KGM Crew bring on the Bongo Flava to Europe

Belgium – KGM Crew, a young Hiphop trio from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, are going to be giving Europe a taste of “Bongo Flava” (Tanzanian Hiphop) this April, when they perform in some of the major cities of Northern Europe during their first tour.

Formed in 2000 by Enoch Fredy aka Man Noks, Christopher Mwamnyange aka Man Kill and Said Abdallah aka Sultan, KGM Crew’s lyrics’ dropping and stage presence caught the attention of the jury at the 5th InterRegional Music Crossroads Southern Africa Festival in 2004 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Music Crossroads Southern Africa is a unique youth empowerment through music initiative of JMI (Jeunesses Musicales International) based on a series of workshops, festivals and competitions for budding young African musicians in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Music Crossroads offers
musical training, development and experience to young musicians combined with the opportunity to develop individual self-esteem, self-expression and social networking.

The three members of the KGM Crew come from a tough neighborhood in Dar es Salaam (Kigogo, Mburahati ) that they refer to as “Uswahilini” or "ghetto". These young Hiphoppers met during a neighborhood street rapping battle in 1998 and have been rapping together ever since.

Influenced by international rap artists such as ‘Lost Boyz’, ‘KRS1’ and ‘Nas Escobar’, the KGM Crew perform a typical Tanzanian rap called ‘Bongo Flava’. Although relatively unknown in the rest of the world, Bongo Flava is the best selling popular music in East Africa today. This US Hiphop influenced style developed in the 80’s-90’s in Dar es Salaam to become a distinctive music genre that incorporates local melodies, beats and topics. Usually sung in Swahili (combined with English), Bongo Flava freely mixes different music styles (rap, R&B, reggae, taraab, salsa…), both contemporary and traditional. The name Bongo Flava comes from the Swahili word for brains or intelligence, “ubongo”, which is also the nickname of Dar es Salaam. Lyrics often aim to educate audiences on
subjects such as AIDS, poverty, social behavior and personal experiences.

KGM Crew European Tour
April 2005

03.04 Brussels (Belgium)

04.04 Brussels (Belgium)

06.04 Frankfurt (Germany)

07.04 Amsterdam (Netherlands)

08.04 Amsterdam (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium)

09. 04 Brussels (Belgium)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and 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.