SHADOW ZU and its future legacy will be no hazard nor luck. We remember Hip Hop as the one real entity that used to be focus on displaying the true suffering of people in the ghettos and the bidonvilles. We remember hip hop as the crying out, cold telling of the black man's suffering. Hip hop was indeed not a style nor a culture but a way to express deep feelings about one's life and struggle as well as ones aspirations for a promising future.
Shadow Zu, ever changing network of African MCs was originally founded in 1996 in a sleepy suburb of Dakar, capital of Senegal, this peculiar nation on the Western tip of Africa. Yoff Cimetierre, by the cemetery, was where a duo first heard of the Wu Tang Clan, a tape borrowed from a friend, and with the big wave of hip hop taking over the city at the time it was not long before they started playing with the rhyme thing. Dakar was a fun place to be at the time, Snoop,Onyx, Wu Tang Dr Dre, Fugees...
Hip hop was all over the city, and each area was bursting with young hip hop acts, trying to make their way to the top of an already crowded hip hop scene. In the same way, Aboubakar Siddiq and VelociRashtor came up with their own group, first called GunJacks ?@#@$, yeah too much gun lyrics on a teenager mind...which turned into Shadow Zu, inspired both by Mr Bison's organisation Shadow Loo in Street Fighter II and the Brooklyn Zu from ODB. No major tracks were recorded, at the time, the way things were done for underground and struggling rap acts was to get a tape of side B instrumentals from American hip hop singles and then flow on'em, but with your own flavor.
The rap scene in DK is unique because it is heavily influenced by the East Coast brand of hip hop, mixed with Wolof lyrics, to us, it stands up to any English production. It just the way the Wolof grammar is built, even a cappella, it sounds tight. We got a few tapes, practiced a lot a songs, tried to make some beats on a Casio keyboard, and that was just a part time hobby, like any regular teenager in DK, the main focus was the DREAM at the time, the dream of any teenager in Africa, LEAVE... go to ENGLAND, FRANCE, or better yet, the US!!! It seemed so cool, from the videos and the movies we'd watch. Or fortunate friends coming back from summer vacations with the latest videos, the latest shoes and design gear. Hip Hop lived in DK and DK lived hip hop. So the objective was to graduate from high school and leave and due to a lucky (???) turn of event in Aboubakar's life, he got to leave for California, while Rash stayed on...
In Bakersfield Boobah Siddik lnked with D Roc, who needed somebody to drop a verse in French on one of his songs "Sexy Lady", from there D Roc believed in me, and we recorded two tracks, my first two ever recorded in a studio, in 2000, i was Dragon Ivre, later switched to Sixlames and then Boobah Siddik. 2000 was also the year when Lord Cheik joined me, and from there we took on Shadow ZU back, until we met Sandstorm through the "Innernet", and we clicked...and you had Shadow Zu, with Aboubakar Siddik, Lord Cheik, SandStorm, D Roc as the executive producer, and the rest is not yet history, as we started Influenza:
We will never stop til we penetrate your Heart and Brain, and so it will go. Bringing you Inflowenza In Fluency, the Grand Band, the latest project involving the Shadow Zu. Composed of 9 talented musicians (Degreez) and visionaries, the goal is simple: to make Music for your Soul, Music for your Conscience, Music with Influence. We believe Music is therapy, Music heals and Music is the one international ambassador that travels without a visa or a passport, as each one of us come from very different cultural backgrounds. Through Music we are able to talk to each other, and more importantly, listen to each other, and we aim to bring you within the fold of our Inflowence. Some in our band call it the Groove, others call it the Inflowence, but we all like to keep it tight and musically fluent, so we can bring it to you in its most explosive and influential format. You are part of the music, because this is an exchange, and we like our crowds to actively participate in our shows. So keep and open ear, and let the flow enter, and soon you will know why the Evolution of our Revolution occurs within the Circumference of our Spheres of Influenc
Shadow Zu is represented on both the East and the West Coast of the US.
90s Hip Hop, African Hip Hop, Dancehall, Reggae, Roots. To be more specific, Onyx, Wu Tang, EPMD, Smiff n Wessum, Cobra, Bounty Killah, Big Youth, U Roy, Lone Ranger, Daara J, Senegalese Hip Hop, Baaba Mal, Franco.
CONSCIOUS HIP-HOP AND THE RADIOS
CLEAR CHANNEL AND ITS PROSTITUTES
Conscious Hip Hop is making them shiver and they are fighting hard to suppress it in order not to let it bloom like the DC cherry blossom They will fail. Yeah, the same damn redundancy is still assaulting the hip-hop world. Yeah, the same ill advise kindof hip hop is still being forced upon you and your family through the many radio stations. These radio stations entities have mutated to become proud professional prostitutes and Clear Channel is determined to make the airwaves a major mental pimping ground. Unfortunately, the victims have allowed themselves to transform into oppressors while the oppressors have traded the whip for the suits and ties.
Hip Hop is in a dangerous corner where a few sharks with a monetary agenda are busy eating all the food. Mass medias (radios, TVs, magazines and the likes) are none but cartoon characters at the service of the not so almighty dollar. Yes, they are contributing, assisting, giving logistical support (like terrorists) to these nasty corporations with no concern for the future of our communities. They encourage artists to teach our kids how to stunt, Shadow Zu teach how to have respect and give respect. In case that you just snapped out of a dream, let me inform you that shadow zu mission is no Sigmund Freud psychanalistic dream. This for real and we remain unimpressed by the brouhaha on the airwaves. Its just a lot of noise with no tangible substance. Yeah yeah, same old story, who shot who, who fucked who, who is more gangsta. We wouldnt want to compete in none of these areas cause it is really pointless.
Being from the motherland, we could enlighten you with many real life stories that involve events so dark that will make the hip hop most notorious gangsta seem as if he was a pussy. But we do not need to go there, a bigger purpose lies ahead. We are not gangstazzz and will feel offended if thought as such. A new but old philosophy is what we are bringing. Where did the hip hop creativity go when a song is
played 20 times in a day at the same Clear Channel prostitute landmark? How many dead Prez songs have u heard on da radios? How many Talib Kweli, or Boku songs, or better yet, how many Shadow Zu tracks on the
airwaves??? Probably not many on these local radios, too scared to talk the truth. We definitely are not 3-years old but even a brain damaged 2 years old would notice that this shit is rotten from the ground up.
Yesterday Chuck D was a rapper that all was proud off, Today hip-hop have become the shame of the revolution of the minds. Emancipation has ceded its place to self-destruction and I will refer you to that SELF DESTRUCTION SONG with KRS ONE, D NICE, WISE & DADDY O, MC LYTE, KOOL MOE D and others. Dig in ya hip-hop archives! If we are really trying to talk about hip-hop we can go there. All we know is that the trend is today alarming. Aint no other alternative but to wake up, aint no Hip Hop with no conscience therefore it is about time to take a stand and represent for what is right rather than acting like sheeps when we truly are mad lions.
We no longer are going to sugar coat this message that Shadow Zu is trying to convey to the people. We are not going to sit back and watch our kids grow in this damn insanity. Take it for what it is worth.
We out ...