In the mind, in the heart, I was always home. I always imagined, really, going back home. -Miriam Makeba
The trans-Atlantic experience is one that has come to define the American landscape for over 500 years. Immigrants -of their own volition or by force- made the arduous trek across the water with a one way ticket and little thought given as to whether or not they would return to the land of their families, their ancestors and their roots. However, social, political and cultural movements began to transverse the Atlantic as more and more people started to develop awareness and identity with the lands they were several generations removed.
Nowhere was this more apparent than on the continent of Africa. Actors and activists began to influence many of these newly independent nations in a reciprocal manner, giving back to the land of their forefathers with independent philosophies standing in the face of injustice. Music played a crucial role in disseminating these ideas across the ocean and connected people like no other medium. Artists like Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, and Miriam Makeba challenged the political and social tyrannies of South Africa and the United States by risking their careers as well as their lives to better those of the oppressed, the marginalized majority suffering and struggling, but still listening and using their music as a soothing balm from lifeʼs travails.
Hip Hop has since provided a common thread spanning the continents communicating by way of this “universal language.” Kev Brown has continued this legacy with his return to Africa –specifically South Africa on this visit- for a second time and his music, as evidenced from its inception, embodies the foundation of African music since time began: drums. The “boom-bap” ethos, if you will, runs heavy and it undergirds all of his music connecting it back to a time when the drum was the only instrument, the first instrument. This trip with DJ Roddy Rod began with the best intentions of developing an entire project of the two producers concocting beats and songs derived solely from South African artists. As good ideas give way to the reality of hectic schedules,
Kev strove to give fans a musical taste of his lifechanging experience on African soil. For the aptly-named “Makeba,” the producer/MC chopped up a little something he copped at a local record store, programmed the drums and captured a soulful feel that fans around the world will surely gravitate to. The guitar plucks and drums are simply infectious! The flip side “Party People Dedication” evokes the emotion of looking at a citizenry in a foreign land whom you know neither name nor background, but connect with nonetheless. Language, ethnicity, nor location can separate that bond and the emotive piano chords only reinforce this fact.
Two songs cannot detail an entire trip, but they can bring you into the artistʼs world, allowing the listener to vicariously absorb the experience. Equipped with his portable microphone and MPC 2500, Kev Brown invites you to take a ride with him on one of his sonic excursions. The producer from Landover, Maryland shares his adventure as someone fortunate to get that round-trip ticket back across the Atlantic and share his music with a continent that inadvertently birthed his. The drums are slowly rumbling on the horizon and this time they are venturing from west to east, homeward bound. LISTEN!
released August 14, 2012
Produced, Written, Performed, & Recorded by Kev Brown
Mastered by K-Def
Cover Illustration & Label Design by Joe Buck
Liner Notes Written by Chris Moss
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