Hip hop adventures-My time with ‘Bring the Noise’

My time with ‘Bring the Noise’ 

He says I’m black, she says I’m white

Who do you think you are

They say I’m mixed race

But the only race I know, is the human kind

Before you tell me who I am

I’ll tell you myself,

I’m an African

Born in England with a twist of Jamaican

So you can hate me all you want

I don’t care NO! NO!

Ny’s favourite verse from ‘Bring the Noise’ I hate you song 

I am enslaved to MTV, fashion and jeans

but enslaved by my skin because of my genes

Sometimes I feel enslaved by the African dangerous bush

Other times, enslaved by the politics of a dangerous Bush

MI on slaves 

They place the blacks against the white

The North against the South

Mohammed against the Christ

So, while we fight, they steal our rights

Kunta Ali the incarnation of the freedom fighters

The incarnated combination of the true brothers

Kunta Ali from Mental Slaves 

All this song lyrics are from ‘Bring the Noise’ a group that graced the stage at last months’ WAPI (Words and Pictures) event at the British Council.

I had an absolutely great time during the interview (after their performance) at the FairView Hotel where they were staying and I learnt a lot from each of their experiences as well as the discussions we had on music, politics and the spoken word.

A very inspirational group that is passionate about hip-hop and Africa. 

I have been a hip hop journalist and always will be (though I’m doing other things now) but these guys pleasantly shocked me with the way they combined Hip-hop and African instruments to give hip-hop such a uniquely mystique feel.

I especially loved ‘I hate you’ coz of its expressive nature plus the fact that the theme is universal. Most WAPI attendees i spoke to however liked ‘Chicken Run’, i guess because it was humuorous and creative.

Ny whose real name is Nyomi Gray lives in London and believes her race is misunderstood. She believes she is an African (her dad is a European who lives as a Rasta in Ethiopia). Ny started singing when she was 15 and once walked out of a deal with London-based production company ‘Poly Dorm’ who she claims tried to brand her the UK Ashanti. She is currently working on her album to be released late this year or in Jan 2009. 

Kunta Ali -real name is Bali Armstrong  lives in Cameroon and recently graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Yaunde. MI describes Kunta as an artist who is very ‘militant’ about his African ways.

MI whose real name is Jude Aboga lives in Nigeria as a musician and producer and also hosts WAPI in Lagos. 

During the photo shoot after the interview, each of them taught me a bit about pausing. NY showed me how to pause as a fashionista, Kunta showed me how to interlock my fingers the Yaoundé Hip-Hop way (my fingers almost went numb) and MI showed me how to pause without smiling. 

I cannot quite get into more details about why i had a ‘blast’ enough for me to write home about-but i guess just getting to know them as friends over just being there as a journalist is what made all the difference.

The group is part of a 13 member group selected form various African countries for training and a seven month tour. Bring the Noise has toured African countries under the sponsorship of the British Council.

The three were the only ones who were willing to come to Kenya at a time when the political stability was still questionable. 

Hip-hop is an explosion in the dark-MI      

2 Responses to “Hip hop adventures-My time with ‘Bring the Noise’”

  1. eudiahkamonjo Says:

    Sometimes as a journalist, every interview is a learning experience, especially when you really dont follow the questions you have set.
    Let it flow, get to know the interviewee, make her/him feel comfortable and great talking to you


  2. perminus Says:

    passion is somethin that is truly evident when u hear MI,Kunta and Ny talk.
    deep understanding and appreciation of the african politics is something else that makes Bring the noise unique.to get a glimpse of their creativity,listen to chicken run,wriiten by MI


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