Finding My Africaness Through Afro Beats

Posted: 9th July 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

Willliam Jamal Richardson

That was a short video of a song played this past Saturday when I went to a music show put on by an African music collective. It was actually the first real show I’ve ever been to that frontlined African artists playing African music. Now as many of my friends, allies, and readers know I’m a Pan-Africanist who holds my African values very close to me. That is all the more reason why I was floored by what I felt when I was at that concert. What I felt was not just happiness or enjoyment but a yearning.

Let me explain this more. I grew up on RnB and Hip Hop music and now have a fascination with various kinds of house music, underground hip hop and what I call the “new old school” trend from the UK (The Noisettes, VV Brown, and Shea Soul). Zooming in on house music, what I really love about it is the beats. When I say beats I mean the very visceral emotions and pictures that are painted thought simple beats…no words, no hooks, just the beats. Even when you add in vocals the beat sets the tone, not the words which is in stark contrast to hip hop where the beat’s meaning is molded to the words.

Turn the base up and get a nice pair of speakers or headphones and you can literally get lost in the beats and words of a good house song. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKJfJMMsqX4