African Underground Vol. 1 Hip Hop Senegal
Western producers exploring the indigenous sounds of third-world countries is certainly not a new concept. And western producers utilizing (bastardizing?) the indigenous sounds of other countries is even more commonplace. But things get interesting when the feedback loop goes full circle, and producers capture residents of smaller countries performing their own takes on Western born styles. It's hardly a surprise that hip-hop would find it's way to countries such as Senegal. The African nation is a former French colony, and with France being the world's biggest hip-hop market outside of the U.S., it makes sense that those connections would spread. This compilation of Senegal's top hip-hop artists was assembled by Benny Herson after the one-time student wrote his thesis on the Senegalese hip-hop culture, then returned to capture the music he had written about. He recorded over 50 acts, with 11 appearing on this disc's 13 tracks. The artists perform in a variety of languages, with English and French flowing into African tongues. BMG 44 offer the hardest entry, chanting in a local dialect against blazing horn stabs.
Produced by Dan Cantor and Ben Herson