Afropolitan Dreams – Blitz the Ambassador

DSC_8735-3 copyHip-hop, extending from traditional griot culture, is marking its place throughout Africa. A place given and defined by young-African-emcees garnering global fame and respect. Ghana-born, New York based emcee and producer Blitz the Ambassador, the lyrically conscious artist, has taken a strong position in the pool. Recently, Blitz released The Warm Up, a free EP leading up to his forthcoming Afropolitan Dreams, his third album following Stereotype (2009) and Native Sun (2011).

The message driven and sonically entertaining EP has created an international buzz. The acclaimed 7-track EP deserves more than a free release but Blitz recognizes the net result of offering his fans “more heart than mind”, a prelude and taste of more to come. In The Warm Up, one song in particular, African in New York – the arrival, has grabbed the hearts of Africans in the diaspora. First time I heard it was over a friend’s place, another African in the diaspora excited by the familiar yet new lyrical narrative of visibility and affirmation to African identity in America, namely New York. Beyond the identity affirmation it’s sonically funky, drawing from the traditions of sounds from West and North African culture. An anthem like track with an effortless flow paying homage to self and the diaspora kinsfolk.

While gearing up for his Africa concert tour, to start in Morocco (Casablanca and Rabat), we chatted with Blitz on Afropolitan Dreams, music and Africa, pan-Africanism, and goals and ambitions regarding his place in Africa’s future.

In Afropolitan Dreams, collaborating internationally and drawing from the traditions of sounds from the Sahel, North and West Africa, he reveals how he’s using his musical talent to start and/ continue a discourse on what he elucidates as “new ideology” – young-Africans defining self and the future of Africa, a movement towards self-actualization, self-realization as a process of the young affirming their place in locally driven innovation and development, and creatively collaborating with the rest of the world. Beyond the admirable ideological meaning, primarily, Blitz describes the album as a narrative of the untethered soul – a soundtrack of his journey.

Though conscious music is his forte he directs us to the significance of entertainment. He points out that the forthcoming album is not all afropolitic on wax, announcing it as a musical journey with entertainingly funky rhythms that will have listeners’ bopping to its tunes.

During our conversation one of the things that struck me is Blitz’s keen political awareness and knowledge, a young pan-African heart drawing from the wisdom of Africa’s forefathers – a hopeful unity in continuity. His passion and sight is no less informed and understood [politically] by an Africa that is bound together, emphasizing on the bonds that exist and working hard to bridge the gaps. His work inspires and is inspired by such principles, an outlook synonymous to his name, “the Ambassador” – a self-appointed conduit between his native and the rest of the world.

Afropolitan Dreams is set [first] to be promoted on the continent for the very same reason he says the messaging is most essential [priority] in parts of Africa; appropriately, recognizing it would be a disservice to his craft if the album doesn’t have a focused promotion on the continent. Having said that, fully aware of the current global state of music – not having the same purpose it had prior – Blitz is less concerned with the lack of infrastructure and music regulation in Africa. Contrarily, within his promotional plan he sees the added benefit of music proliferation and accessibility – piracy/bootlegging, etc. Blitz’s unorthodoxy philosophy confidently foresees free movement of music as a means to an end. “I want the taxi driver, bus drivers, shopkeepers, etc. to play my music. I want it to be accessible to everyone.” [Primary] to Blitz is the music reaching the people. Conscious music to awaken and stir the soul of everyday people!

Blitz the Ambassador in concert:

Jan. 9th in Morocco (3 shows)
Jan. 25th in Ghana

Stay tuned here for announcements on upcoming shows in a city near you.

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