo Signs Salone Superstars Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew (FREE DL)


Sierra Leonean superstars Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew have just inked a deal with Nat Geo Music, joining other greats such as Balkan Beat Box, Bedoin Soundclash, Grupo Fantasma, and Toubab Krewe on their roster. B-DEC's highly anticipated international debut will be released later in 2012. Check out this month's National Geographic for a small profile on the band, and download the booty-shaking ''New Style'' here as Nat Geo's song of the week. Congrats to the Dry Eye Crew!

If you need a primer on who these guys are and what they're about, check their feature on CNN:

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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