African music and fashion is booming, but who’s to benefit?

There’s no denying in the fact that we love Solange. Since this young Dj and soul singer went natural and started wearing more Afro centric clothing, people can’t take their eyes of her. It even seems as if since she started wearing Boxing Kitten more often, African prints have become her trademark. This trademark has come even stronger since she last dropped her video Losing You which was recorded in South Africa. Which led her to grace the cover of South African Elle magazine cover. Then there’s Rick Ross, America’s noted bearded rapper who has flows that can make people tap into a trance. He recently dropped the alternate version of his single Hold Me Back, which was recorded in Nigeria. Afro-Americans are making suspicious moves to our continent, which makes me wonder what’s all this for?

There is no denying in the fact that African music is taking more steps into the global scene. Akon keeps signing African artists to his label Konvict Music. And Kanye West made a surprising business move by signing D’banj and Don Jazzy to his G.O.O.D team. And not to forget, African  fashion is also capturing the globe. Louis Vuitton launched this year’s Spring collection fully inspired by the Kenyan Shuka.  Also, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys wore African in the video of their single Put it in a love song, which was never released. In general, more and more artists are spotted wearing African. It is a great thing, because all is contributing to a more positive image of Africa. But my question is: Who receives the benefit? Africa has already suffered greatly at the expenses of the West. Now the West is copying bits of our fashion, music and culture to create their own. Isn’t the money, which can feed Africa, going to the West, again?

There are a couple of facts about these suspicious moves.

  • Akon is an American artist, but is an African also. His objective is to build a better platform for African artists. Mostly male artists. The word on the street is, is that he looks down on women and thinks that women should be taught manners. Anyway, he is not doing a bad job at it.
  • Solange hasn’t made a specific move for the benefit of Africa specifically. Her wardrobe and latest video plainly show a liking she has for our culture.
  • Artists like D’banj and Don Jazzy stay true to their African music. Luckily there is no crazy switch in the way their music sounds. A deal with a bigger record label, offers them better distribution. It’s plain and simple: it’s a benefit.
  • Only a few African brands which are worn by celebrities receive proper recognition. Think of it, when J.Lo wears a Versace dress, the name Versace pops op on each magazine and blog. That doesn’t happen with African brands. It is time for a change.

    Music producer Don Jazzy with Kanye West and Jay-z

There are pro’s and con’s to this movement. What do you think about all this?

While you think about it, watch Rock Ross’ and Solange’s video shot in Africa.

 

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  1. outlet December 18, 2012 Reply

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