digital bamako

If you want to buy mp3s in any West African city, you first must find the cellphone market. The main hub of cellphones, used, new, real, and knockoff, in Bamako is the street next to the Malitel building. Men at laptops line the streetside behind glass display cases of cellphones.…

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masala

The trans-cultural exchange in musical phenomena, peripheral to the song as it may be is often at the forefront of discussion. Understandably so. The story of the creation of a style can read like an epic -- it appeals to the old folk concept of the passage of music with…

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folders from saharan laptops!

Trading some laptop tunes with a government employee in Mali, I copied a folder called Mali Rap -- featuring a few more tracks from Malian rapper Iba One. While Iba may not technically be from the Sahel, his digital version is. Iba One - Alhamdoulilaye Iba One - Yerefo Iba…

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a history of hip hop

It's late night, and the crackling radio is broadcasting a Wolof griot.griotNext, an excerpt from an interview I conducted with a young rapper from Cinquieme. He talks about the obstacles to music, government suppression, lack of resources and financial support for the arts. Following, is an A Capella rap in…

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live from nouakchott

A recording from a practice session of an upcoming concert here in Nouakchott. I'm playing some sparse guitar accompaniment with two musicians from Senegal, Sidi Baba and Khadim, who sing and play the Djembe respectively. hayoOmar's shop in Cinquieme, the kids are playing some game, singing a song.kidsSalif plays a…

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nouakchott pt. 1

A wedding in cinquieme, held under a tent, in one of the numerous sand courtyards in the neighborhood. You can't not be a spectator. There is an electric guitar and a dozen hand drums, as well as a griot singer. soninke weddingLater that night, the wedding moves indoors. I stand…

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