Video: MCK 'Nomes, Rimas e Palavras'

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Angolan rapper MCK isn't unfamiliar with government oppression. A recent profile on The Economist notes how MCK "gained fame in 2003 after presidential guards in Luanda murdered a 27-year-old car-washer whom they caught singing his anti-government lyrics." In the same article the Luanda-based emcee claims he was offered "$500,000 to stop rapping" —money which he never took. On his latest album Proibido Ouvir Isto (Forbidden To Hear This), MCK continues his exposure of  the national government's silencing tactics and corruption. See the black-and-white clip for "Nomes, Rimas e Palavras" above and check out his striking "O Pais Do Pai Banana," which accuses Angolan president José Eduardo Dos Santos "of treating his country like a colonial fief" below.

[H/T The Economist]

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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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