Words by Erin MacLeod, as determined by Ghislain Poirier and Erin MacLeod—
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Words by Jesse Serwer—
Canadian do-it-all soca/dancehall/hip-hop producer Poirier recently dropped an electric new riddim EP called Kidnap (download it here for free), on which the anthemic “Jokma,” from Haitian-born, Montreal-based MC Mr. OK, is the definite standout. Solange, younger sister of Beyonce, recently visited Cape Town to film a video for her single, “Losing You,” in which he’s flanked by a crew of impeccably dressed and supremely swagged out South African dandies (or “sapeurs“).
Words by Jesse Serwer—
We’d been wondering recently what had become of Mr. OK. The Montréal-based Haitian MC’s 2010 EP Ma Mwen had us thinking he could be the guy to bring kreyòl rap to the non-kreyòl speaking world’s attention but sometime after we interviewed him in this space that year he dropped off our collective radar screen. Well, our curiosity has been salved in the form of “Wa Wont,” a prelude to OK’s upcoming sophomore EP with producer Freeworm (his primary collaborator on Ma Mwen). Turns out “Wa Wont,” a big anthem over the beat from Childish Gambino’s “Bonfire,” is actually the latest of several leaks posted on the Masalacism blog leading up to the new EP’s release, with each available as a free download for a limited time. Stream “Wa Wont” below, and download it here for the price of your e-mail address.
Words by Jesse Serwer, via MTV
Haitian-American hip-hop producer Sha Money XL discussed his ongoing involvement with relief efforts in Haiti with MTV this week, on the one-year anniversary of the tragic Jan. 12 earthquake. The Def Jam senior VP of A&R (and former G-Unit Records president) said he plans to produce and release a Kreyol hip-hop compilation EP featuring Seca Konsa (See his “Kwe Li” below) and other artists, with all proceeds going to Haiti. No word on which other artists will be featured on the EP, but might we suggest Montreal-via-Port-au-Prince’s Mr. OK (Who we told you about here)? Betweeen Sha Money’s announcement and OK’s rising profile, it’s looking like this could be the year when Kreyol hip-hop gains the attention of non-native speakers in a big way.
Words by Erin MacLeod, as determined by Erin MacLeod and Ghislain Poirier.
The Toppa Top 10s on LARGE UP thus far have been wide ranging—pan-Caribbean, even—but there’s been one thing missing: songs en français. While it’s not often that countries are grouped as “anglophone,” there’s a definite “francophone” connection, from Montreal to Port au Prince to Dakar, Paris, Abidjan and beyond (and then back again).
Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
One of the (tiny) upsides to the earthquake in Haiti early this year has been an increased awareness of Haitian art and culture and doubly so in the Francophone world. It makes sense then, that when they decided to launch their own label, the DJs and bloggers behind the Poirier-affiliated Masalacism radio show and website went with Mr. OK, a kreyol rapper recently transplanted from Port-au-Prince to their native Montreal. Largeup got an exclusive interview with Mr. OK who linked with his producer and collaborator Freeworm at a Masala Sono fundraiser for the quake. The EP drops digitally June 8 but you can check a preview (and more interview with Guillaume Decouflet about the label’s vision) over at Ghetto Palms.