ZIF Video Of The Week: SENA DAGADU: Extra Large feat. M3NSA

My goodness, what a Fokn great video. By now you’ve heard us speak about the illustrious Fokn Bois a few times, whether it be their immigration concerns or their knack for ostracizing Nigerians, their ability to entertain would make General Maximus Decimus Meridius green with envy. I hardly ever come across any project they’re associated with and leave without being thoroughly impressed. As for this video, it features M3NSA and I believe it was directed by Wanlov (so it’s Fokn Boi’d out!), as for Sena Dagadu, my knowledge is limited, she seems to live in Hungary but clearly is Ghanaian. What I love about this video is something that I attribute to much of their material, it simply shines, it engages you and drops you off in happy land. The final shot of the set in Accra is a lovely reminder that in 2013, artists don’t need to be in a major media center to create broadcast quality art.

Overall Grade: A –

Azontomentary [ZIF Press]

Dance crazes are a dime a dozen, but never have I come across one with the sociological implications of the Ghanaian dance referred to as “Azonto”. Here’s a quick synopsis by Wiki:

The African dance form incorporates complex co-ordinates body movement and non-verbal communication in a rhythmic fashion in very few one-two timed steps. Just like most African dances, knee bending and hip movements are rudiments to dancing it. The dance has effectively evolved from a few rudimentary moves to embrace depictions of ironing,washing, driving, boxing, grooming, praying, swimming, and others.

Generally, the dance reflects the creativity and rich sense of humour of the Ghanaian people. The dance, which is usually performed with an accompanying smile, evolved from the combination of several local dance moves that originated from the southern-most part of Ghana during the early 2000s. The dance has evolved with the fast pace dance culture of modern West Africa. It is also true that before the dance became famous, youth in senior high schools of Ghana (especially Tema) had a similar but different way of doing the dance. A modification of that is what we see today. It involved a similar movement of the feet, hands, and hips and, at the end of every move, a gun shot was mimicked with the hand and, if possible, the mouth.

We are proudly working with our partners at Aspecks to showcase this documentary which takes an in depth on the ground look at a dance that is changing the way nations, culture and their peoples identify themselves. Press can apply for an advance media pass that includes a first hand glimpse of the film, send inquires to ladyt@zebraisfood.com.

Stay tuned to updates about the film and more things Azonto at Azontomentary.tumblr.com 

Beats, Rhymes, Life

1.  UK based youth Charli XCX is following the Jai Paul formula, foregoing an album and releasing just a few singles a year and focusing on marketing them hard. This one gets remixed and features OFWGTA’s The Internet.

2. Ghanaian wonder duo the Fokn Bois have been pinching hearts and minds in Europe as well as their native Ghana. Hopefully the visa issues get resolved and they finally can touch down on US soil. If there are two harder working men in the scene then these two, I am yet to be introduced. The new video continues a rich tradition of shooting unique aesthetics while keeping things lighthearted.

3. Some dogmatic website released their list of The 20 Richest Rappers Alive Today, you may find the results (below) predictable for the most part. Surprises for me included Rick Ross only being worth a quarter, T-Pain being tied with T.I., and that Master P is ranked #3 with a net worth of 350 million, beating out the likes of Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. Ice cream sells!

#20 Rick Ross – Net Worth $25 Million
#19 Tie between T-Pain and T.I – Net Worth $30 Million
#18 Nelly – Net Worth $55 Million
#17 Busta Rhymes – Net Worth $60 Million
#16 Ludacris – Net Worth $65 Million
#15 Beastie Boys – Net Worth $75 Million Each
#14 Timbaland – Net Worth $75 Million
#13 Pharrell Williams – Net Worth $77.5 Million
#12 Tie between LL Cool J and Akon – Net Worth $80 Million
#11 Kanye West – Net Worth $90 Million
#10 Lil Wayne – Net Worth $95 Million
#9 Ice Cube – Net Worth $100 Million
#8 Snoop Dogg – Net Worth $110 Million
#7 Birdman – Net Worth $115 Million
#6 Eminem – Net Worth $120 Million
#5 50 Cent – Net Worth $250 Million
#4 Dr. Dre – Net Worth $260 Million
#3 Master P – Net Worth $350 Million
#2 Jay-Z – Net Worth $475 Million
#1 Diddy – Net Worth $500 Million

4. For those wondering how many ways we can connect the Olympic Games to hip hop, here’s a pretty legit bond. Everyone knows about Ryan Lochte right? Anyways, he’s an Olympic swimmer for the US that has already retrieved some gold. Upon being given the chance to show off his medal for photogs, he was sure to include his custom-made grill from hip hop artist and impresario Paul Wall. Wall is famous for his custom grill business and apparently laced Ryan with 4 of them, apparently the one he showed off with the gold medal is worth a cool 25k.

5. The contest that turned into a viral joke finally turned into Pitbull visiting and performing at a Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska. The campaign was originally designed to market an energy strip for Walmart but quickly turned into a wonderfully consolidated effort by “fans” to “exile” him to the farthest Walmart possible. Much to the chagrin of residents of Kodiak, Alaska. Unfortunately there were no messy bear spray incidents.

FOKN Bois be Sexin Islamic Girls

 

My homie Nana-Kofi over at our affiliate ASPECKS told me about M3nsa a long time ago, they hooked up some t-shirts for his last solo album. M3nsa’s collobarative effort with Wanlov the Kubolor (love these monikers) has been aptly titled the Fokn Bois’. For those of you familiar with Pidgin, the lyrics will hit home, for those of you who struggle with your acoustic diversity, peep these lyrics off the track:

WOKE UP EARLY IN THE A.M
MEGAPHONE CHANTING
WOT R DEY SAYIN?
IS HE PRAYIN OR PLAYIN?
ME DIER AM GOIN NOT STAYIN
HABIBA IS DAT HOW U R?
WEN WE BENT OVER DID U C OUR SHUA?
SAW YOR BOTTOS IN THE AIR
COULDN’T HELP IT
SO WE STARED

Yes, they are in the shock the shit out of you (if you are Nigerian or Muslim especially) business. That’s why I’m lining up what has to be my most anticpated interview yet for ZIF, I may have to have my translator stand by, but I will assuredly explore these guys more, as you should as well. You can start by YouTubing the world’s “1st Pidgin Musical”, titled, Coz Ov Moni and the respective soundtrack. Peep their interview with ASPECKS about that project and a clip from the “musical” after the jump. It’s Fokn great!

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M.anifest, Suffer, Remix

It’s been a good week on the Serengeti, plenty of herd animals grazing, I’ve been lucky enough to bag a few in my weekly hunt. Today’s catch comes from ZIF staple, M.anifest, actually it’s a remix of a track called “Suffer” which we showcased in April.

M.anifest – Suffer (M3NSA Remix)

Ghana is currently blowing up music wise, although that’s somewhat on the low (so don’t go Google search “Ghana music” and expect to understand). Specifically the rise of M.anifest(Minneapolis), M3nsaRocky Dawuni (Los Angeles), and home stay talent like Macho Rapper have all been featured recently on ZIF. Something about West Africa…roots?

M.anifest has been Steady Rocking

 

I like to think of ZIF as a respite for dope rap. A place where good rappers who have less mainstream appeal than Andre Nickatina can drop their dope shit for a doper audience with hopes, simple. An oasis of sorts. Here at ZIF, we consider M.anifest one of those artists, a Ghanaian rapper, now calling Minnesota home, sort of like Ndudi Ebi. This track is produced by fellow Minneapolis-ite Benzilla.

This song will be featured on “freetape for cheapskates” which will be put out about the same time (spring) as his official full length sophomore album – “Coming to America: Immigrant Chronicles.”

Long live the Serengeti!

Ghana Live [Artist Submission]

ZIF affiliate M.anifest is back in his homeland, Ghana. Here’s a video recap of week 1 and a track that the cut the same week.

M.anifest – Live From Ghana [Produced by DJ Juls (Ghana)]

I’m hoping to do a song with every video recap of this trip we’re taking to film for “We Rock Long Distance” documentary – M.anifest The MC

 

Blackstar, the soccer squad, not the group, but it is a song by rappers.

ZIF featured artist M.anifest dropped this video off in my inbox. The 8-bit look of the video is paralleled with a familiar theme from the African emcee, that being Ghana. This track will be featured on Producer/DJ Richy Pitch‘s upcoming LP, “Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch”. The album will be released on famed record label BBE. Richy Pitch spent a good chunk of the last 2 years in Ghana and assembled an all-star all-Ghanaian cast for this LP (June Release). The album will feature some of Ghana’s finest contemporary music stars such as: Reggie Rockstone, Samini, M.anifest, M3NSA, Wanlov the Kubolor, Yasmeen, Sena, AB, DJ Black and Kwesi Dankwa. Richy Pitch first made his name back in 1996 as resident DJ at the legendary London Hip Hop club night Scratch. He has recorded and produced music in the US with heralded emcees such as J-Live, El da Sensei, Mr Complex, Asheru and Apani B where he recorded his critically acclaimed Live at Home LP on the New York label Sevenheads.

Is it just me, or are cats from Ghana taking over hip hop right now?

Two Africans and a Jew

M.anifest hooked a brother up with a new leak. The song is off A.R.M‘s upcoming digital EP “Two Africans and a Jew,” set to be released at the end of March. The EP is a pre-cursor to the summer release of A.R.M’s full length “Uprising” which features Brother Ali and Tumi (of Tumi and the Volume, South Africa). A.R.M. consists of Mcs Krukid (Uganda/Vegas/IL) & M.anifest (Ghana/Minneapolis), with Budo (Seattle/Brooklyn) on production.

A.R.M. ft Slug – Fear Of The Mundane

Cop the track on Itunes.

M.ANIFEST Shows Us His History

Ghana born and Twin Cities Resident M.anifest, released a single, Sankofa (my history), today on itunes and other digital outlets. The artist himself aptly describes the song as “a subjective soundtrack for black history month that details a bit of my personal journey and thoughts on reclaiming the past to move forward.” Sankofa, produced by Sebmaestria (France) is available for 99cents online on itunes, amazon, and other digital retail outlets.

Being Black History Month and all, you will begin to see a plethora of artistic tributes. Rather than point out all the hypocrisy that comes with a tribute, I’d rather show you a track from a cat who has something to say about being black. Hell, African to be specific. My boy M.anifest e-dropped this track late last night, and it’s Sankofa!

M.anifest – Sankofa (My History)

Cop the track on Itunes right here. It’s a buck for Chrissakes, man up!

Dad? What are the birds and the beats?

M.AnIFEST Destiny

M.anifest is the type of MC who shakes your preconceived notions, perhaps even make you feel uncomfortable. Why is this rapper talking about global matters? Why the commitment to discussing his cultural and racial heritage? Why does he use big words and puns? Where is Akkra? This is Africa? I thought this was Minnesota?

Yeah, he’s an interesting cat, look out for two things from M.anifest this month: an interview with Zebra Is Food, and the Birds and The Beats tape which drops November 20th. Here’s a sneak peak.

M.ANIFEST – Get Away (Shafiq Husayn re-fix)

Mind The Leak: M.anifest – Playback Music

ZIF EXCLUSIVE LEAK

Had me a sit down with M.anifest this past weekend and took the opportunity to get the inside scoop on Ghana, Minneapolis hip hop, and his current come up. Look out for that interview later on this week, in the meantime M.anifest hooked us up with this exclusive track to “leak”. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take this over that Maybach crap any day. Sorry Ricky, don’t hurt me!

M.anifest – Playback Music