Release Date: Dec 13, 2011
Record label: Crammed Discs
Baloji is a rapper and singer who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but has spent most of his life in Belgium. Now he has decided to return to the country of his birth to record with local musicians, and persuaded some of Kinshasa's finest players to work with him. The result is not so much a showcase for Baloji as a reminder of Congo's magnificent and varied musical history, which Baloji is happy to make use of.
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo but raised in Belgium, Baloji ("Sorcerer") has been a force in French rap over the past decade. Turning 30, he decided to re-engage with his African roots and the mother he hadn't seen for decades. Setting up camp in Kinshasa, he recruited an array of local talents: singers, players and "Congotronics" outfit Konono No 1.
Congolese rapper merges styles to compelling effect on this innovative collection. Martin Longley 2011 Baloji is a Congolese rapper who has lived most of his life in the French-speaking Wallonian part of Belgium. In Swahili, his name means ‘sorcerer’. Such arcane practices were doubtless crucial to the construction of this remarkably multi-layered album.