Mcee, Artist, Educator, Youth Activist, and Pan-African, are just some of the titles that describe the work of Asheru. After launching his career with the group Unspoken Heard in Hip-Hop’s golden age of the 1990’s, Asheru has continued as a solo artist for the past decade.
While he has collaborated and recorded with the likes of Talib Kweli, Pete Rock and DJ Jazzy Jeff, he is best known for writing and performing The Boondocks TV show theme song.
Asheru has spent the last few years working closely with South African artists such as HHP (Hip-Hop Pantsula) and has performed and toured there regularly. Sleepless in Soweto is the culmination of years of work in South Africa and its hip hop community.
The time spent in South Africa shows, not just on the track title, but also with the incorporation of live instrumentation hip hop, African house and afrobeat tracks featured on the album. Collaborating artists such as HHP also rap in South African languages like Zulu and Setswana.
With the goal of highlighting the unique bond between African-Americans and Africans through hip hop music and culture, the result is a modern Pan-African hip-hop album filled with thoughtful lyrics, skillful delivery, and raw musicality.
The track Gauteng, which means “Land of Gold”, is dedicated to Johannesburg and features 2x Grammy nominated recording artist Raheem DeVaughn on additional vocals.
Gauteng is the home province of Johannesburg, and the chorus reflects the people, the culture, and the love Asheru has received not only in Jo'burg, but all over SA as being "worth more gold". The opening track is Simphiwe's Theme, a Zulu name given to Asheru, which means “it/he is given to us.” Another Grammy nominee, the Ethiopian-born singer Wayna, can be heard on No Matter Where You Go, a track detailing the history and progress of African-Americans, and all of the work left undone. The album artwork was painted by acclaimed Nigerian-born visual artist, Aniekan Udofia. Grab a copy on itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sleepless-in-soweto/id713526523
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