Bloomington, Indiana, USA – Senegalese rap crew,
Daara J, is
finally available in the United States as a domestic release. “Born in
Africa, brought up in America, hip hop has come full circle,” proclaims
Daara J on the title track of the group’s American debut album Boomerang (Wrasse Records, October 19, 2004).
Daara J’s Faada Freddy explains that tasso is the original form of rap, ancient
rhythmic poetry passed down from father to son. “Historically, people in
Senegal would use tasso to talk about their environment, their living
conditions, the situation of the country and their hopes for the future.”“Daara J means ‘school of life.’ With every production, we want to give an
education to our listeners,” says group member Aladji Man. In the vein of De
La Soul, Public Enemy, and Blackstar, Boomerang strays from the typically
machismo and materialistic subject matter permeating America’s mainstream rap
scene. Joining the likes of Positive Black Soul and MC Solaar as one of
Senegal’s elite hip hop crews, Daara J uses their words as a positive force.
Proudly earning their name, the trio focuses on the ills of globalism, the
perils of a traditional society, the threatened environment, and on
spirituality. “To the end of our pains we will always build. My generation wants
to come up for air,” say the lyrics of “Esperanza.”
During Senegal’s 2000 presidential election, Daara J was hired to edit speeches
and promote the anti-corruption political campaigns. Successfully bringing new
voters to the polls, they were able to share in the defeat of a corrupt regime.
The same power can be found within the rhymes and rhythms of their first album
to hit American shores. Stirring the senses with raga, jazz, and Cuban and
Caribbean sounds, Boomerang is how hip hop was meant to sound, a canvas
upon which styles of artistic expression create something which has never been
Winners of the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for ‘Best African Act,’ Daara J has
spent months atop the European world music charts. Daara J’s Boomerang proves to
be as universally relevant and appreciated as it is unique to its creators. The
album melts borders with touches of English and Spanish peppered among the
courses of French and Wolof, a prominent native Senegalese tongue, uniting the
international hip hop community.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.