Posted January 6th, 2012 at 6:45 pmComments Closed
my new favorite thing about being alive right now
In recent years the X Plastaz have become known for being the first hiphop crew to use Maasai music and culture in their performance. Maasai singer Yamat (also known as Merege) is now a full member of the group who has joined on tour and in the recording studio.
X Plastaz grew up up in Arusha, a city in the heart of Maasai land surrounded by steppe, savannah and other climates, most famous for its wild reserves like the Ngorongoro crater. There are many different peoples living in Arusha, and some of them have chosen to preserve their traditional cultures. The Maasai, nomadic cattle herders, live in scattered settlements around the plains surrounding Arusha, while their territory reaches deep into Kenya and south towards Dodoma.
The rappers (themselves of Haya and Pare origin) had been familiar with Maasai culture, but in 1997 when they were invited to stay in a Maasai boma (kraal or settlement) 60 kilometers south of Arusha, they first experienced the uniqueness of the Maasai ways of life. It was in this boma that they noticed the similarities between rap and traditional Tanzanian music, and they decided to look for a way to merge the two.