neva caged

oi. Jammz clearly has his ear on a 2oo4 track with that production. no wonder this gave rebirth to a
Lioness !unleashed!

 

SPECIAL

special she is.

Paigey Cakey

 

the artist evolving in that name proves some cliché to be wrong. like: she owns her words. and the sound she’s reppin’ feels being a co-creation of her take on a style and a style being actually geared up to her account.

I know to enjoy that.

 

grown ass men

Since I’ve been asked recently to express again what runs through my ears and minds at the moment, let me share: Young M.A – shout out to CK Baltimore for pointing her out to me – just blew me. Well yeah, I know I wish she did. Anyways, her stylez are something, her presence is no less: Self affirmed, unpretentious, delivered on music that reflects the current state of feeling originally fueling her lyrics.

 

 

 

 

I hold a lot of truth behind them lies.” With Young M.A it’s ‘what you see is what you get’. And what I see is a pretty young person showing maybe not so much of herself but a lot of her life, what it is to be her and how she realates her Self to that. This in itself implies a somewhat reflective vision on the factors that condition her being and the ways sub|cultural gesturing is built around that. While it is redundant to say that language holds a key role in this  – looking at her vocal as well as at her physical wording however, this thought leads to a more complex insight. The route of this goes like: authenticity? No. Yes. As said above: it is about how she relates.

 

But before I let myself be carried away by thoughts like how her ‘who she is’ already transcends the place she’s in, while her ‘where she’s at’ again forces her to ciscend back; by thoughts on ‘what do you do’ with spirits and desires such as expressed by her in a place like that? And with ‘place’ I mean the locals and the socials she is navigating. Well, what she does about it, is saying: I feel like shit / I love all this. And this is not a quote. And there is no ‘but’ nor ‘fuck’ where I put that slash bar. It’s both along.

 

There’s much sminks and drokes, no pimps but ‘Hoes’ in her visuals and lyrics. Aggression is built on pain as much as it’s built on hedonistic reductionism of desires to their physical urge: responding to this alone will never satisfy. Not to mention the ambivalent ‘masculinity’ running through all this. But that is something beyond her and her environment. It is something her generation at all stratas will struggle to figure out. She’s not alone in this: #Zeitgeist.

 

On the personal level I sense some tough tension well stemming from norms questioning her Self and from experiences that are hard to be processed. Her brother was stabbed dead in his early twenties. What do you do with that?                …music in parts. I don’t want to follow further up this thread about some psychological dynamics ’cause that would be shrink shit interpretation and I don’t do that. Because I don’t do that and also I don’t know her. She speaks for her Self anyways. Nevertheless the creative writing after only a short encounter with her output shows its potential of triggering thoughts that go beyond and come back.

 

M.A’s wording shows how much her abstractions stick to the concrete. That’s love. Yet the simplicity is knowing. I know I put a lot into my listening here, and that’s sympathy. Obviously a lot of what she does doesn’t reveal itself to me. Maybe I see things, maybe I hear them, maybe I don’t. I’ll try and listen through the cloth of styles and feel them.      “This is just me / I ain’t trying to be be different / that’s the problem with the game / everybody is something they isn’t. // my goal is the business / fuck seven digits / I’m just trying to do while my brother didn’t //” she humbles.

 

In a nutshell? M.A runs with Brooklyn’s Redlyfe squat, is in her early twenties now, has two mixtapes out so far and is recently earning and gaining attention from radio DJs and networks. She caught fire and attention with her “Brooklyn” cypher version of the Chiraq tune (originally Minaj). And there is a lot more where this came from. Her album Herstory is due 2016.

Wenn Bühnen eine Welt bedeuten

Während ihrer ersten Auftritte auf kleinen Bühnen in Beirut zog sie sich Kapuze, Hut oder Mütze tief ins Gesicht, damit sie niemand erkennt. Heute zeigt sie Gesicht und Haltung auf Bühnen von Damaskus bis Kopenhagen, von Kairo bis Linz, von Abu Dhabi bis Dubai, von Bogota bis Bahrain bis Berlin. Mindestens genauso weit gespannt ist ihr Netz an Features und befreundeten Artists.

 

Malikah steht mit ihrer Musik, ihren Texten und ihrem Tun für den Protest gegen sinnlose autoritäre Strukturen und für Selbstbestimmung. Ihr Beitrag für den Song Fawda (‘Chaos’) auf dem Album Thawra (‘Revolution’) der Syrischen Crew Black Bannerz sowie ihr Feature Track Ya #7akakeen mit MC Amin & Ramy Essam demonstrieren ihren ausgesprochen erfahrenden, eigenen und versatilen Flow und sind wie auch ihre anderen Songs starke politische Statements. “Hip Hop a an educational music. It is pointless to do Hip Hop if you don’t have a message.”

 

Die Bandbreite der Kooperation, ihr absolutes Commitment sowie das Spektrum an muskalischem Fabric, in dem sie sich bewegt führen zu Produktionen, die den Rahmen sprengen und das Bewusstsein erweitern, wie hier aktuell mit Bull Funk Zoo – Nabad Kel Lebnene:

 

 

Malikah hat sich und ihre Jugend komplett in die arabische Hip Hop Kultur investiert. All die Bühnen, all die Kollabos, all die Erlebnisse, Erfahrungen und Beziehungen – Ich mag mir garnicht ausmalen, wie unfassbar schwierig es sein muss, das alles musikalisch in eine aktuelle Form auf Albumlänge zu bringen. Aber ich mag mir ausmalen, wie es klingen wird – und ich freue mich sehr darauf! Bald sind zehn Jahre voll und immer noch warte ich und habe nicht aufgegeben auf das Debut Album von Malikah.

 

Frühling, Sommer, Herbst und Winter.

Meine Playlist sortiert sich aus gegebenen Anlässen – schönen wie traurigen – seit einiger Zeit neu, von Beirut bis Dakar, von der Tunesischen Mittelmeerküste bis Johannesburg, South Africa (siehe auch die Neuzugänge rechts auf dieser Seite). Und wo gerade die jungen Menschen in Tunesien trotz der Eskalationen und schweren bewaffneten Konflikte, die die Revolten seit 2011 in vielen Arabischen Ländern nach sich zogen, nicht aufgeben wollen und deshalb wieder angefangen haben, auf der Straße gegen das Establishment zu kämpfen, möchte ich euch an dieser Stelle gerne Medusa ans Herz legen. Ihr Track Hold On beschreibt die Macht, mit der es die protestierende Jugend zu tun hat in ihren kolonialen Traditionen und fordert auf, sich nicht einschüchtern zu lassen, sondern an einer Zukunft jenseits davon festzuhalten:

 

 

Mir ist die Rapperin aus Nabeul das erste mal auf Sawtuha (Her Voice) begegnet, einer Kompilation die das Berliner Label Jakarta vor zwei Jahren rausgebracht hat und auf der revolutionäre Perspektiven von Frauen auf den so genannten Arabischen Frühling zusammenkommen. [Damit ist Medusa im Übrigen labelwise Kollegin von Dynasty, Yarah Bravo und MC Melodee.]

 

 

 

Subtle strength but somewhat brutal

Lucy Camp ist gerade erst in meinem Universum aufgetaucht. Wie eine neue Galaxie funkelt sie dort nun in Ruhe vor sich hin …

 

 

 

Tor Cesay macht Rap die Ehre Poesie zu sein

Vor fast zehn Jahren sah ich Tor Cesay live in Berlin. Gehört habe ich sie an dem Abend kaum. Das Konzert ging nämlich im Testosteron und Egohype gepushten Gehabe der frühen New Era Crowds der damals neuen Spreeclubs unter. Bis dato hatte ich keine derart anstrengende Show erlebt in der das Publikum und der “DJ” gemeinsam die Künstlerin von der Bühne spielten. Erstere mit purer Ignoranz, letzterer mit aufgeblasenen Spins and Breaks, die nirgendwo hinpassten. Ich habe den falschen Krach noch heute in den Ohren…

 

Umso mehr wünsche ich der Rapperin in Zukunft nur noch Bühnen, die ihr Talent und ihre liebevolle, starke Art zu tragen wissen, mit der sie aufmacht, wo andere feige sind und offen zeigt, worum es ihr geht. Die musikalische Richtung und akustische Umgebung, in der sich ihre Stimme und Lyrics im Moment bewegen, sind da in jeder Hinsicht wegweisend:

 

 

Seit ihrem debut Release Strivin‘ auf dem OST des teenage power Streifens Fast Girl (UK, 2006) hat Tor konstant und geduldig an ihrem Können, Status und Output gearbeitet. Das Ergebnis davon sind weder große Bekanntheit noch Tonnen an Klicks. Dafür ist ihr dann aber auch kein strategisches Format über die Ohren gewachsen und sie kann heute mit Qualität beeindrucken, statt unter dem (Ein)Druck eines One-Hit Effects irgendwelche Erwartungen wieder einholen zu müssen.

 

Auf dieser soliden Basis bauen seit letztem Jahr ihre EP Releases auf – A Pinch of Salt (spring 2014) und Journals: The 3P (autumn 2014, visuals 2015) – , die man mit Freude weiter empfehlen kann. Erste Etappe: bien fait.

 

“See, I could rap in double time, but I rather do it simply”. Kein Beweisdruck mehr, der Technik Check funktioniert bei Tor subtiler: “Syllables that intricately symbolize that intimacy / of a man’s ability to rap on beats so skillfully” (Remedy). Um zu sagen: pure Technik, die einen Motor antreibt, der eine Maschine leer am Laufen hält, die beeindruckend viel Krach macht, aber wo hinten nichts bei raus kommt, zeigt nicht mehr als das naive Rufen eines Kindes “guck mal, ich kann was”. Tor dagegen zeigt, dass sie das groß werden ernst meint und teilt in ihrem aktuellen Release Journals: The 3P auf wundersame Weise lyrisch runtergebrochene Lebenserfahrung, Beobachtung und Reflektion in angemessener Größenordnung und macht damit Rap die Ehre Poesie zu sein.

 

Wer dennoch Bock auf mehr Geschwindigkeit und Geballer hat, dem sind Different Place (2010) und Lose My Cool (2011) zu empfehlen, beide von BBC 1Xtra ihrerzeit als #Mixtapes of the Month gerated, beide als free download auf ihrer Website zu finden. Der aktuelle Technikkatalog wird hier in allen Anforderungskategorien auseinandergerissen, beide Tapes lassen sich außerdem selbstverständlich wunderbar im Auto aufdrehen.

 

L

 

 

Rap – a way to dance with words

guest author La bruja21 met Sara Hebe in Buenos Aires, Argentina this fall (local time).

Read the protocol below.

 

 

>>> The first time I saw Sara Hebe was at a club concert in Buenos Aires and I loved what I heard: a strong voice and a powerful stage performance underlined by visuals, and supported by rapper La Negrah Liyah and bass guitarist and producer Ramiro Jota. I enjoyed a night dancing on various rhythms and beats. Dancing to Sara Hebe is an invitation to bounce, to jump, to raise the fists, to cumbia-shake hips and butts, to rock and to groove. You hear a lambada sample, you hear that catchy reggae tune, some melodic songs, many bouncing rap rhythms and last but not least you hear furious rhymes tearing along drum beats, keyboard and bass guitars. The next day I bought her two albums and with that I got my catchy, fierce and rocking Buenos Aires soundtrack for the coming months.

 

Some weeks later I met Sara Hebe for the interview at the autonomous left wing Buenos Aires community radio FM La Tribu. She is connected to that project since she weekly freestyled the news live on air in 2009. Sara Hebe found her first audiences at solidarity concerts against evictions, through mobilizations against social repression and police brutality, in campaigns for workers´ rights and movements for the resistance of the exploitation of natural resources for capitalist profit. Obviously, one thing she enjoys the most about making music is “to give opinions”. But when I address her as a political activist she rejects that label because of the risk to make a business out of radical political aesthetics. In order to not fall into that trap, as a person who besides her political commitment aims at being a successful artist, she sticks to the identity of a poet that accompanies the struggles by mobilization.

 

Sara was in her twenties when she abandoned law studies for theatre and dance and from there moved on to hip hop. She was seeking a way to express herself and she found it in rap, as “a way to dance with words”. What she brings with her is rage, rock, theatre, dancing and murga culture. And she creates profoundly poetical lyrics. The lines break before they turn into slogans. It’s all metaphors and hints to deeper thoughts, much stream of consciousness and associations, a variety of relations between narrator and author. You rarely hear references to hip hop history or other hip hop artist. The songs offer observations and examinations of the society and of personal experiences, “about the effects of capitalism that cause suffering, about the human immorality”. It’s about giving opinions and accusations and some pieces evoke the impression of sharing personal stories, for example when expressing how personal experiences form desire and identity and lead to gendered solidarity: “to the man who might like me, because of a man I am not gonna touch any man anymore, to all the women who like me, give me your hands”.

 

Asking Sara Hebe what she thinks about the growing hip hop trend in Argentina, she first points to Venezuela, Chile and Colombia, were the hip hop culture is a means of social transformation and popular education. She names El Tortu y Asterisco as artists who moves that tradition forward in Argentina. Chatting about social change, Sara Hebe states the need and obligation to be a feminist in these days. She is as happy to see many women at mics nowadays in Argentina, as she is happy to see women as presidents. This is not about hip hop, it’s about the society. One threat to emancipation: the many men who don’t understand that successful women aren’t exceptional but normal. Sara describes her own style of expression as crazy. She says that the messages aren’t pronounced as clear as in the rhymes of other feminist rappers. But differing styles can without any doubt share an attitude of consciousness and solidarity. Sara Hebe concludes that the society needs more women that perceive feminism as “radical social transformation in order to confront the tremendous everyday violence“.

 

The media’s attention increases in 2012 with the release of her second album Puentera. Argentinian newspaper Página 12 points to her strong social critique and calls her “the most notable Argentine rapper of the millennium and one of the most fundamental young artists of our times”. This quote is until now constantly recycled by other journalist. In 2013 an article in the same newspaper introduces her as the “rapper who mobilizes the biggest audiences” and points out to “girls with girls in the first row of the shows”. And another interview in 2015, that could have resulted as a crawling homestory is, by the interviewed Sara Hebe and Flor Linyera, turned into a talk about politics: “The couple doesn’t want to talk about love, they prefer to accuse capitalism“.

 

Sara’s discography starts in 2009 with her first album La Hija del Loco. The title refers to her nickname in her Patagonian hometown Trelew. She describes it as the purest rap-centred album she has made until now. It was produced in a soundsystem type of collaboration with friends who contributed the beats and recorded instrumental parts. The second album, Puentera released in 2012, gives more space to the fusion of styles and genres. Its production consolidated the trio that Sara Hebe forms together with Ramiro Jota y La Negrah Liyah. As the first two, the brand new third album Colectivo Vacío (2015) is produced independently, without the frame of a label and at their own cost and risk. It is promoted as an “unconventional rap album” including electronic punk, cumbia-rap and Brazilian drums.

The Truth on the Surface and the Passion Behind

What would be the acoustic equivalent to “visibility”? Well, whatever the right terminology: amplifying “it” lies at the end of strategies that aim at creatively counter-striking androcentric ignorance in HipHop music. Soon, the Female Focus Festival (July 17-19th 2015, Berlin, germs) opens a forum for the exchange, critique and networking all around this issue.

 

In exited anticipation of that I’m gonna dig in my collection and polish some of my most precious picks to add to your in depth knowledge and reckoning of what is captured behind the label “female” in rap. This time I am going to present you the acoustic equivalent to authenticity- and that would be: Oh Blimey!

 

 

When I got to meet Oh Blimey and see her perform here in Berlin along with Gavlyn, I was amazed at two things foremost: First, the way she looks and appears so much the same, like, as the exact same person I ‘know’ from the music videos and interviews.   How can a person be this present, this real, and authentic? “When there lies so much passion behind it, you got no other choice, but be it.” she states when I asked her, how she gets to channel all of herself to the very surface as a performer and into her music, as a voice.   And this presence does not seem to be about self-expression and performance only. Once you talk to her you feel a certain attentiveness, a ‘being in the moment and listening’ which is actually quite rare among performers. Back on stage she addresses her crowd with the same attitude, and that is just beautiful.

 

What amazed me on a second level while seeing her perform live on stage are her abilities and skills as an MC. Boi, is she good. She’s on point and her delivery is as clear as clean water. Not one syllable swallowed, every word pronounced to the last letter – makes you understand the lyrics even if you just heard them for the first time.   So, as a rapper Oh Blimey is just  heavyweight. Uh, no, you better believe me: the idea that this attribute might be related to her appearance only occurred to me as a second thought. And you know what? As a personal preference I actually am into big girls. And she is big: big in the game that they call battle rap. Which means: Oh Blimey handles her mouth well, is not afraid of serious language and knows how to align words resulting in a proper punch – no violence needed:  “I got them white girl lines but no cocaine / I make verses kill themselves – Cobain” (Sparrow)

 

On her way through the market, aiming at a more sustaining frame for her musical career she doesn’t forget to cultivate her relations and cooperative bonds with the right people, like Gavlyn, Snow Tha Product, Micatron, and G.L.A.M.   About Gav she states: “I am really grateful for what she does for me, I mean, holding her neck out for me and take that risk. …and I feel like I am a risk.” Why? “Because I am the opposite of Hip Hop. … Hip Hop tells me, it’s supposed to be male, it’s supposed to be black, and heterosexual and I am not, so…”    Yo. If you ask me, standing up for yourself, being yourself against all odds, raising your voice for others and being this attentive and assertive to the struggle of others is what Hip Hop is about. Not the categories, but the empowerment. period.

 

 

Honest Independence

What would be the acoustic equivalent to “visibility”? Well, whatever the right terminology: amplifying “it” lies at the end of strategies that aim at creatively counter-striking androcentric ignorance in HipHop music. Soon, the Female Focus Festival (July 2015, Berlin, germs) opens a forum for the exchange, critique and networking all around this issue.

 

In exited anticipation of that I’m gonna dig in my collection and polish some of my most precious picks to add to your in depth knowledge and reckoning of what is captured behind the label “female” in rap. This time I am going to present you the acoustic equivalent to honesty – and that would be: Eternia.

 

 

“I refuse to be subordinate!”

Writing about those artists who mean the most to me isn’t easy. You need to know: Eternia is one of my first and dearest. When I got so lucky to see her live on stage in 2008 I instantly was overwhelmed and cried of excitement. Part of it goes back to her energetic presence, her deep, loud voice, that resonates quite intensively in my chest. And what still strikes me with Eternia is her relentless honesty about the cost we pay for being independent as ordinary straight women who live to make this world our own.

 

 

 

 

Eternia’s writing is very biographic, based on personal experience. Based on deep disappointment, frustration and the blunt abuse of her vulnerabilities and longings, of her desire for freedom and love.

 

“You never see what I see yo /
You never see that unless you was me yo /

Ladies never loose who you be yo
never loose sight always be free yo!” (Control, off It’s Called Life)

 

For some that might be too personal, too intimate.  But once you feel how she steps from that to a more general perspective you learn a lesson about “female” HipHop: in our case, being real about the hardships in life means to reveal spheres of our live others might be privileged to disclose as “private”, as the last bastion against life’s hardship: intimate relationships. For some of us, however, they’re the very heart of danger as much as they might be the target of our last longing. Struggling with all that as a central contradiction of a woman’s live and being open about it: that’s Eternia. Writing rhymes about being abused and raped, about abortion and the awareness how such details of our biographies devalue us culturally and socially in the eyes of a possible future male partner (To the Future), without ever wailing: that’s Eternia; swearing at haters without ever hating: that’s Eternia; claiming a room of her own (Goodbye): that’s Eternia. She is: Honest Independence.

 

And she is independent as an artist: based in Toronto and New York and well known in several hiphop communities. She is touring worldwide, released several tapes and two studio albums (It’s Called LIfe and At Last), runs the “my favorite rapper wears a skirt campaign”, and is being saluted to by MC Lyte for her dynamic stage performance. Nevertheless, the MC never went in chart wise. Because she never tried. Because she never felt the urge to do so. Because she wants to run her own business. Because she celebrates live concerts, jam sessions and the street life. And the freedom to write whatever she feels like.

 

Reading this contribution it’s more than obvious: I am a fan, identifying, admiring, celebrating. A fan of this strong persona who left home early as a teenager, moving to New York, diving in the scene, being one of the boys, realizing she’ll never be one of them, who later graduated from college, who survived sexual violence, who participates in girls education programs against sexual abuse as an activist, who is outspoken, who is a writer, who is a rapper, who is one of my favorites, who sometimes wears a skirt.

 

L