This weekend Talent Africa and Navcorp present the Hip Hop Special taking place at Club Play on Saturday, February 17th. The event will feature special guest artist’s M1 of the legendary American rap group Dead Prez alongside Auxi (consisting of Rabba, James Wade and Voodoo Town from the USA).
They will perform alongside Uganda’s very own leading hip hop artist Navio. Dead Prez and Auxi jet in Uganda on Tuesday to do some youth empowerment & community based work with under-privileged children, work on a collaboration projects with Ugandan artists and visit some key tourist sites. Then all road lead to Club Play on Saturday night where entrance will only be UGX 20,000.
About Dead Prez
The Florida-based political rap duo Dead Prez consists of Stic.man and M-1, a pair of rappers inspired by revolutionaries from Malcolm X to Public Enemy. They immersed themselves in political and social studies as they forged their own style of hip-hop.
This politically conscious US hip-hop duo comprises M-1 (Lavon Alfred, 1973, Jamaica, West Indies) and Stic.man (b. Clayton Gavin, 1975, Shadeville, Florida, USA), who met in 1990 while both were attending Florida A&M University. Dead Prez differs from many politicized rap groups in that they came to activism first and music second. Alfred, who has since adopted the African name Mutulu Olugbala, grew up in Brooklyn’s Albany housing projects. Expelled from Erasmus Hall high school for delinquent behaviour, he temporarily relocated to North Carolina to complete his diploma but afterwards returned to New York where he supported himself by selling crack cocaine.
He eventually applied to university, was accepted and met Gavin. A year later, his mother was apprehended on a drug-possession charge. Gavin had witnessed the effects of the crack epidemic on his own family growing up in Florida and the arrest strengthened the political convictions of both, inspiring them to become involved with Tallahassee’s Black Survival Movement. Their activism eventually brought them to New York, where they were discovered by Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian in 1995 at a block party in Brooklyn. By the following year Jamar had brokered them a recording contract with Steve Rifkind’s Loud Records.
Conceiving of music less as a craft and more as a platform for challenging racism and economic oppression, the duo garnered considerable attention with an appearance on Loud’s Set Up tape, Food, Clothes, And Shelter and a 12-inch single, ‘Police State’. The latter defined a sound not unlike a radicalized Mobb Deep, laying an ominous rhythm track underneath materialist analyses worthy of Pathfinder Press (although the resulting mood was so bleak it was more likely to inspire suicide than revolution.) Alfred and Gavin spent the next few years mastering the recording process and in 2000 released their debut full-length, Let’s Get Free, to almost universal acclaim.
Much of the praise came on the strength of ‘It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop’, which welded their common sense critiques of capitalist society to a southern jeep-beat better outfitted to deliver them to the masses. Tracks such as ‘Mind Sex’ and ‘Be Healthy’ found them expanding their philosophical as well as their sonic repertoire, employing Latin guitar and spoken word interludes to promote an alternative lifestyle à la the Native Tongues Posse. They even adopted a cautionary, if not counter-revolutionary tone on ‘Animal In Man’, a rap adaptation of George Orwell’s satirical take on the Russian revolution.