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CD REVIEW: Various - African Underground, Vol 1 - Hip-Hop Senegal
By Kathy Brackley - 09/18/2004 - 07:46 PM EDT

Artist: Various
Album: African Underground- Vol 1 - Hip-Hop Senegal
CD Review: Founded in 1999, Nomadic Wax brings us this unique hip-hop compilation. Inspired by the underground hip-hop scene in Africa, in 2001 founder Benny Herson headed to Dakar to record the first compilation in the series.

The release features 14 tracks with phat beats, catchy rhythms and emotive vocals. Though most of the lyrics are in the artists' native tongue, Wolof, their phrasing and flow are impeccable.

The artists' passion for the music and lyrics, which are often socially conscious; convey a wide depth of emotion and render language barriers irrelevant. You don't need to be fluent in Wolof to feel the lyrics and music.

One of the things that I really love about this release is that the artists are not trying to emulate a particular sound or artist. They are simply doing their own thing; it's original, fresh and inspirational.

All 14 tracks have a true underground feel to them and are strong both musically and lyrically. This is by far one of the best independent hip-hop releases I've heard this year and I have no doubt that it will serve as inspiration to other hip-hop artists.

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