Amoeblog

Senegalese Hip-Hop Artist Sister Fa Dedicates Her Life To Activism & The Fight Against Female Genital Cutting

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2015 03:28pm | Post a Comment

Harking back to hip-hop's once prevalent era of political/conscious rap - a time hip-hop and activism went hand in hand - is Senegalese rapper, singer, and activist Sister Fa who in 2005 won the first ever Senegalese Hip-Hop award and who uses her music as a tool to spread her message. {Note many US music fans first heard her work in the recent Rough Guide To Senegal compilation}  A childhood victim of the cultural practice of female genital cutting (FGC) she set up the grassroots campaign Education Sans Excision that's fighting to get communities move away from female genital cutting - that takes place in parts of Africa and elsewhere in which girls’ external genitals are removed either completely or partially. She also uses her hip-hop music to spread the good word. So engaging was Sister Fa's story that others took notice including some indie filmmakers she crossed paths with. The result was the activist artist became the subject of the critically acclaimed 201 documentary Sarabah that was made by Maria Luisa Gambale, Steve Lawrence and Gloria Bremer, produced by Link TV and Yerosha Productions. Filmmaker Maria Luisa Gambale recalled the chance meeting with Sister Fa - now six years ago - that would blossom into an ongoing collaborative work in fighting for human rights through music and film. "Steve [Lawrence] and I met her in the Fall of 2009 at the United Nations," she said adding that, "The second we met her we knew it was a big project."  Now four years old the film is still in demand and both its makers and subject are still touring with a US screening of the documentary taking place last Friday in New York City for the United Nation's International Day against genital cutting. Last week's screening, which took place at the Tribeca Screening Room, was hosted by the NGO Orchid Project. Earlier that same day I caught up via telephone with the artist to talk about the film, her hip-hop, and her activist work.


Sarabah trailer
 
"We show the movie in places and are keeping the project going showing it in different communities in Guinea, Gambia, and Senegal. We usually show the movie and show artists how they can be using their art to promote human rights and I can see that the impact [of the film] is still going on and I can see that it is really positive," said the Senegal artist/activist born Fatou Diatta noting how the documentary has become a very central part of her activist work over the past few years. As for why the practice of female genital cutting (FGC) even exists she replied,  "Each community will tell you different reasons" - from religious to cultural and that it is so ingrained in communities that it is" referring to FGC as, "like a social norm. It is like they are cutting hair." The stigma attached to communities where cutting is practiced runs deep, she said. "If I am living in that community then  my child has to be cut. If she is not she will be outcast. No one will like her. She will be treated worse than as an animal in her own community because they will say that she is 'dirty' and that she is 'impure' and she will bring bad luck to the family of the man who will marry her."

Continue reading...

40th Anniversay ("La Grande Edition") of Jethro Tull's 1975 Album "Minstrel in the Gallery"

Posted by Billyjam, February 11, 2015 06:47am | Post a Comment
Fans of eclectic British rock band Jethro Tull will be pleased to know that the group's classic 1975 album Minstrel In The Gallery will be soon reissued this year (its 40th anniversary) by Parlophone as a limited edition 2CD/2DVD set with lots of additional rare and unreleased material that will include new mixes by Steven Wilson plus some rare 1975 live video footage. Note that the album was reissued back in 2002 with five bonus tracks that are all included here - but with even additional newly uncovered material and all (evidently) in improved audio quality.  Originally released in September 1975 - when the folk/rock, jazz, and blues fused unqiue Jethro Tull's lineup was still main man Ian Anderson, along with Martin Barre, John Evan, Barrie Barlow and Jeffrey Hammond - Minstrel In The Gallery was the group's, who first formed in 1967, eight studio album. Minstrel, which production wise was similar to their popular '72 album Thick As a Brick,  would earn Tull their sixth gold record.

For the reissue of Minstrel In The Gallery (to be subtitled 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition) Parlaphone are going all out and offering both CD and vinyl (180-gram vinyl as a limited edition pressing) sets with a multitude of highlights. Packaged in a case-bound DVD book will be an 80-page Tull/Minstrel booklet featuring an extensive history of the album, track-by-track annotations by Ian Anderson, as well as behind the scenes recollections by various others, plus lyrics, tour itinerary, and rare tour and studio photographs. Then in addition to the original seven track album will be seven bonus tracks (six previously unreleased), two mixed to 5.1 surround, and all to stereo by Steven Wilson, flat transfers of the original LP mix at 96/24 as well as flat transfer of the original quad mix of the LP. "Summerday Sands" (the B-side to the title track single from '75 that was also included in the aforementioned 2002 reissue of the album) is also included here, along with several studio outtakes and an alternate session material done for a BBC broadcast. The DVD, which will be presented in DTS & DD 5.1 surround mixes, will include an eight-minute film of the band performing "Minstrel In The Gallery" at the Olympia in Paris on July 5th 1975. The latest Tull album to get the 40th anniversary reissue treatment by Parlaphone in recent years, the Minstrel 40th anniversary reissue will be arrive in Amoeba in early May 2015. Below is the actual tracklisting of the forthcoming release.

Continue reading...

Bridging The Gap Between Artist And Consumer of Art

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2015 01:56pm | Post a Comment

Proof that the SF IndieFest, (aka San Francisco Independent Film Festival) that steadfastly began seventeen years ago as a small but focused alternative  film festival with a mission statement of presenting "strong, innovative, challenging yet entertaining cinema," has steadily grown and blossomed into a full-scale, internationally recognized and locally beloved annual cinema event was evident on Thursday evening's packed opening event in San Francisco's Mission District. There at the Brava Theatre on 24th (beautiful theater space that was formerly home to the York Theater) the full house clearly enjoyed the entire evening including screening of the fun David Cross written and directed feature film Hits (followed by his meet and greet) and the concert that followed with musical performances including from Leonard Cohen acapella tribute ensemble Conspiracy Of Beards (pictured above). The David Cross film is just one of 40+ diverse engaging films that will play at SF IndieFest between now and the festival's closing on February 19th when screenings will take place at Brava, the Roxie on 16th, and Humanist Hall across the Bay in Oakland.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: RIP Dot-A-Rock & The Jacka, Flip with Phat Kat & Elzhi, DJ Rob A with Masta Ace + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2015 11:34am | Post a Comment
Tragic news for Bay Area rap fans this week when they learned that popular longtime Bay Area rapper Dominic "The Jacka" Newton was shot and killed in East Oakland on Monday night (Feb 2nd) - the result of a bullet wound to the head. 

According to reports the 37 year old, Oakland based, Pittsburg, CA born hip-hop artist died doing what he loved most: rapping and freestyling with a group of seven hip-hop friends of his sitting in a van - The Jacka was standing outside beside the van when the shooting took  place. A very prolific artist, who has released numerous solo projects and collaborative projects (he's worked with everyone), The Jacka was a constant best-seller at the two Bay Area Amoeba Music stores including such releases as his 2009 Freeway collaboration Highway Robbery and his 2009 album Tear Gas which remains his best selling album to date (the video for the Traxamillion produced album track "Glamorous Lifestyle" appears below).

  
  
Andre Nickatina (featured in the above "Glamorous Lifestyle") was just one of countless fellow Bay Area artists that The Jacka collaborated with over the years. Others  include Berner, E-40, Guce, Keak da Sneak, and Friscasso The Jeweler (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) while on a national level he's worked with such artists as NYC emcee Cormega, Southern rapper Paul Wall, and Philly rapper Freeway. (Highway Robbery cover right). Ever since the news broke on Tuesday of The Jacka's shooting murder many online commenters have cynically suggested that being a gangsta rapper that he had he had it coming to him (IE: live by the sword die by the sword). However the truth is that while he rapped about the street "lifestyle" and all that went with it - he did so in a non glamorizing way - but in a real observant way.  Those who knew him all describe him a good person and an artist first and foremost. And what a prolific one too!

Continue reading...

Dilla Weekend Kicks Off In Miami

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2015 07:10pm | Post a Comment
After years of celebrating the legacy of Detroit's favorite son - the late great, revered hip-hop producer J Dilla - in his hometown of Detroit with the annual Dilla Day, this year Dilla's mom Ma Dukes moves the official main celebration of her beloved son way south of the cold February Motor City to sunny and warm Miami, Florida for not one day but an extended weekend of concerts, parties, and celebrations of her son who died nine years ago on February 10th, 2006. For this year's blockbuster event, that kicks off today (Feb 5th) and runs through Sunday (Feb 8th), there is an amazing line up of artists performing in Dilla's honor.

This impressive lineup includes his old crew Slum Village, kindred producer spirits/friends Madlib and Pete RockMobb Deep, acclaimed new artist Joey Bada$$, Talib Kweli, Tony Touch, Black Milk, ESTA, and Camp Lo. These and many still TBA guests will appear at concerts, BBQs, producer panels, and artist meet and greets.

These events will be held at various venues around the Midtown/Wynwood area of Miami including at The Stage, Bardot, and LMNT. For more information and tickets, both all weekend passes and individual shows (Note: some already sold out), go to JDillaWeekend website that includes all the info on such shows as tonight's opening concert party with Madlib, Kumi, Mr Brown, and DZ at Bardot. Also note that this is the main Dilla event but that there will be many others held over the coming days all over the place including over in the UK. Meantime below are a couple of videos of some classic Dilla tracks. Oh and if you don't already have it in your collection - pick up the recently released Dilla 10" LP Beat Batch series.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  >>  NEXT