Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blakk Rasta - Congo Bongo

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part series on recordings entitled "Congo Bongo". This post showcases a sound file of the 2003 recording "Congo Bongo" by Ghanaian Reggae artist Blakk Rasta. Information about Blakk Rasta is also included in this post.

Part I includes a soundfile of and information about the 1973/1974 recording "Congo Bongo" by The Fania All Stars.

Click for that post.

For a related post, click

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Blakk Rasta was born on the Monday of 2nd September 1974 in Tamale in the Northern part of Ghana, West Africa. He was born to devout Ahmadi-Moslem parents.

As a growing youth in the slums of Moshie-Zongo and Aboabo, Blakk Rasta (born ABUBAKAR AHMED), underwent a lot of injustice, favouritism and other social ills...

Blakk Rasta met Ras Kimono in 1993, watched the artiste perform live and, for the extreme love for the artiste, Blakk Rasta formed a conscious youth club called ‘The Ras Theatre Group’ in Tamale, which acted plays, made movies and performed Ras Kimono’s music.

That was when Blakk Rasta started trying to write his own lyrics. The first one he wrote was ‘Keep on Rockin’ / I & I Rastas.

His first album, “Rasta shrine” came out in April 2000. It was a smash hit with singles like ‘Afreeka swit’, and “Keep on Rockin’ / I & I Rastas”

In 2003 July, ‘More Fyah’ was released and the single ‘ Congo Bongo’ was voted as the best reggae song of the year 2003 by the Ghana music award."...


blakk ras, Uploaded on Dec 25, 2010

congo bongo means,conscious rastaman.blakk rasta is ghana's no1 roots reggae artiste and also,the most militant artiste in africa. congo bongo was voted the best reggae song in ghana in 2004. it is contained in the MORE FYAH album of blakk rasta.
I want to add a comment about the cultural context that I bring to this song.

I cringed when I saw the scene of the Black men eating watermelon. But I realize that the negative stereotype that Americans have about Black people eating watermelon isn't found throughout the world. Also, I know that other people in the world don't necessarily have a negative reaction to the words "Congo Bongo" that I as an African American have. After some thought, I realized that I had that negative reaction to the "Congo Bongo" title as a direct result of the 1960s American cartoon in which "Bongo Congo" was given as the fictitious name for an African nation. The link for the post that I published about "Bongo Congo" is given above.

My reaction to this name caused me to initially wonder if the producer of this Blakk Rasta video had purposely added that scene with the Black men eating watermelon and if the composeer of the "Congo Bongo" song chose that name as a way of re-claiming those actions & words that have negative connotations. But then I realized that the negative connotations of Black folks eating watermelon & the "Bongo Congo"/"Congo Bongo" phrase were in the United States and may not be found elsewhere.

Thanks to Blakk Rasta for his musical legacy. Thanks also to the author who I quoted and the publisher of this soundfile on YouTube.

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