As Mali seems to be falling apart, what strikes me is how little people understand about the situation there. All of a sudden, the spotlight is on the Tuaregs, without any attention, let alone concern, for the myriad of other inhabitants who also call Northern Mali their home.

The same could be said of virtually any country in Africa: it is usually the music, if even that, which interests people, hardly ever the people or countries behind the music.
So… here is music from around the corner from Mali, and hopefully your chance to go beyond the music! Waga 3000 is our latest release, fruit of the collaboration between Art Melody and Joey le Soldat, two MCs from Burkina Faso, and French beatmaker DJ Form. Waga 3000 raps about the difficulties of everyday life for the youth in Burkina: unemployment, corruption, the day to day routine anchored in poverty. Although you may not understand much of their lyrics, you’ll surely be interested in taking a closer look at some of the absurdities they reflect upon in their songs. First in Burkina, where culture is traditionally carried on by the griots—singers, story tellers, poets, musicians—stories and songs to travel through time, to this day. It’s no coincidence that Art Melody, lead rapper for Waga 3000, is the son of a griot woman. He’s been singing since childhood, and found hip hop at a young age as well. Burkina is a landlocked country, one of the poorest in Africa, and like many, Art Melody tried to find his way to Europe to earn a better living and send money back home.

He never made it to Europe, and was arrested in Algeria. But he did travel through parts of West Africa where hip hop was already very lively: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritania. When he returned to Burkina, Melody incorporated the flows he’d heard, often inspired by US rappers such as Nas or Mobb Deep, with the griot singing he grew up with. He raps in Moré and dioula and calls it Warbarap.

Read more:

Curious to know more about the situation in Burkina? First of all, you should probably have an idea of who Thomas Sankara is. Then you can jump to last year’s Arab Spring akin protests, and for the latest, see how Burkina, like all Sahel countries, is suffering from a food crisis stemming from the overall unrest in the region. By the way do you have doubts as to where Burkina Faso is on the map?

Download a freebie of the album RIGHT HERE:

and listen to the complete album here:


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