feature: revolutionary hip-hop from burkina faso! check out art melody’s latest ‘wogdog blues.’ #soundcheck

March 18, 2014

Art Melody’s home city of Ouagadougou looms large on the gruff-voiced MC’s 3rd LP. Wogdog Blues (Ouagadougou Blues) focuses its sights squarely on the class warfare of Burkina Faso’s capital city. The city, whose name ironically means “where people get honor and respect,” is host to strict class divisions. The majority poor, those outside the Waga 2000 rich quarter, struggle, still holding to the Marxist ideals of revolutionary Burkina Faso leader Thomas Sankara.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Sankara’s Pan-Africanism influences the album opener “Farafina” (a Djula word meaning “land of the black skin”). Blending Arabic singing with early 90’s boom-bap, Art Melody’s aggressive French rap highlights the clash of culture and history that forms the backbone of the region’s quasi-post-Colonial era. Both the production, and Art Melody’s flow are reminiscent of RZA at his Wu Tang best. The album constantly draws parallels between New York and Burkina Faso. “Thomas Sankara said to mobilize the masses / From Brooklyn to Burkina Faso police watch us” High Priest of Antipop Consortium invokes the assassinated leader on one of the album’s stellar guest spots in “Futur.” Fishbone’s Dirty Walt pops up on “Kiibdo,” his own rasp providing a perfect match for Art Melody’s.

The record is currently streaming on Bandcamp, and is also available on vinyl. Hell yes.