‘On The Peace Treaty That Birthed Hip Hop’
Kunta Kinte, Johnny Span-One, (Otieno Gracie and Elijah Moses) of Soulmate Music stand outside a music studio in the Eastlands neighborhood of Nairobi. They are posing for a picture with Chad Harper, the founder and CEO of Hip Hop Saves Lives (HHSL). They just finished recording a song called “Amani, Upendo & Umoja” for HHSL’s “Peace Love & Unity album.HHSL is an organization from Brooklyn, New York that educates youth on social issues through Hip Hop. The first subject the NGO always shares with youth is the true story of how a gang peace treaty started Hip Hop. Chad Harper has traveled to many parts of the world, teaching workshops on this matter and has now decided to record an international album about the birth of Hip Hop. He has arrived his final stop Nairobi, Kenya. After traveling to several East African countries the year before, Chad Harper felt that Nairobi has the most flourishing Hip Hop scene culture in the east. “Nairobi has a bit of a New York City vibe”, says Chad Harper. The fast pace energy gives him a slight feel of home.
Kunta Kinte and Johnny Span-One were introduced to Chad Harper last year by a music producer named Johnathan YT. Together they worked on a song called “Welcome To Nairobi” for Hip Hop Saves Lives’s first international album titled “Welcome To My Hood”.
“I just had to return and work with these guys again to close out this new project”’ says Chad Harper. Their energy and vibe is true Hip Hop culture. They do it for the love of the art and the love for their people. Hip Hop music has made a lot of people rich in the States, so many people there just see it as a way to make money. But its original purpose was to save lives, transform communities and the minds of youth from violent gang and street activities to creative and peaceful expressions.
Johnny Span-One and Kunta Kinte have that original feeling in their lyrics.
They later introduced Chad Harper to a male/female rap duo that goes by the name SoulMate Music. They not only rhyme together but also are engaged to marry. “It was very inspiring to see a couple have the same love and passion for Hip Hop”, says Chad. “The way they rhymed together representing both energies seemed so natural” says Chad Harper wondered why he had never seen this before in the States.
On December 10th 2017 the four artists met up at Angaza Msani music studio in Jerusalem Estate within Eastlands neighborhood of Nairobi. Two other artists Chox and Patoh Njuguna joined to record the final song of the project about the birth of Hip Hop. Kashule is a great engineer who knows how to bring the best out of an artist. Each wrote a part of the story that took place back in the South Bronx of New York City. The story ends with 42 gangs agreeing to a peace treaty on December 8th 1971, initiated by a gang named The Ghetto Brothers. In order to maintain the treaty, they asked all the gangs to come to the park and party together every Friday and Saturday night. As the parties took place, the streets became safer and the word spread through out the community. The parties quickly gained popularity and gang activity reduced immensely. Former gang members now battled through dance and rhymes and the worldwide culture of Hip Hop was born!
The newly released album is called PEACE LOVE & UNITY. It features 18 songs in total, of which 7 are about the peace treaty and 11 bonus songs.
Songs come from artists in Brooklyn (US), Nairobi (Kenya), Berlin (Germany), Trenchtown (Jamaica), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Michigan (US), Birmingham (UK), Port au Prince (Haiti) and Toronto (Canada)
(6 of the 11) bonus songs come from Nairobi, Kenya by Kunta Kinte, Johnny Span-One and SoulMate Music).
Free download of the album PEACE LOVE & UNITY album at
For further information on Johnny Span-One and Kunta Kinte follow this link:
Hip Hop Saves Lives and Soulmate Music can be found on Facebook.
Source – Africa.com
Kanye West continues to surprise the world. After meeting with President Donald Trump, Kanye came to Uganda and met with President Yoweri Museveni. During his visit, he said the spirit of Fela Kuti flows in him. Is Kanye on the wrong beat?
A Kiswahili proverb goes thus: mwenye macho haambiwi tazama. Which translates to, one who has eyes isn’t told to look. However, this proverb might not be applicable to Kanye Omari West. The American rapper was in Uganda, met with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. A week prior to his visit to Uganda, Kanye had met with U.S. President Donald Trump. His meeting with President Trump came under serious criticism, as has his declaration that “slavery is a choice.”
On the continent, Kanye’s visit to Uganda has raised a new set of questions including Kanye’s continual idolisation of dictators, his far flung political consciousness, and basically what he stands for. In a country where a fellow musician, Bobi Wine, who’s currently a Member of Parliament, had been tortured, beaten and his life threatened, by the Museveni regime, Kanye had no issues buddying up with President Museveni.
While Kanye is losing on the American front, he’s also losing hugely on the African front. While in Uganda, in one of his rants he said, “I am the best living record artist. We, rather, because the spirits flow through me. The spirit of Fela, the spirit of Marley, the spirit of Pac flows through me.”
Sources – TIA
Have you ever remarked favourably about a friend’s outfit and their response was something like, “Thank you, I wasn’t even sure of what to wear today so I picked the first random thing”, or maybe their response went like, “oh really? I didn’t even know this dress was that fancy.”
We may have been socialised into demurring a compliment and waiting for the other party to be quite assertive before we say thank you, perhaps we believe this makes us seem less rude and less boastful.
I realised this recently when a friend complimented my nails but my response was quite repulsive; I gave a long story about how I think my hands look quite pale and how I recently injured my toe nail and had to grow it back again, which wasn’t necessary information at that point if you ask me.
It should have been easier to just say thank you and move on to more influential conversations.
I know that I am not the only one. A married friend of mine also shared her thoughts on how up until recently when her husband would randomly admire her, she would point out her flaws, such as her noticeable change in weight or simply rub it off. After a heated discussion however she has now learnt to be more accepting of love and apparently it is such a good feeling.
We should realise that we buy clothes to flatter our body shapes and we invest in expensive make up to enhance our beauty, we spend hours in the salon getting that hairstyle just right and we go an extra mile to get our nails fixed so a compliment shared is a compliment earned because you deserved it.
Self-image is very important and it directly affects our personal branding, which is the way we influence how others see and think about us. If you are careful about self-grooming there is nothing wrong with someone appreciating you.
When complimented we doubt our taste, we doubt whether the person was being genuine or just polite and we question their intentions.
Not all women are victims; you must have met an outright confident lady who will be quick to say thank you and offer a tip or two about where to get the item you admired or even tips on how to DIY.
It may also be biased and gender insensitive to say that men are not known to shun away compliments, however women are often poor in accepting compliments from other women than from the opposite gender.
It’s therefore safe to say that in the era we live in people are quite skeptical because compliments are often doubted for its authenticity and probably compliments have become a show of politeness and an obligation amongst friends or romantic partners, and that makes us second guess each other.
All in all, compliments are good and they serve us best in boosting our mood and self- confidence so the next time you are told that you are beautiful, own it and say thank you.
By Adaobi Onyeakagbu
One of the first rules of life is to not judge a book by its cover, but book lovers know that it’s one of the ways of predicting how good a book is.
Navigating bookshelves to decide your picks for the day can’t be easy without judging some books by their covers, so here are all our tips for picking out a good book.
After the writing and editing, book cover designing is the next most important thing. Many times, the editors and cover designers know what they’re doing when they make a cover as enticing as possible because it is one of the first things a reader falls in love with.
First, ask yourself how the cover makes you feel. However, the colours, design and artwork most times don’t divulge much information about the book or author. Next, you can try these few tips from Bustle.
The First Line
The first line is just as important as the cover of the book. It determines how you would feel throughout the book or at least before the book gets to the clime. If you’re at a bookstore or library and you need to pick out a book, quickly read the first line, just the first line, and if it excites you, then that’s a very good sign.
Read the back
If you’re still not satisfied and would like to spy on what the book has in store, quickly flip to the back of the book and read the summary. The back of the book has the summed up version of the concept of the whole book as well as the tone the story uses. If you aren’t feeling the concept or the voice used, then maybe the book is not for you.
What have you heard?
Still not sure? Most times, the works of an author might influence how you feel about a book. So, if you’ve read other good stuff from the author or have heard great things from a trusted second party, then maybe the author knows what he/she is doing. Might be a good sign to grab that book. In addition, if the book has been nominated for/won prestigious prizes that you’re familiar with, maybe… just maybe… it packs some punch.
Quickly check reviews
play Judging a book by its cover (Room decor)
You seem like you might need a little more convincing, whew!. If you are a person that likes to read reviews, you would have done this already before this point. Reviews are a good way of learning reactions and affections towards the book. Goodreads is one of the most popular platform for all things books, so you could quickly look that book up there. However, if you want a more personal feel, try one of your favourite book blogger websites.
Pro-tip: Scan through a random page
Some people like to open a random page, most times in the middle, and peer through and weigh how that page made them feel.
Take the leap
Since you already picked it up, there might be a reason. Why not just take it home, read the book and then judge it later?