The feature documentary United States of Africa follows African hip hop pioneer Didier Awadi as he crafts a new album that shines a light on black revolutionary leaders – from Kwame Nkrumah to Thomas Sankara, from Malcolm X to Cheikh Antah Diop-who fought for the dignity of the African people, and for an independent united Africa. On a sprawling musical journey that takes him to some 40 countries, Awadi meets hip hop artists Smokey (Burkina Faso), M-1 from Dead Prez (United States) and Zuluboy (South Africa). His travels spark deeper reflection on the power of music and the potential for real political transformation on the continent: For any change to happen in Africa, engagement must go beyond music, beyond hip hop . United States of Africa takes the viewer into the heart of Africa, painting a hopeful and compelling portrait of a continent whose politically aware youth is refusing to lie down and accept the role of victim. The film is a call for Africans of all generations to take a stand, and take control of their continent and their destiny.
For a more comprehensive look at the history of the genre of hip hop in Africa, check out Africlectic’s review here.