A prominent section of contemporary black music is stereotyped by foul mouthed rappers rhyming about their ghetto-centric deeds, grime artists regaling about some violent exploits, and R&B singers giving us explicit rundowns of sexual their encounters, aided by the obligatory video that uses “video girls” as nothing more than sexual objects.
That it seems is the schema for many African artists seeking fame and fortune. Akoben Awards is an organisation that aims to highlight musicians of African descent offering an alternative – positive, conscious, uplifting music, even if they do not come up as a blip on the mainstream radar.
Black music is, and ought to be more than just using so-called “street language”, self-hate and derogatory words, expletives, and neo-coonism, over head-nodding beats. There are a number of talented artists delivering well produced, conscious songs covering a wide range of human experiences that deserve higher profile and better engagement with parents and consumers seeking something more meaningful than the usual diet of the same-old, same-old vignettes and imagery.
As part of Harrow’s Black History Month 2010, Akoben Awards is convening the African History: Did You Know? CD Rewind & The Conscious Music Mini Discussion on Sunday Oct. 31, 3.30-5pm at Gayton Library at 5 St John’s Road, Harrow On The Hill. It’s a free a forum where parents, mentors, artists, promoters and young people will interact with conscious performers to explore issues around producing, marketing and consuming uplifting music, highlighting deserving artists and local scenes worth supporting, and hear plans for Akoben Awards’ online space and awards scheme.
The evening is rounded off with a freestyle, improvised performance showing how music can be accessible, and yet inform and educate.
The forum will also provide an opportunity to hear some of the tracks from the ‘African History: Did You Know’ edu-tainment CD performed by rap artist Kimba, launched on 27th October during the Education In Britain Through Supplementary Schools And Mentoring event at Harrow Civic Centre.
Akoben Awards is not about censorship, but about providing an alternative to what we usually see and hear. It aims to highlight conscious artists, and signpost consumers to local edu-tainment opportunities. The organisation is conducting a poll to find out the level of interest in its proposal and to uncover deserving artists at: http://bstop.net/limesurvey/index.php?sid=47821〈=en.
For further information, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://bstop.net/microsite.php?id=143&user=Akoben%20Awards.