Hip Hop Is In Our Body Music Is In Our Soul!

Raising Uganda’s Flag Abroad

By Nigel Nassar

JULY 11, 2010 remains a day of reckoning for many Ugandans. Following that day’s tragedy that saw about 80 people perish in the Al Shabaab-engineered bomb blasts, a group of US-based Ugandan rappers came together in song. What materialized was an amazing and inspiring hit, Rise Up.

The Ugandan wanderers, better known by their stage name, Batabazi, nailed it doing this hit.

The song, featuring Mo Mayanja, a solo Ugandan artiste also based in the US, has recently featured twice on BBC’s Network Africa, an outstanding review about it being that is very inspirational.

Rise Up is a patriotic song with an emotional touch. Delivering a condolence message to all the people who lost their loved ones that fateful night, it tells Ugandans to rise up, try to move on and build their nation.

It gives us hope; it refreshes our love for our country that is how patriotic the Batabazi get in this song that was released within six days of the tragic event.

Following through shortly after the tribute hit, the Batabazi were recently honored with the Outstanding Artiste Award at the inaugural AJABU Awards in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

These are African awards honouring various African individuals for their contributions in the Diaspora.

Now the group has a new one titled Sweep featuring Uganda’s legendary musician, Ragga Dee.

The song is now spreading like a wild fire allover the Internet (Youtube), night clubs in Boston where the group stays and on television.

Sweep has been playing on Jamaica’s Hype TV’s show called Freestyle, where DJs play and mix the latest Jamaican and international banger videos.

Popularised by Elephant Man’s similar song, this hit is a feel-good dancehall ragga with a catchy beat that commands you to sweep/ dance.

Batabazi’s music is also getting exclusive airplay on US televisions, specifically on The Dish Network.

Also known for hit collaborations like Dirty Shame with Jackie Chandiru and Uganda Nka Remix featuring Rabadaba, Navio & Ragga Dee, Batabazi have had a good 2010.

A five-member group, the Batabazi are; Mpagi Kironde aka PG, Jerome Jay, Rose-Ann Kawesa aka Tasha, Gera Kiwanuka (Gera. K) and their producer Anthony Balagadde aka The Mayor.

They plan to close off the year with the release of new videos, Set it Off and Buuka, as well as to wander farther into East Africa with a new hit called Mikono Juu featuring Mo Mayanja and P-Ssozi.

Look out for them this December, as they will be in the country to release a six track extended play called Set it off.

For a group that has been around for a relatively short time, the Batabazi are impacting the Ugandan music industry while raising the Ugandan flag worldwide.

–Published in The New Vision; October 22 2010

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