Tuesday, July 12, 2011
DJ Shadow has nothing on how excited we are about this collaboration with Afrikan Boy. The trip-hop pioneer teams up with one of Africa's most intriguing and grimiest MCs for this microchip-studded slice of electro-hop goodness. The track begins with ambient noise before morphing into a rave-up that sounds like the baby of John Lee Hooker and Optimus Prime for a barely-controlled howl.
However, Afrikan Boy steals the song. With the hook, "I am an alien living in the ghetto," he does a better job than anyone else I've heard encapsulating the experience of the African MC. Hip-hop is very geographically grounded, and historically depressed areas like Compton, the Bronx, East St. Louis, and the South Side of Chicago have been branded into America's consciousness–partly because of hip-hop–in a way that Africa has not. So Afrikan Boy may have had the exact same experiences as N.W.A, but is still alienated from the largely US-centric hip-hop culture, as well as his own culture that ghettoized him in the first place. Perfectly worded.
This track comes off DJ Shadow's new LP, The Less You Know, The Better, dropping September 5th. Give it a listen below:
DJ Shadow ft Afrikan Boy - I'm Excited by Island Records UK