Kenyan hip hop and Afrofuturism

Kenyan hip hop and Afrofuturism

class=img_thumbleft>I found the above image while searching for pictures of

Jomo Kenyatta

(pictured), the first Prime Minister of Kenya. It's a 2003 mixed media work titled "Space," by Kenyatta, age 4. The picture somehow captures the themes of both

Kenyatta Day



, which happen to coincide Saturday in Minneapolis. While Kenyatta Day offers a glimpse of Africa's future in hip hop and cinema (see below), the local




, and




at the

Soap Factory


St. Anthony Main

) peer forward into the future of the African Diaspora, and use the sci-fi imagination to satirize the past. (The

whole thing

winds up

this weekend

.) I wish there were more work up by co-curator

Ernest Arthur Bryant III

(scroll down), whose




to defacto Afrofuturist

MF Doom


rap music



), but there's great stuff here, and Saturday features an interactive day of art and activities for families, sponsored by KMOJ-FM (89.9) and

Insight News

, including "relevance trees" and "future wheels" (mapping out the sequence of events required to get from where you are to where you want to be) between noon and 5:00 p.m., as well as a public dialogue led by former

Electric Skin

editor and art



Cinque Hicks

: "After Afrofuturism" (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).

Kenyatta Day in Minneapolis

class=img_thumbleft>The same evening,

Kenyatta Day

features the local premiere of

Hip Hop Colony

, a documentary about Kenyan hip hop, screening at 7:30 p.m. sharp at the

Upfront Event Center

in Brooklyn Center (5801 John Martin Drive Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430; 763.561.7100; directions


). San Francisco based Kenyan director

Mike Wanguhu

(pictured) will be on hand to discuss the film after. The event is preceded by a day of political discussion about


and the legacy of

Jomo Kenyatta

, along with catered food, all at the Upfront Center beginning at 2:00 p.m. (Entire program at the Upfront is $20.00; advance tickets are encouraged so the caterers can cook enough food.) Then the film is followed by a night of music at the

Blue Nile Bar and Restaurant

, beginning at 10:00 p.m., with

Samba Mapangala

(check out


CDs) of

Orchestra Virunga

(famous for the songs "

Vunja Mifupa

," "


," and "


") upstairs and

DJ Top Donn

(Donald Owino), a Kenyan deejay based in Chicago downstairs. ($15.00 advance/$20.00 at the door). For out-of-towners arriving early, the

Blue Nile

also presents a reception party Friday night featuring the Marimba Africa Band and Zilizopendwa upstairs, and DJ Top Donn downstairs ($10.00 at the door). Visit

for updates and more information.

More on Kenyan hip hop


City Pages article

of local East African rapper Mo-Man, my 2004


(scroll down) of

The Rough Guide to African Rap


, some

music samples

from the great Kenyan hip-hop group

Gidi Gidi Maji Maji





, and


), who are featured on last year's essential

The Rough Guide to the Music of Kenya

(read Christgau's


). For more going on this weekend...

Complicated Fun at Culture to GoRap battle at Digital City Music


Juana Molina: When I go deaf

(see her Saturday),

Rob likes 'North Country'; Charlize Theron talks

(opens today, discussion Saturday),

The Last Block Party of 2005?

(this Saturday, though the weather's sucking),

"Do They Know It's Halloween?"


First Avenue Loosens Dress Code


Minnesota Sur Seine

(ends this weekend),

"A four-hour documentary on Nazis"

(continues this weekend),

Go look at Mars

(posted below),

3rd Annual Anti-Columbus Day Celebration

(this sold out),

9:30 Club: The First Avenue of D.C

(should screen again).

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