Samuel Bazawule is one of out many who’ve embraced the disputed new word “afropolitan” – via Afropolitan Dreams, his third full-length record as Blitz the Ambassador. The term embraces primarily artistic souls from African nations who are determined to set their foot into the remainder of the Cosmopolis, though also keeping a significant portion of the heart in their respective homelands.
After graduating from the renowned Achimota School in Ghana, Bazawule moved to the United States in 2001, just as a mere nineteen-year-old. Naturally, the choice fell on New York: Due to praise from producer Hammer of the Last Two, Bazawule was determined to outlive his childhood dreams of becoming a rapper, in the metropolis where the street-smart, system-critical forebears Public Enemy recorded their classic It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
Keeping close to his afropolitan ideals, however, only half of the musical inspiration for Blitz the Ambassador comes from the American hiphop culture – at least as important for his soundscapes, instrumentation and lyrical themes are the musical expressions which come from Ghana. Great news for any fan of afrobeat and high life, in which case, that the youngest son of genre veteran Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti, has a befitting guest spot on Afropolitan Dreams. And who knows: Maybe one the rapper’s dreams will come true when he’ll be performing tracks from his latest record at this autumn’s festival – infront of bearded parents and their music-loving youngsters.
Text: Kim Klev