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On se moquait des gens qui restaient ensemble par habitude, même si tout les oppose, par peur de la solitude. ”

Lyrics from Coup De Gaz

Baloji (whose name means “sorcerer” in Swahili), is a rapper with a complicated heritage. He's from Lubumbashi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, born in 1978, but when he was four, he was sent to join his father’s family in Liège, Belgium. He left the family at 16, squatting and committing minor thievery to sustain himself. However, he was exposed to the musical scene including French and American hip hop and, with a number of his friends, formed the Belgian rap group Starflam. Starflam became well-known within Belgium and abroad, but Baloji left after the release of their third album due to tension within the group. He turned his back on music until he received a letter from his birth mother who had seen and recognized a clip of him from television. His response to her questions became Hotel Impala, his debut album as a solo artist. In his second album Kinshasa Succursale, released on Crammed Discs Records, Baloji returns to the country of his youth—immersing himself in his lost heritage. The album, which was released in 2011, also features a number of prominent Kinshasa musicians, who bring to the album the traditional sounds of Congo. Baloji is currently touring with his recently formed live band, dubbed Orchestre de la Katuba.
Colorful, European hip hop with an African heart
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