La Danza Poetica #45 The Rhythm In The Story

This month’s mix opens with One Sixth’s fierce poem ‘Labyrinth’ - in which he calls for compassion, for understanding, and above all, for listening. 

So we listen. 

To Xolisa, Trinidadian-Canadian, Toronto based emcee and producer, from her recent album And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges.
To Akua Naru, hip hop storyteller from Connecticut USA.
To Omar Musa, Malaysian-Australian rapper, poet, and author from his brand new EP Dead Centre. 
To nation builders A Tribe Called Red, the electronic pow wow group from Canada, collaborating with Yasiin Bey, Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy and native drum group Black Bear on a new, uniting, track. Plus, from their latest album, the track Halluci Nation featuring poetry from Santee Dakota activist John Trudell. 
To Canada’s beautiful poet Brandon Wint, from his recent album The Long Walk Home.
To Ghana’s FOKN Bois, who take Hobo Truffles’ instrumental album ‘Ode to Ghana’, using the beats to create new tracks addressing the current state of their homeland.
To Mateo Kingman, a hip hop artist who grew up in the Ecuadorian Amazon, immersed in Shuar culture, from his debut album Respira fusing traditional Latin American sounds with hip-hop, rock, and pop.
To Aja Monet, from New York City, from her 2014 poetry and hip hop soul album Courage. 
To Ganga Mix - Pierre-Yves Prothais, out of France, with a track inspired by a song by Nigerian rapper Zara Moussa. 

Hip hop is the voice as music, poetry as rhythm, storytelling with the drum beats of the heart. In the hands of these artists, hip hop gets closest to the truth.


One Sixth - Labyrinth
Xolisa - There
Xolisa - Tell Us (Interlude)
Akua Naru - The Mine
Xolisa - Crossing (Interlude) (feat. Yafet El Yah)
Xolisa - Gaps to Bridges
Omar Musa - Freedom (feat. Mataya)
A Tribe Called Red - R.E.D. (feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear)
A Tribe Called Red - We Are the Halluci Nation (feat. John Trudell & Northern Voice)
Brandon Wint - Canary
Mono-Massive - Make It Slow
FOKN Bois - Make It Slow (pr Mono-Massive)
Mateo Kingman - Sendero Del Monte (Uji Mix)
Aja Monet - What Are We?
GANGAMix - Bise Arabe

Notes on the show

One Sixth's video poem 'Labyrinth' :


A Tribe Called Red's 'We Are The Halluci Nation' featuring poet John Trudell and Northern Voice. This feels extremely important. :

We are the tribe that they cannot see
We live on an industrial reservation
We are the Halluci Nation
We have been called the Indians
We have been called Native American
We have been called hostile
We have been called Pagan
We have been called militant
We have been called many names
We are the Halluci Nation
We are the human beings
The callers of names cannot see us but we can see them
We are the Halluci Nation
Our DNA is of earth and sky
Our DNA is of past and future
We are the Halluci Nation
We are the evolution, the continuation
The Halluci Nation
We are the Halluci Nation
We are the Halluci Nation


Also from A Tribe Called Red - the image I'm using for this show is a still from the video for 'Stadium Pow Wow'. A very powerful film directed by Kevan Funk. ATCR are endlessly inspiring to me, in their political and educational philosophy. They are the best example, I think, of the power of hip hop and music in general to uplift First Nations people and to educate the rest of us - therefore uplifting us as well. :


And, from Mateo Kingman, this video for 'Lluvia' directed by Pablo Secaira. Evocative, deeply meaningful, and also important. :