music

Movaizhaleine

Afro Pop, Rap
Movaizhaleine

One of the continent's most successful rap stories, ex-pats Movaizhaleine, now residing in Paris, France, have taken the African rap flag and are flying it high across the world for Gabon, and indeed the rest of the continent.

Consisting of two young conscious rappers, Lord Ekomy Ndong and Maat Seigneur Lion, the group, also affectionately known as MH, began rapping together when still at high school - highly influenced by the activism on the continent at the time.

Musically the boys were sucked in by the sounds of reggae bands such as Burning Spear as well as the iconic hip-hop acts like NWA, Public Enemy and KRS One. Living in the heart of Gabon they were also shaped by listening to traditional African music such as Griot Mvett, Sacred Harp and Bwiti.

Strong believers in the rehabilitation of Black history, the duo started rapping about their views and in a short space of time became favourites on radio stations in Libreville. They formed their own independent record label Zorbam produxions and released their first single - a track called Nyabinghi.

In 1998 their first solo album 'Mission A Mbeng' came out and was a ground breaking release for the African rap market, proving to the rappers they could achieve success through music.

In 2001 they released the follow up album 'Mission Akomplie' which boasted collaborations with acts such as Patrick Nguema Ndong, Anthony Gussie, and Annie Flore Batchiellilys.

In 2003 the members took a short break to both release solo albums to great success, but this was by no means the end of MH. They came back hard and fast in 2005 with the album 'On Détient La Harpe Sacrée (Tome 1)', again resulting in a best seller for the group.

Movaizhaleine also organise events that reaffirm the fundamental values of African conscious hip-hop in Gabon. Their annual concert Le Show Du Pays (the show of the country) is an important event on the local hip-hop scene.

In January 2007, MH assembled their own recording studio named La Foret Des Abeilles (the Drill of the Bees). In late 2007, they released their fourth album 'Tome 2'. MH won the 2008 Video of the Year at the inaugural MTV MAMA Music Awards for their single 'Nous', despite the obvious political message in the track.

A pioneer of the Gabonese hip-hop scene, MH are the longest-standing group in the rap community. With six top selling albums under their belt and more than a hundred spectacular showcases in Africa and Europe, the group are still growing from strength to strength. So joining the One8 team in 2010 was a natural move for these pan-African cultural leaders.