I first came across Synik while researching dope artists to include in Radiant Souls Vol. 2. Well, the Zimbabwean emcee recently released his FREE album via his website! Download it, give it a few listens, then share it with others who appreciate hip hop music and culture from all over the Sonic Diaspora!
Posts Tagged ‘Positive Music’
Peace… Blessings… Greetings to all! Akua Naru has been getting a LOT of play in my headphones today. I’m loving her interpretation of Fela Kuti’s classic song, “Lady.” And, then i saw a video from her recent live session video, which i had to share immediately with some of the people i love the most.
From there, i began obsessively listening to the album from her live session. There’s something about a good live performance that forever endears me to artists like Ms. Naru. Although i wasn’t there, this album does a good enough job capturing the energy for me. I love it! And i have that i’m going to be an Akua Naru fan for some time to come, because she embodies all of the bestest, most beautiful aspects of “Liberation Culture,” which (i believe) is desperately needed in our world today.
You can listen to and purchase her album here:
– Much Love
Jersey City. It’s the State of New Jersey’s second largest city, and it sits between Newark (NJ’s first largest city) and the Hudson River. On the other side of the Hudson is the “Big Apple.” Now that the geography lesson is complete, please allow me to introduce you to M. Josephine, also known as Mary, a singer with emcee ability, a lover of nature and humanity, and a proud Jersey City native.
M. Josephine’s first encounter with music began at the tender age of 5 when Kindergarten Choir Teacher, Ms. Small, called Mary’s mom to her office revealing her musical gift. “My mom had no idea what to expect to hear. When a teacher calls a parent requesting to meet, it usually means trouble,” says the singer. But it actually turned out to be the opposite of mom’s expectations. Up until the age of 9, Mary’s mom organized with several Senior Citizen parties booking young Mary to sing what mainly consisted of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey classics. The party guests enjoyed her so much that the performances resulted in money on the floor. Her mother ensured that it became a regularly scheduled event.
A variety of sounds and cultures that were present in Jersey City had a formative impact on her. Her brother introduced her to Hip Hop, Salsa, and many more sounds. Mary became particularly attached to groups like A Tribe Called Quest and Groove Theory, as well as artists like KRS-ONE, Sade, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, and Chaka Khan. The emcees, especially, inspire her to produce. “[T]here is something magical about a dope emcee/rapper that can deliver heavy truth, dope lyrics with a one of a kind delivery.”
She is also inspired by life and the struggles of her community and surroundings. The injustices she has endured provide her with plenty of subject matter to guide her pen. Growing up in a single mother household, she never knew her father and experienced poverty as a child. “A lot motivate me as an artist and compel me to write and sing.” Her love for family, overcoming obstacles, and a passion for community development provide inspiration for new music and has steered Mary to work for a not-for-profit organization called “Rising Tide Capital” which seeks to empower distressed, urban communities.
Listening to M. Josephine’s music, it’s clear how her sounds reflect her experiences growing up in Jersey City and being exposed to a diverse community that introduced her to cultures from all over the world. “I [like] to personalize my music in hopes that it speaks to someone who can relate to the songs and feel empowered from them. The theme and message that connects my work tends to be about love and awareness (social or self-awareness).” Songs like “Push On” and “Apoco” are clear examples of this message. “Push On” borrows the instrumental from one of my favorite Soulaquarian creations, “Didn’t Cha Know.” To compliment the fantastic music, Mary vows to tap into her own inner strength as she struggles to be herself in a society that encourages people to sell their souls. It is a soulful tribute to Ms. Badu and many of Mary’s other Hip Hop and R&B inspiration, as well as a message of self-love that many people would benefit from internalizing.
“Apoco” is a direct challenge to systems of oppression and the boundaries of sound that box artists into genres. This track points out the disparities between those who have and those who have not within the context of environmental, political, and social ills that We (society) must address before it is too late. Mary’s use of “the walls keep tumbling down” in her refrain gives her message a fire and brimstone feel that compliments the heavy metal feel of the drums, and synthesized violin and piano loops that are prominent in the song’s melody.
Another notable song (out of several that should be mentioned) is “Death Up In Me Pouch,” which features Ysrayl. This song is a nod to both Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (“Anikulapo” means death in my pouch) and Bob Marley, from whom producer DJ Irs likely found instrumental inspiration.
M. Josephine is currently working on a number of great projects. One is Donut Soul, an EP paying tribute to legendary producer, J. Dilla. She is working to release this project on April 23, 2012. Mary is also working on a currently untitled project with her producer, co-writer, and “spiritual equal,” DJ Irs, which should be available by the end of 2012.
Dream collaborations include KRS-ONE, emcees Yaasin Bey and Q-Tip, as well as Erykah Badu, Zap Mama, and Cee-Lo Green. She is always open to building with other artists and producers about potential projects, so if you dig her music, be sure to reach out. You can do so by emailing her at email@example.com and by connecting via Facebook and/or Tumbler. Tweeters can drop a line as well to @MJosephineMusic.
Hello world. Meet Alec Lomami, an artist whose current pop-styled songs betray the seriousness of his life and his message. As i write, the young rapper-producer is heading to Zimbabwe due to the challenges he’s been facing as the result of wars being fought without his consent, and a political system that makes it unimaginably difficult for “outsiders” to attain the “dreams” it promises. [Please forgive me for being vague. To get some background, read these great articles from The Fader, MTV, and Akwaaba Music.]
Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Alec was well immersed in great music. In addition to listening to legendary artists, such as Papa Wemba, Franco, Mbillia Belle, Zaiko, Wenge Musica, and Omako, he felt connected to hip hop music. Alec even recalled greatly admiring 2pac over the Notorious B.I.G. because of their beef. (It’s amazing how conflict gains peoples’ attention, even when they’re thousands of miles away.) His other favoites, including Nas, MC Solaar, IAM, Rakim, and EPMD make it clear that Alec didn’t get too caught up in the rap battles! This mixture of African and African American artists helped Alec appreciate the music of the African world.
When he heard Congolese rappers, Alec came to an important conclusion: “maybe we can do this.” Fatima, CIA, and others inspired him to create a rap group with his friend when he was about 12 years old. As a self-described recluse, it was difficult for Alec to develop the confidence to record and share his music with a broad audience for fear of being judged and criticized. However, hardship at home and in other countries, especially in immigration jail, convinced him that he had no reason to fear other people’s opinions of his music. “It wasn’t until I spent some time in immigration jail that I told myself when I get out, I’ll record, who cares about the critics.” Some time after his nine-month stint in a U.S. immigrant detention center, Alec Lomami made good on his promise to himself and recently released “Kinshasa,” a single from his forthcoming EP, Mélancolie Joyeuse.
“Kinshasa” is a mixture of western sounds with the soul and lyrics of a truly diasporic African whose love for home cannot be denied, despite the problems it faces due to a long history of colonialism and war. Rapping in French and Lingala (one of over 200 languages spoken in DRC), he discusses his experience as a diasporic being whose identity spreads across various cultures, but does not fit squarely into any one of them.
On his forthcoming EP, Mélancolie Joyeuse, listeners can expect Alec’s music to be “conversational.” in other words, as a pop artist with consciousness (as opposed to a conscious artist), he plan to provide us with a wealth of lessons learned from his personal experiences with hopes that We will accept the invitation into his world, build with him, and glean something positive from what he has to share. Alec is putting the project together with the dual purpose of challenging himself to step outside of his typically “low key and chill” character. This “upbeat and super fun” EP will contrast sharply with the follow-up, which has yet to be titled. “I’m not sure I’ll ever make another record with this happy go lucky feel. The second EP will be a little darker, something more in the line of new wave meets Hip Hop.”
When you hear or see the name, “Alec Lomami,” it’s important to keep in mind that he is an artist in his own rite, but that he produces for other artists too. One of his artists, a young Congolese emcee who goes by the moniker “Well$,” is featured in Alec’s recently released track, “Pop Revolution.” Alec also dreams of one day producing an album for Papa Wemba or Lokwa Kanza, as well as working with Iyadede whose sounds he really digs. “But by in large, I like to work with people I’m friends with to make records that are more organic.”
Alec Lomami is currently traveling to Zimbabwe & South Africa where he plans to finish recording his current music project, connect with some of Southern Africa’s best artists, and get his Masters Degree in theological ethics. You can keep up with him as he treks about the globe via Twitter and Facebook. Also, you can check out his music as it becomes available on Soundcloud.
Radiant Soul Selekta, Brotha Onaci, is back with another installment of positive hip hop! This time he’s teamed up with several “underground” artists from the U.S., Kenya, Germany, South Africa, Namibia, and Nigeria to liberate your earbuds.
After you’ve enjoyed a few moments of audio abolition, check the artists websites, hit them up on Twitter, listen to more of their offerings on Bandcamp, and show them some love! After that, pass the mix along to your crew and them and encourage them to continue spreading the love.
Many thanks and much Love to all the contributing artists (track list below). It was VERY difficult to keep this mix under 60 mins. because they submitted such great music! Gratitude also to CJ Monk & Powerful P for blessing the mix with some personalized soundbites! And Thank YOU for listening.
We will win!
1. DJ.BasketQASE – “Beat For Frankie Ruiz”
2. R.i.C (Rumor in the Chi) – “Unconditional Love” F. Nicole Eboni
3. The Invisible Enigma – “Strawberry Jam in Jarheads” [sourced from
4. DETROIT PIStoLS (Power Is Surrendering to Love’s Strength) – “Ground Beneath My
Feet” [produced by Sterling Toles]
5. Just Jay – “Going All In” [produced by TallBlackGuy]
6. Akua Naru – “The Wound” F. Blitz the Ambassador
7. K-Nel – “Nina Nnjaa” F. Kawira [sourced from Haveplentymusic.com]
8. Josh – “Throw It Up”
9. Synik – “God Within” [sourced from Haveplentymusic.com]
10. Sincerely Yours – “It’s All Good” [produced by Slot-A]
11. Fecko the Emcee – “Flow Global” (Afrobeat Remix) [sourced from
12. KrisDeLaRash – “Consumption”
13. Emcee Nemesis – “The Children”
14. Neak – “It’s Your World” [produced by INTLMC & Slot-A]
15. Add-2 – “God Bless The Dead” [produced by Slot-A]
16. Abstract Wolff – “Rose Amilla”
17. Vallentine & Arazan – “Dark Sunrise” [courtesy of Slang Audio Records and
18. K-Von the Great – “I Will Achieve”
19. Amun Miraaj – “Hell”
These artist deserve our support! So please give this mixtape a listen then pass it along to your crew. Then find the artists on bandcamp, soundcloud, facebook, and their websites and show them some love!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bad-Wolff/132387560141373 /Twitter: @Amanu360
http://www.facebook.com/brotha.onaci /Twitter: @brotha_onaci
http://www.facebook.com/thisisfecko /Twitter: @Fecko_thaEmcee
http://www.facebook.com/Neak84 /Twitter: @Neak_Undefined
http://www.facebook.com/slotabeats Twitter: @IAMSLOTA
K-von The Great on Twitter: @kvon216
facebook.com/pages/RiC/155730214450990 / Twitter: @rumorinthechi
Blogs & Websites
Also listen to Radiant Souls Mixtape Vol. 1