From Brooklyn to Brixton: The Movement
When: Thursday, October 5th
Where: Fridge Night Club, 1 Townhall Parade, Brixton Hill SW2 1R5 • Tube stop: "Brixton"
Contact: 0208 265 1731, www.asiuhuru.org
On Thursday, October 5th, African artists from all over the world will come together at the Fridge Night Club in Brixton – not just to perform – but to make a call for revolution from the front of the multi-billion dollar music industry itself.
Featured acts for the event include M1 of dead prez, London’s own Best Kept Secret, Ghana’s Project Monks, Sierra Leone’s Daddy Muus, Brooklyn’s triggaN.A.M., and Madagascar’s singing sensation, Naima. The show will be hosted by shortMAN. It’s the international launch of the Burning Spear Records (BSR) label.
BSR was created for several reasons – among which are to promote progressive artists without having to worry about economic consequences by large corporations that are only concerned with the dollar sign. When the most promotion is given to he with the most bling, it’s hard to find music that will explain the real reason why most Africans have never even seen a diamond. This is the void that BSR seeks to fill.
“We represent the struggle of the every day African – who ain’t flossin’ - but is getting flossed on – by this system,” said triggaN.A.M. a New York City-based rapper and featured performer of Brooklyn to Brixton “We are not just speaking against our oppression, but we are speaking in support of African unity.”
Today it’s a little known fact that hip hop, reggae and rhythm and blues all started as tools of African resistance – a resistance that trigga says began when the first attack was made on Africa. “We been fightin’ ever since the first African was kidnapped from our homeland. Since the first ounce of gold was stolen. We use the music to communicate that.”
Definitely not a point P. Diddy was making in his latest single. But if you ask BSR, the fact that P. Diddy is one of the only figures associated with African music in the U.S. is the problem in itself. According to Omavi ‘o-train’ Bailey, Executive Director of BSR, “you cannot possibly have a healthy and dynamic culture if the only ones who get to contribute don’t even live in the same community as the people who buy their music.”
BSR believes strongly that if any form of African music is going to develop beyond what we are hearing on the radio, it is going to have to happen independent of a process controlled by those who are not of the African community – and certainly those who are not even African. “The fact is, the labels of reggae, hip hop and rhythm and blues are just as foreign to us as the terms Jamaican, African American or Black British,” says Bailey. “The variations we hear in African music today are but one consequence of the separation of African people from Africa and each other.”
“BSR will promote music with the vision of African freedom and unity that serves to promote the material development for the entire African world as our music is a collective creativity. Our music creates jobs of all kinds for white people as trades/sales men, sound engineers, clothing designers, etc. BSR intends to project a vision of future for young workers who want to make a living with our own African music.”
Simply put, as African people begin to unite, African music is bound to develop into a reflection of that newfound identity - something never heard before. This is what one is bound to experience on the night of October 5th at the Fridge Night Club in Brixton.For more information, call 0208 265 1731 or visit http://asiuhuru.org/asi2006/culture.shtml