|Posted by bantu on December 11, 2010 at 4:43 PM|
The newest rap group hails from thousands of miles away. Sangab Hussein (Bantu), Daudi Abdalla (D.A), Mohamed Mberwa (Moe) are three Somali Bantu students, who together make up the mixed-language hip-hop team called the G-Brotherz.
Hussein, Abdalla, and Mberwa came to the United States in 2004 -- Hussein in August, Abdalla a month later. They sought refugee from the fighting that terrorizes Somalia and from the lack of food that plagues many Somalians. Hussein, Abdalla, and Mberwa all grew up in Kakuma, Somalia, a small town far from the capital city of Mogadishu.
Upon arriving in the United States, Hussein and Abdalla met the Lil Kiziguwas. The Lil Kiziguwas is another rap group made up of Somalian immigrants. Kiziguwa is the language spoken in parts of Somalia. The Lil Kiziguwas, however, only rap in Kiziguwa.
Hussein and Abdalla saw this as an opening. They began to collaborate on songs, such as “Mali Boys” and “Back Up.” They mixed their native languages of Kizguwa and Somalian together with the English they were learning. They began recording music in 2007 on recording equipment they bought.
The music they produce is not the “typical” rap heard blasting from most car stereos. Neither Hussein nor Abdalla use foul language. Their raps are meant to send a message. They rap about the problems occurring in their homeland, and the families they still have there. Behind the catchy beats are words that have meaning.
Abdalla is currently working on releasing his first mix-tape, which will be titled Unstoppable. It will have 16 songs, with the occasional appearance of Hussein and the Lil Kiziguwas. Hussein and Abdalla are also working together on another collaboration, “ESL Most Wanted.”
G-Brotherz, however, do not just rap. They play soccer with a group of Somalis (who defeated the formidable Central Catholic 2-1), and put school first. Their parents chose Pittsburgh for its education, and music-making is still seen as a hobby. Abdalla plans on attending the Community College of Allegheny County in the fall so that he can learn more about video production. Hussein is only a sophomore in high school. “To be successful, that’s why we came [here],” said Hussein.