One of the young singers who appeared at the Festival au Desert last weekend is the young Peul artist Amkoullel. His set was a blend of smooth hip hop and rap. This is the new african music. A US tour is in the planning for April 2011 and should be a lot of fun for anyone who can check him out.
He blends hip hop, rapping in French, Peul and Bambara with a sound palate based in traditional instruments that are souped up to modern cadence and electricity! At his press conference he graciously answered many questions about his music and its importance to the ongoing development of music in contemporary West Africa. I think it is a crossover potential with out a doubt. His style and grace on the stage make him a natural.
I've got some video/sound clips but cannot get them to you due to technical difficulties in the Malian network. I'll be back!