One of the freshest artists to come out of hip hop in the last ten years is Toronto bred MC/poet Ian Kamau. It may be a forgotten fact but those who know the roots of this movement know that hip hop started out as a community and was all about each one - teach one. The foundation of hip hop established by the early greats such as Cool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Zulu Nation was based on a notion that the movement was for the benefit of the people other than the rappers themselves. This is one thing you notice about Kamau in all his music is that he is about the community. His music is powerful; it’s evident that Kamau is a scholar and a great conversationist who listens to the voice within.
His Trini parents named him Kamau a Kenyan Kikuyu name meaning ‘Silent Warrior’; perfect name for a poet MC that listens a lot. He has opened shows for K'Naan, K-OS, Saul Williams, The Roots, Michael Franti, Ben Harper, Ursula Rucker, Talib Kweli and Shad as well as collaborating with the likes of K-OS, Tumi (from Tumi & the Volume), Shad and many more. His connection with Africa is special to him and he loves spending time here performing and connecting with people. His desire is to put his experiences into the world so that he may enter a larger conversation with people in different places. Early this year released the album; One Day Soon and embarked on a South African tour: Ian Kamau
VIDEO: The Village
Spark Africa and Kwani Trust have put together their energy to enable his presence in Kenya in the first week of August. He performs at Kwani Open Mic on August 7th. During this performance he will be supported by Kenyan poets Wanjiku Mwaurah, Number 8, Dembede Mido and Githuku Ndungi. He will be doing a lot of other interesting things such as doing music with Kenyan artists such as Juliani, Octoppizo, Bamboo just to name a few. Keep it here for more.