La Danza Poetica #52 Are You Listening

Diving deeper into the dancehall – mixing the poetry of MC Zulu, Chicago’s most profound dancehall vocalist and electro-reggae producer with conscious beats old and new. Concerned that we listen as we dance, learn as we excite, and have a real conversation with the music, Zulu has been presenting some of his lyrics in spoken word recitations. This month, we are seriously dancing to poetry! Are you listening?

A mix of some beautiful new tracks and a couple of classics – eclectic and electric! From multilingual reggae and dub to jazz and Afrocuban fusion, complicated rhythms and folktronics. From Bristol to Cape Town, to Northern Mali, to Buenos Aires, to Berlin, to Brussels, to Botswana, to Burkinabè, to Ghana, to Toronto, to Cuba, to New York City, all guided by the heart beating loud in Chicago.


Bionik vs MC Zulu - Trouble In The Dancehall
MC Zulu - Trouble in the Dancehall (Spoken Word Version)
King Britt Presents: Sister Gertrude Morgan - New World In My View
Gensu Dean & Wise Intelligent - Amen
MC Zulu - Student Riot (Spoken Word Version)
MC Zulu - Student Riot (Bionik Roots Mix)
Talisman - Racism Never Dub
Foresta feat. Uno July & Crosby - Iindlela Zamandulo
Baba Konate feat. Filly - Djarabi
Lord Echo - Life On Earth feat. Mara TK
Andreattah - Tallest tree
Dactah Chando - AfroCanario
Dat Garcia - El Amor Me Entra en Sonidos
Oku Onuora - A Freedom Song
Thornato - Rhinocerus feat. Gappy Ranks
MC Zulu & Knight Riderz - Om Shanti feat. MC Zulu
MC Zulu - Turn On The Red Light (Spoken Word Version)
Mabiisi - Awine (Jowaa Dub)
Battle of Santiago - Aguanileo
Filastine & Nova - Cleaner
MC Zulu - Crowd Control (Overcast Radio Remix)
MC Zulu - Crowd Control / Keep it Rolling (Spoken Word Version)

Notes on the show

The source: MC Zulu's spoken word versions online at YouTube:

Also! A new EP with Chuck Upbeat, coming fast:

I mentioned some brilliant videos being made in concert with many of these tracks. My favourites:

Definitely, watch Filastine & Nova's Drapetomania short film series. Visceral, provoking and ultimately healing, these short stories are as affecting as the music they're making.

The video for Iindlela Zamandulo is beautifully shot by Thandi Sebe, life and spirit in South Africa.

Dat Garcia's video for El Amor Me Entra En Sonidos, made with Carla Castro, is as curiously sensual as her music.