World News    United Nations of Hip Hop Launched, Aims to Promote African Hip Hop    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music

World News    United Nations of Hip Hop Launched, Aims to Promote African Hip Hop    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
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World News

African rapper Don Karleon

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United Nations of Hip Hop Launched, Aims to Promote African Hip Hop
Published September 27, 2005

United Nations of Hip Hop is launched! African Hip Hop is steadily growing, as well as the public awareness of the genre. We are a collective of African Hip Hop artists some based in the US, some based in Europe whose objective is to bring more attention to our craft. We have been working hard and are looking forward to join forces with other organizations that are pursuing goals similar to ours, i.e. expanding the choice and quality of Hip Hop music available to the audience and give African Hip Hop artists, regardless of their status, a venue to expose their music to the world.

As artists ourselves, we understand the frustration that comes with having outside forces trying to define your craft and categorize it according to facetious standards. African Hip Hop is not a monolithic entity, and just like American Hip Hop it comes in different influences, each as unique as the others. People often say that the beauty of Africa is the diversity of its cultures and people, and this diversity is indeed represented in the many creative styles found in African Hip Hop, but as we have noticed, the African Hip Hop that is being promoted tends to fit in a certain format. We are definitely stepping in to fill the void, give a voice to the voiceless, and to bridge gaps in understanding.

In this day and age, where if we had to follow our governments’ leadership we would be standing with a smile waiting for handouts from the West, we shout “S’en fout!” (pronounced sanfu, meaning “don’t give a damn") and we proceed. We, young Africans of this 21st century are taking matters in our own hands. We are the music, and there is nobody more qualified than us to present, represent and showcase our music and our people. Eyes are opening and consciences are being awakened, and we feel that we are only part of a growing trend of what we can qualify of a renaissance of the African Spirit. Some might call us naïve for being optimists in a time where, for the continent, things have never looked so dire, where Africa is being used as an example for all that is wrong with mankind, as the negative to everything that is positive about Western culture to the point that some misguided souls really feel like slavery was actually salvation for them. We answer: This is exactly the time where we have to step in, to give our people hope! A people that does not hope might as well be dead, and hope dies last, we have sung to you before, and hope and faith is what it takes to turn desperate situations into miracles.

We are artists first, and behind we are computer scientists, teachers, businessmen, accountants, graphic artists, technicians, etc… and it is all these skills that we are putting into this fight. Africans are tired of getting stepped on, pitied, disdained, ridiculed and we won’t simply take it anymore. We won’t repeat the mistakes of our fathers. More than forty years after most of our countries were declared “independent”, we want our people to finally stand with their chin up, and for the right reasons. Some of us are Africans in the Diaspora, and we have been inside the belly of the beast, and it has opened up our eyes, and we have seen the truth. We have seen past the gold, the glimmer and the shine. We have seen and learned that technology can’t buy or build you a soul, and that for all the material comfort of the world, nothing is more important to a person than the warm feeling that comes from feeling like being part of a true community. The African Hip Hop message needs to be spread, and Hip Hop gave us a voice to be able to do that, and brothers and sisters are stepping up in different but creative ways. Again, we are the music and it should not be forgotten.

This is an international effort, and as such we are calling out to anybody who feels our message and understand it to get in touch with us. We are still looking for translators (English French), writers and general contributors to the site, email us at

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