Tag Archives: africa

Blitz the Ambassador

 

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Blitz the Ambassador just dropped his new album Afropolitan Dreams today. Blitz is a Ghanaian artist who’s now based in Brooklyn, and this new album is gold.

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It’s true, this is not a music blog. But if you absolutely need this post to be about globalization, development, emerging markets, etc., the association is graspable. Artists from Africa, particularly self-proclaimed rappers, are some of the fastest growing in popularity due to the growing accessibility of their music. And because these artists are sometimes based in the U.S. and Europe, they are picked up by hit record labels that recognize their growing fan base. This means that no only to these names blow up in their home countries; their music is also growing popular in the West. The obsession that many Americans and Europeans once had with Reggae in the Marley era seems to be spreading to a more Sub-Saharan vibe, meeting a new generation’s craving for faster beats and moving lyrics.

Want proof this is what the artists have in mind? His name is Blitz the ‘Ambassador,’ spreading his sound from his country to the world. His album? ‘Afropolitan Dreams.’ Blitz isn’t feigning subtlety, he’s sending a stark message about his place in the industry.

Similarly, check out Baloji, a Congolese (french language) rapper who is smoother and a bit more melodic than Blitz, appealing to a different type of hip-hop fan. Also gold.

 

Links I Liked: Africa, US, Minimum Wage, and Mammoths

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Links I Liked:

1. 8 Maps that change the way you look at Africa from ONE

2. Watch the United States grow before your eyes with a time-based gif from Reddit and the Post

3. The End of the Developing World – This I largely disagree with, although some good points are made about rhetoric and how it affects beliefs. But ‘lean’ and ‘fat’ still have positive and negative connotations, and don’t make much sense when describing countries’ economies.

4. Can you live on minimum wage? – an interactive program to see if you could feasibly live off of minimum wage (by US state). Lesson: something important has to be sacrificed.

5. NYTimes Magazine glosses over some pretty improbable science with The Mammoth Cometh, on how extinct species (even mammoths) may one day be brought back to life. But as a diehard Jurassic Park fan this gave me some hope.

World Population Changes

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The Washington Post, using data from the UN population fund, posted a map and related article that I found highly telling of the global population trends.

“Countries need to grow in order to stay healthy and successful, but not too quickly or they risk problems like political instability.”

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‘Blue countries have growing populations; red countries are shrinking. Purple are growing slowly or not at all. Data source: United Nations Population Fund.’ The numbers include data both births, deaths, and migration. The estimates naturally do not account for wars, natural disasters, etc.

What this article is quick to point out is that the most important region here is Sub-Saharan Africa, which you can see is noticeably darker than the rest of the map. What the Post also points out is that a high number of the births in Sub-Saharan countries are from mothers between the age of 9 and 15, which proves often to be too young an age to support a child because of the health risks, and the mother is usually giving up an education.

For some reference to where these population changes may lead, particularly in that very blue continent, check out this post on The African Spring. Then see below the info-graphic on trends by continent (mostly predictions).

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