Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baloji - Beats from Belgium to the Congo

Baloji heard the call that so many artists hear when exploring their roots - it's time to go home. But when you live between 2 worlds, what is home?

Baloji is a Belgian rapper with Congolese roots. He was born in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but it was Liège where he started his career in the early 1990s as an MC in Starflam, a hip hop group from the frenchspeaking southeastern part of Belgium.

After leaving Starflam in 2004, he decided to leave the music business for good. After 25 years without any contact, he received a letter from his mother. As they spoke on the phone she asked him what he had done in all those years. After a lot of reflexion he finally answered: with a biographic album titled Hotel Impala.

That was the kickstart Baloji needed to start his prosperous solo career. From there, he knew he had to revisit his roots in the Congo to record his next project. When asked about working and living between his two countries, Baloji says "I prefer the term "Afropean." ... At the end of the day I guess I'd say I’m a guy who lives between two worlds."

Here is one of his songs of that solo debut. Despite what your native tongue may be, you can feel the raw emotion in Baloji's rhymes.

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