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X PLASTAZ - Maasai Hip-Hop from Tanzania

Article-XPlastaz In the vibrant Tanzanian hiphop scene, the group X Plastaz is one of the most familiar names, with a huge following especially among the 'common people'. Their conscious Swahili rap lyrics strike a chord with the Tanzanian youth, who can relate to their topics like Aids, unemployment, divorce and even life in prison. Their music is a unique mixture of traditional chanting and elements from hip hop, ragga and even Hindi music.
Whether performing in Europe or Brazil, being interviewed by Australian or South African radio, X Plastaz are the international embassadors of East African hip hop. Their track 'Msimu kwa msimu' is a favorite among many radio deejays and features on high rotation playlists of youth radio stations such as Holland's Fun-X and its video features on South Africa's Channel O.

The group consists of six rappers/singers. The three brothers Ruff, Gsann and Ziggy used to work in a haircutting saloon in the heart of Maasai land (northern Tanzania). In recent years they have joined forces with Yamat Ole Meipuko, a Maasai singer who still lives in a traditional Maasai dwelling on a 2 hour's drive from Arusha town. Yamat has won various Maasai singing competitions in his age category, and adds a unique vocal element to the stew of Swahili rhymes and tough hiphop beats. The rappers also tour with their 14 and 16 year old rapping brother and sister who are well known for winning numerous talent awards, defeating even adult rappers. Today, all of them make up the group X Plastaz.

Between 1997 and 2001, the group has become the most popular rap group in their region Arusha and they are well known on a national and international level. Since 2001, the group has done 3 European tours during which they did concerts, workshops and recorded music videos and their first album. The music videos 'Aha' (filmed in a traditional Maasai village) and 'Ushanta' ended in the Tanzanian national video top 5, and are played frequently on Channel O (South Africa). In December 2003 they released their new single and music video 'Msimu kwa msimu' which is still receiving regular airplay on all Tanzanian stations and on Channel O.

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