Planet Hip Hop Festival Concert
Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM
Fayerweather Beckham Hall
$18 general public; $15 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students
Curated by Nomadic Wax.
The Planet Hip Hop Festival features international Muslim women in hip hop and includes afternoon workshops and evening performances by London's spoken-word duo Poetic Pilgrimage, the U.S. debut of Montreal-based Algerian singer-songwriter and rapper Meryem Saci as a solo artist, and the New England debut of Washington, D.C.-based and Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, poet, and emcee Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh as a solo artist. Using hip hop as a platform to explore issues of social importance—faith, peace, unity, social justice—educate individuals, and inspire change, the evening concert will also feature the Nomadic Wax Collective, a live backing band that will include bass, drums, keys, guitar, and a DJ.
As a teenager, singer-songwriter and rapper Meryem Saci moved with her family from her native war-torn Algeria to Canada. She joined the multi-cultural Montreal hip hop group Nomadic Massive in 2005, opening for Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, Public Enemy, and Busta Rhymes, and appearing with the group at Trinity College's International Hip Hop Festival in 2010. This performance at Wesleyan will be Ms. Saci's United States debut as a solo artist.
Born in Bristol, England to Jamaican migrant parents, Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor formed the spoken word duo Poetic Pilgrimage in 2002, and converted to Islam in 2005. Fusing the spiritual mysticism of Alice Coltrane with the sounds of Gil Scott-Heron and A Tribe Called Quest, their music is a portrait of resistance, challenging a hostile environment with unparalleled lyricism and thought-provoking content. Poetic Pilgrimage opened for Talib Kweli's 2008 tour of Norway. In 2009, the duo were featured at the South by Southwest Festival supporting Mr. Lif, and were the first British group to perform at Trinity College's International Hip Hop Festival, sharing the bill with Blitz the Ambassador.
Singer-songwriter, poet, and emcee Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh was featured on the track Don't Feel Right on the album Game Theory (2006) by The Roots, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Rap Album.” She also appeared with the group in Dave Chappelle’s hip hop documentary Block Party (2005). Ms. Youssef ‘s first full-length solo album The Blooming (2011) was included The Washington Post’s list of best D.C. music of that year, saying “This R&B/soul/hip-hop dynamo delivers a vibrant collection of songs…every track is an impressive showcase of the up-and-coming performer.” Her single I Got A Man, produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff, has been featured on VH1 and BET. Ms. Youssef has toured as a supporting vocalist for The Roots as well as Lalah Hathaway, Zap Mama, and Common, and has performed with Angelique Kidjo, Femi Kuti, Nas, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli, among others. Ms. Youssef's parents joined the First Resurrection in the 1970's after the honorable Elijah Muhammad put out a nation wide call to wake up the black man, woman, and child. Growing up in a predominately Muslim and socially conscious family, she developed a strong sense of justice and social responsibility as a youth. Being a Muslim woman of color, she was no stranger to discrimination or injustice. Freedom, justice, truth, and women's empowerment would later become the cornerstone and driving force behind her music. This performance at Wesleyan will be Ms. Youssef's New England debut as a solo artist.
Nomadic Wax is a U.S.-based social enterprise that produces music, film and educational events aimed at creating cross-cultural exchange and increasing awareness of global issues. Nomadic Wax links diverse communities and encourages social and cultural dialogues through art. Founded in 2001 as a fair trade record label and production company of African hip hop and urban music, Nomadic Wax has grown into an internationally recognized brand firmly rooted at the intersection of urban media and social change.
This event is part of Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan.