Wednesday, May 4, 2011


By Buddha Blaze I Africa NY Image by Stewart Samkange


If you love hip hop, if you love that ‘boom bap’ hip hop then you must love the city of New York. The home of Biggy Smalls, the home of KRS 1, the birthplace of some of the greatest hip hop talents ever heard. From Nas to Jay Z, from Mosdef to Talib Kweli, from Pharaoh Monche to Boot Camp Click, this is their city. The city oozes so much sound you can hear DJ Premier scratches by standing on a quite street of New York. The melting pot, the big apple, the stage, the city that never sleeps – Yes it’s true.

The whole world lives in New York, you’ll meet people of course from every large nation in world and you will also meet people from the smallest nations on the globe. They are all welcome here. There’s nothing in New York that you have ever done or ever seen that hasn’t been seen or done by a New York native. New Yorkers are very particular about their cultural backgrounds and they wear them as vests inside their shirts. Don’t be surprised to hear “I’m Jamaican” or “I’m Nigerian” from many native New Yorkers. So to lay any speculation to rest I rock my favourite t-shirt Jamhuri Wear’s – ‘I Africa NY’

The Metro North Railroad map is a must just so you always know where you are a long with a Metro Card - the train will get you anywhere you want to go. New York is so vast and yellow cabs meters seem too energetic, for most of the time, the train will be your traveling buddy. In a city that doesn’t sleep and most people are on these trains, don’t be surprised when some people start dancing on the train or doing recitals and even a marriage propose. The New York train is an international stage, talents are gotten there and as long as you know where you’re going – you will always be entertainment.


New York never misses a minute, one minute you can be in some grimy neighbourhood the next you maybe sitting in a snazzy hotel overlooking the city. Amidst the angst, the energy and the lights there’s also a special urban calm that can be found if you’re in its boroughs. Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens are very laid back neighborhoods but don’t get it twisted one calm New York minute you can cost you a whole life time’s opportunity. So for me I get on with it because I have a whole list of A class restaurants to eat from, a whole list of clubs to go to, and a whole lot of people that I need to see and speak to.


Follow me as I encounter my favourite city and experience my escapades as I engage in people, the discussions I have and ideas that flow within me. After all New York never sleeps so why should I? The city has poetry so I check out the The Red Umbrella Diaries; where my girl Zawadi; a sex workers activist has been invited to perform. Then we check out the New York Film Festival which is just filled with African talent. I check out hip hop spots such as the Brooklyn Bowl where I meet Talib Kweli and Quest Love. I eat at Madiba in Forte Greene and just kick it uptown in Harlem. Let’s GO!


  1. WOW! now i feel like I've been to New York. this piece is excellent.

  2. jamuhuri t-shirt is dope. like this piece