“I don’t know why but I too have become infatuated with Afro-Portuguese music. Maybe it’s because I’m Sierra Leonean and the Portuguese were the first to colonize before the British, and some Portuguese words survived in Krio like “sabi.” Or, maybe it’s because I speak Spanish not French and the it is much easier for me to get the general meaning behind the Portuguese lyrics than songs in other languages. Or, maybe because when I first heard Kuduro it blew my mind, and as a dj I became obsessed with the music that moves your booty like the Chicago House I used hear to at our middle school dances, but has roots in music like the dance tunes I knew from the African parties of my parents’ generation. But, here I am today collecting anything I can get my hand on from Bahia to Lisbon to Luanda and beyond.
Here are two hip hop tracks that also blew my mind when I first heard them. They are from two hip hop artists from Angola.
The first is Das Primeiro whom I heard the first time on some hip hop compilations when I took a trip to Portugal, he also has a track on the Rough Guide to African Rap. I think that he lives in Europe somewhere now, (Amsterdam?) but he reps Angola, and has a monster flow, with the confidence and delivery that could stand up to any of the greats in any language. I like his use of samples and really seems to be aware of his cultural roots while maintaining a strong hip hop identity. I chose the song Mana Maria because it has a real nice guitar sample that reminds of some of the Kizomba tunes or the other guitar based tunes that I’ve heard from Angola.
The second is Sonho Africano from Hemoglobina two Angolan MC’s, who live in South Africa now. (?) I heard them first on DJ Edu’s show on BBC 1xtra. This song is my favorite African hip hop song, because it reps a bunch of different nations, as well as the dope lyric content about what a gwan in Africa. It also has a beautiful guitar sample, and the beat drops heavy! I haven’t tracked down their album yet, but writing this has reminded/inspired me to do so. If any one knows where I can get it, hit me up: boima [at] ironmilitis.com. There are ton of great rappers in Portuguese out there, not just from Angola and who all use cultural influences to make their own brand of hip hop, like Sir Scratch, Rappin’ Hood and Marcelo D2. Check em’ if you get the chance.”