Various Urban Africa Club

German label Out Here continues its quest to let the world know what’s happening in Africa’s various urban music scenes with Urban Africa Club, a collection of hip-hop, dancehall and their numerous incarnations sampled from throughout the continent. The levels of outside influences in the styles traditionally called hip-hop and dancehall are varied here, with some artists showing very little difference from their North American counterparts while others combine elements of multiple styles and sounds. Kenyan MC Gidigidimajimaji’s "Atoti pt. 2” lays South Asian-styled chatting peppered with sprinkles of English over a thumping reggaeton rhythm, a beat that also appears in the much sharper "Nikusaidiaje” of Tanzanian Prof Jay, who even delivers a Latin-flavoured flow. The underground hip-hop vibe of Gabonese lyricist Lord Ekomy Ndong’s "Exile” is much more traditional in both sound and arrangement, no doubt influenced by France’s strong hip-hop scene. A chopped and looped acoustic guitar riff and synth flute combo rides over a tight backbeat as guest vocalist Sally Nyolo covers the hook and vocal adlibs. Kenya’s Necessary Noize (whom count Redman as one of their influences) comes with a straight ahead reggae/hip-hop amalgam complete with patois vocals on "So Ruff,” while Toronto mic man K’Naan represents Somalia with the politically-charged "Soobax.” It’s an interesting cross-section of artists and styles that, despite tearing the clubs up in their respective regions, largely go unheard outside of their homelands. (Out Here)