Encounter with The Culture

Growing up poor in the 80’s in a small village with no electricity somewhere at the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaïre then), I didn’t know what television was till I was about eight or nine years old. My grandfather’s small radio operating with batteries, which I pounded gently and exposed to sun rays for recharge (miracles of science!), was my only source of music entertainment. I remember the distorted sounds of soucousse, rumba, zouk machine, reggae, funk, and pop due to bad reception when my granddad wasn’t listening to the News about wars ravaging almost every part of Africa. I don’t recall listening to any Hip Hop music back then. My most memorable encounter with Hip Hop was right after the end of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda when I moved to Brazzaville, the capital city of the other Congo. For the first time, we had a TV set at home. I was finally able to put faces to some of the familiar vocals that rocked my eardrums. I began to connect the pieces. For instance, watching Michael Jackson’s play with his zipper in his dance routines answered the question “Who’s bad?” The more I paid attention to details in the music videos, the more I realized the influence of television on my surrounding.

For the couple of years that I attended a private school in Brazzavile, somehow I ended up in the circle of cool kids. Cool kids are those who want to look like stars on TV and who other kids want to emulate, you know! I didn’t grow up with what they had. They wore t-shirts with Hip Hop legends on them, didn’t button their shirts, sagged their pants, wore boots or fresh sneakers on the regular. Some of them would clip fake earrings on their lobes and put on a US flag bandanna to look exactly like their idols. Those kids were also called branchés (plugged in or connected). They read comic books, magazines on music, sports, played basketball in the streets and talked a lot about rap and movies. They had interests. I did not have much. I was a shabby boy from the village who couldn’t speak their language. Some of them sang along to French rap songs. I could barely articulate my needs to go to the bathroom in class. On the other hand, my English was almost nonexistent. It’s only recently that I realized Dr. Dre didn’t say “wawawess” in California Love but “Wild Wild West”. But I didn’t care. Nobody cared. And that’s exactly what I loved about this art form. The I-don’t-give-a-fuck-as-long-as-it-feels-good attitude.

With time I developed a certain thirst about the content of the music. I needed to know why black people were angry and why they used more words on a standard song than anybody else. I had to learn the language. I studied over time, used TV and radio as more as learning tools than entertainment sources. Beyond speaking French, and English later, I wanted to understand the lyrical content of rap songs. Luckily some music magazines included posters of celebrities with lyrics of their hit songs in their issues. But again, I did not have the level to comprehend. I could only grasp a few words after cross-checking with my pocket dictionary. For the slang, I had to wait till the early 2000’s with the availability of the Internet in Rwanda to do my own researches about the meaning of some songs. That helped me a lot improve my English as well. Soon, I was hooked and started writing to myself in a journal format. Then somehow I stumbled upon rhymes, today they call me a Hip Hop Poet.

I have consumed more Hip Hop culture than any of my African cultures without moving from the continent and I have come to realize that Hip Hop goes beyond the beat, the dance, the graffiti, the dressing, the hair styles, the gestures, the slang… it is the most influential culture of our time. It’s too present, too loud, too bright and so versatile it can’t be contained. Right now somewhere in a deep villages, kids with no shoes on are rhyming on a bucket beat.
Africa has thousands of Hip Hop heads, MC’s, producers, dancers, etc who have been influenced by The Culture and are now redefining their continent with the same fire the pioneers started with. I am happy to know that many are doing it justice.
Hip Hop is alive.
Peace

~1key

Powa 254 - 1key
Iyadede Sabrina (on the guitar) & 1key jamming at Pawa254, Nairobi, Kenya.

EANT to treat Kigali to a four-night festival of contemporary dance

My first experience watching a contemporary dance performance was in Kigali. It was part of a play. As I converged all my attention towards the shirtless man trying to fly like a bird, land like a leaf and run like a gazelle in slow motion, I couldn’t help but wonder “Do those Tai Chi-like moves really mean anything or is Wesley Ruzibiza playing with us?” Over the years, my curiosity took over my skepticism. I attended more related shows and it’s only at the East African Nights of Tolerance (EANT) festival last year, that I found the courage to ask a choreographer, “How do you expect people who are not familiar with contemporary dance to interpret your piece?” The director simply replied, “It is in fact subject to interpretation.” Definitely not the answer I expected but it also hit me that I don’t always understand every move in our traditional dance yet I always have a great time watching. If you can relate to this then you may relate even more to the numerous dance performances organized by Amizero Kompagnie for the 5th edition of the East African Nights of Tolerance festival.

For 4 nights in a row starting this 24th November, Kigali will be treated to stories depicting the state of our shared humanity and beyond through unique contemporary dance signatures from Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazaville, Cameroon, Benin, Ivory Cost, France, Belgium and Rwanda.

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From Thursday to Saturday, 7 pm, the shows will happen at Zenith Hotel, 12 KG 676 Street (Kimihurura opposite Papyrus) for a fee of 2,000 Rwf per night or 5,000 Rwf for the three-night package.

On Sunday, the show will be at Maison des Jeunes Kimisagara, still 7pm and 2,000 Rwf entrance fee and will bring young Rwandan contemporary dancers, newly trained by local and guest dancers throughout a week workshop, to perform, watch and exchange with the dance maestros.

I promise you, you will gain pounds of joy if you go.

Des Espoirs d’un Cynique – Review on Mellow views

Posted on November 21, 2016 by Mutsinzi for Mellowviews

Eric Mutsinzi’s passion and writing skill is not only rare to find these hills but I don’t know any other 19 year-old young with such abilities. When I invited him at the live stream launch of my last single of the year, I did not expect this. I can only be grateful and hope his quill grows wings. You rock, mazina 😉

We listen intently, as Eric’s recorded voice asks an important philosophical question in the form of a seemingly bleak stream of verses about human nature.”

“The last verse is powerfully politically charged. It mocks the inhumane or perhaps very human hypocrisy of nations that have a history of suffering and yet have become the reason some parts of the world are currently in peril. It is a reminder of our forgetfulness. A reminder of the oblivion to past suffering, birthed by prosperity and satisfaction.” ~ Eric Mutsinzi

Read More…

Lyrics – English Translation

Title : Hopes(lessness) of a cynic
Artist : 1key
Single
2016

Verse 1:
My year of birth is the moment of truth
My pen morphs into a lighter, my ink into fuel
My words dance in flames but catch no fire
I speak loud what you wish you could shout
You who retweets me when I share rubbish on my timeline
You understand that every time I rhyme, I free my mind
From this collective fear that has become a lifestyle
I’m cleaning out my closet at a high speed
As if I had a date with my skeleton before I turn 46
Premonition of my funeral or simply paranoia?
The gift and the curse of the artist is his third eye
I sink into cynicism while my poetry shines

Hook:
Give me a pen and a page, a mic and a stage
So I can share all this rage
Just give me four minutes and a small crowd
So I can tell you all about
“Des espoirs d’un cynique”
Hope(lessness) of a cynic

Verse 2:
Apparently I’m looking for the sympathy of Whites
“Eric, pity doesn’t sell” a friend said online
When I blew the whistle about the hypocrisy
Of my brothers who think that changing a country’s narrative is a literary work
Ask those who live in the shadow of the rich, “Where do the latter shit?”
I mean those who make cheese from cooking stats
If their achievements are so flawless, why do they lie?
Huge gap between Public Relations and relationship with the public
The minister of labor raises her middle finger
To an unemployed youth roaming with job application letters
Flagrant inequality between the people and the land lords
The minority drinks champagne under a bling bling dome
The majority shrinks in silence, hunger is at their door
Nzaramba
I hide behind screens to write these lines
I’m a just coward and I’m so tired
My words and my actions collide

Hook:
Give me a pen and a page, a mic and a stage
So I can share all this rage
Just give me four minutes and a small crowd
So I can tell you all about
“Des espoirs d’un cynique”
Hope(lessness) of a cynic

Verse 3
I am tired of the colonizer’s speech preaching democracy
Ask the natives what they think of Christopher Columbus or his peers’ aristocracy
Ask the Nama and Herero why their genocide isn’t so popular
Or ask the perpetrators
Ask the sons of Gaza what they think of the Star of David?
Ask the daughters of Haiti what they think of the Red Cross’ opportunists
I’m simply tired of our collective hypocrisy
I’ll heal from my cynicism when I find remedies to Africa
Meanwhile I remain a pain in the ass of those suffering from selective amnesia
Coz if I had to talk restitution, Belgium would sink into an infinite deficit
And if I talked about justice, France would be forever guilty
For its involvement in conflicts from the delta to the sources of the Nile
And so would be the United States for crimes against humanity and terrorism worldwide
From east to its west coasts through its cities, my continent is falling apart while
The west and China argue on who takes how much oild and gold
This poem is not an SOS, it’s a bug in this Babylon
I rise from the mass before I get crushed by the weight of life
I raise my voice beyond the hills with my rhymes
But who will… Verse 3
I am tired of the colonizer’s speech preaching democracy
Ask the natives what they think of Christopher Columbus or his peers’ aristocracy
Ask the Nama and Herero why their genocide isn’t so popular
Or ask the perpetrators
Ask the sons of Gaza what they think of the Star of David?
Ask the daughters of Haiti what they think of the Red Cross’ opportunists
I’m simply tired of our collective hypocrisy
I’ll heal from my cynicism when I find remedies to Africa
Meanwhile I remain a pain in the ass of those suffering from selective amnesia
Coz if I had to talk restitution, Belgium would sink into an infinite deficit
And if I talked about justice, France would be forever guilty
For its involvement in conflicts from the delta to the sources of the Nile
And so would be the United States for crimes against humanity and terrorism worldwide
From east to its west coasts through its cities, my continent is falling apart while
The west and China argue on who takes how much oild and gold
This poem is not an SOS, it’s a bug in this Babylon
I rise from the mass before I get crushed by the weight of life
I raise my voice beyond the hills with my rhymes
But who will…

Hook:
Give me a pen and a page, a mic and a stage
So I can share all this rage
Who will give me just four minutes and a small crowd
So I can tell you all about
“Des espoirs d’un cynique”
Hope(lessness) of a cynic

#1key

Entre 2 album review: Gêne-Aise

Track 9: Gêne-Aise ft. Cassa & Samy Kamanzi  

Powerful poetry is born out of pain. Enveloping us, it demands our full attention; creating a ripple of silence, our minds become consumed by the words. Our bodies are effected too: goose bumps on our arms, a lump in our throat, or a knot in our stomach. Perhaps a tear down our face. This is what I experienced when I watched 1Key perform Gêne Aise live for the first time on the #expericment. I understood how much this meant to my friend, and there was no way to escape his pain. And yet the pain was lightened by the pleasure of this shared experience. Through his music, 1Key brought us all together: an audience of friends and strangers, from Francophone Rwandans to Anglophone North Americans, to me, the emotional British anthropologist on my final evening of fieldwork!

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Kigali, Rwanda. 2016. 1Key performing Gêne Aise live on the #expericment. [Courtesty of Innovation Village]
Gêne-Aise is 1Key’s most intimate piece. It tells his life story, a story which is shared by many Rwandans, but is not often talked about openly. The track is a collabo between Cassa (or Dady Cassanova) – a Rwandan who lives in Canada – and Samy Kamanzi, who, like 1Key, is half-Rwandan and half-Congolese – and who was living in France at the time. Once again, new digital technologies triumph in their capacity for enabling musical collaboration!

The initial idea for Gêne Aise was developed by the three artists, through the circulating of voice notes using WhatsApp. Samy produced the music for the track and emailed it to 1Key. 1Key took the track to Dustville Studio in Kampala, where he added some beats using Logic Pro. He layered in his vocals and emailed his progress to Samy and Cassa, who continued the process, and so it went on. According to 1Key, it was a complicated endeavour, due to the three artists all using different, incompatible recording software.  When listening to the beautifully haunting harmonies in the Hayaya yoyoooo sections, it is difficult to imagine these challenges.

The opening section of Gêne Aise switches back and forth between Cassa and 1Key, and between English, French and Kiswahili. The tone is set instantly when Cassa sings:

“I’ve been holding on for too long

I’m gonna let it all go through this song.”

Indeed, 1Key tells us:

“Tonight there will be no metaphors in my verses

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to talk to you with an open heart.” (Translated from French to English)

Later, in his verse, 1Key tells us:

“I was born in exile in my father’s country… /

… When my grandfather’s neighbours were slaughtering his brothers

He found asylum in this land which belonged to his forefathers before

It is complicated but basically I was born between the anvil and the hammer

In this region of the Great Lakes known for the blood that flows

Between two large countries, one known for genocide and its bravery

The other for its size, its riches and its endless wars…” (Translated from French to English)

Here, 1Key is explaining his complicated family history. Son of a Rwandan (Tutsi) mother and a Congolese father – who he has had limited contact with – 1Key was born in Goma, eastern DRC – which used to be a part of Rwanda. 1Key told me: “I have always felt more Rwandese. Rwanda is the family and the traditions I know.” 1Key and his family were living in the DRC as refugees; lines 2-3 of the above extract refer to the 1959 massacres in Rwanda, which led to vast numbers of Tutsis fleeing Rwanda to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

Rwanda on the map
On the map: Kigali-Rwanda; Goma-DR Congo; Kampala-Uganda. Source: World Sites Atlas (2016)

In the album’s second track (Mal Appris), we learned that 1Key was exposed to poverty, hunger and disease, while growing up in Goma. This track reveals how 1Key also “received the treatment of the cockroach” – cockroach being the derogatory term used to describe Tutsis in the de-humanizing campaign, which contributed to the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. (Translated from French to English) As 1Key’s narrative continues to unfold, the rapper softly tells us how he went on to spend time in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, and then Kinshasa, DRC, before he finally “landed in the arms of Rwanda.” (Translated from French to English) 1Key tells us that, while it feels good to be accepted in Rwanda:

“…it’s heavy to bear

The weight of knowing that I can no longer put my feet

On the land which has seen me rise because the volcano has erased it.” (Translated from French to English)

This is in reference to the 1997 volcano lava flow disaster in Goma, which destroyed his childhood home.

Gêne-Aise is wordplay: apart, the two words translate as “discomfort” (Gêne) and “ease” (Aise), while together they become like Genesis. Indeed, 1Key’s personal creation story is defined by such dichotomies, as he attempts to understand the twisted roots of his life history. This is a story of rejection and suffering, of poverty and abuse, of war and peace, and of loss and pain. At the same time, this is a story of perseverance and strength, and of rediscovery. Towards the end of the song, Cassa sings:

“Strong like a stone, I keep rolling on (on and on and on).”

Meanwhile, 1Key makes reference to rappers who continue to inspire his art, namely: Soprano, Kery James and Tumi Molekane. Like them, 1Key’s poetry is “real” and sometimes sad. In the words of 1Key:

“Tumi said to me “It kills you and heals you at the same time”…” (Translated from French to English)

Entre 2 is available on Soundcloud – Entre2 and for sale on digital stores iTunesSpotify, and Amazon.
Eric 1key is very active on social media where you can find him discussing and debating all kinds of things. For updates and live info, follow Eric1key on Twitter: @eric1key, Facebook: Facebook/eric1key, Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/eric1key or email for bookings at ericonekey@gmail.com

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Song lyrics and translations

Gene Aise ft. Cassa & Samy Kamanzi [Track 9 on Entre 2 album] 

Prod. Samy Kamanzi (France), in collaboration with Dustville Studio (Kampala) and Cassa (Canada); English, French, Kiswahili

Cassa: I’ve been holding in for too long Cassa: I’ve been holding in for too long
I’m gonna let it all go through this song I’m gonna let it all go through this song
1key: S’il y a du silence entre mes fous rires 1key: If there is silence between my laughter
De l’absence de joie dans mon sourire An absence of joy in my smile
C’est parce que mon historie est inédite That is because my story remains untold
Samy: Usiku na mchana najificha Samy: I hide myself day and night
Mambo mengi siwezi sema There is so much I cannot say
Ukiona nacheka usizani ni furaha If you see me laughing don’t assume I’m happy
1key: Ce soir il y aura pas de métaphore dans mes vers 1key: Tonight there will be no metaphors in my verses
Je sors de ma zone de confort vous parler à coeur ouvert I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to talk to you with an open heart
Hayaya yoyoooo Hayaya yoyoooo
[Verse 1: 1Key] [Verse 1: 1Key] 
Je suis comme tout artiste, mon art vient d’un vide I’m just like any artist; my art comes from an empty place
Mon gouffre de je le remplis de vers de poésie I fill my void with glasses/verses of poetry
Ivre de melancolie, comme soprano j’en deviens accro aussi Drunk on melancholy, I get addicted to it like Soprano
Oui je pratique un art triste, réel comme Kery Yes I practice a sad art, real as Kery
Tumi m’a dit “Il te tue et à la fois te guérit” Tumi said to me “It kills you and heals you at the same time”
Voici donc une session de thérapie pour le meilleur et le pire Here, therefore, is a therapy session for the best and for the worst
Je suis né à l’exil au pays de mon père I was born in exile in my father’s country
Une partie de moi a hérité la terre de l’autre du même master A part of me inherited the land of the other from the same master
Quand les voisins de mon grand-père égorgeaient ses frères  When my grandfather’s neighbours were slaughtering his brothers
Il s’est réfugié sur cette terre qui appartenait aux siens plus tôt He found asylum in this land which belonged to his forefathers
C’est compliqué mais bref je suis né entre l’enclume et le marteau It is complicated but, basically I was born between the anvil and the hammer
Dans cette région de grands lacs connus pour le sang qui y coule In this region of the Great Lakes known for the blood that flows
Entre deux grand pays, un connu pour son génocide et sa bravoure Between two great countries, one known for its genocide and its bravery
L’autre pour sa taille, ses richesses et ses guerres interminables The other for its size, its riches and its endless wars
Les deux se haïssent, certainement pour des raisons minables The two hate each other, certainly for minor reasons
Cassa: I’ve been holding in for too long Cassa: I’ve been holding in for too long
I’m gonna let it all go through this song I’m gonna let it all go through this song
1key: S’il y a du silence entre mes fous rires 1key: If there is silence between my laughter
De l’absence de joie dans mon sourire An absence of joy in my smile
C’est parce que mon historie est inédite That is because my story remains untold
Samy: Usiku na mchana najificha Samy: I hide myself day and night
Mambo mengi siwezi sema There is so much I cannot say
Ukiona nacheka usizani ni furaha If you see me laughing don’t assume I’m happy
Hayaya yoyoooo Hayaya yoyoooo
[Verse 2: 1key] [Verse 2: 1key]
J’ai vu le jour entre la haine et l’amour I was born between hate and love
Derrière cette petite maison enduite de crépi rouge Behind this small house coated with red plaster
En 92, moins de 12 ans deja In ‘92, before I was 12 years old
Je subissais le traitement du cafard I received the treatment of the cockroach
A cette école de planches près de l’aéroport de Goma At this school of planks near Goma’s airport
Rejeté du Kivu, 3 ans à Brazza Rejected from Kivu, 3 years in Brazzaville
De kin, j’ai atterri dans les bras du Rwanda From Kinshasa I landed in the arms of Rwanda
Ses collines m’ont accueilli avec du lait caillé Its hills welcomed me with yoghurt
Des sourires jusqu’aux oreilles et Nkundamahoro comme cahier Big smiles and Nkundamahoro as note books[1]
Je dois l’dire, ça soulage de se sentir accepté I have to say it feels good to be accepted
Mais en même temps c’est lourd de porter But at the same time it’s heavy to bear
Le poids de savior que je ne peux plus remettre les pieds The weight of knowing that I can no longer put my feet
Sur la terre qui m’a vu naitre car le volcan l’a efface On the land which has seen me rise because the volcano has erased it
[Verse 3: Cassa] [Verse 3: Cassa]
Let go of what you think you know Let go of what you think you know
You got no idea about where I come from You got no idea about where I come from
My hometown’s been erased by a volcano My hometown’s been erased by a volcano
I coulda be homeless but I said “no no no” I coulda be homeless but I said “no no no”
Wherever I lay my head, that’s my home (home home home) Wherever I lay my head, that’s my home (home home home)
Strong like a stone, I keep rolling on (on and on and on) Strong like a stone, I keep rolling on (on and on and on)
(X 2)  (X 2)
Samy: Usiku na mcana najifica Samy: I hide myself day and night
Mambo mengi siwezi semaa There is so much I cannot say
Mikiona naceka usizani ni furaha If you see me laughing don’t assume I’m happy
 —  —
Hayaya yoyooo… Hayaya yoyooo…

[1] Nkunda amahoro (“I love peace”)

Entre 2 album review: Carpe Diem

Track 5: Carpe Diem (“Seize the Moment”)

Carpe Diem is a song that we can all relate to in one way or another. Many of us will be familiar with the Latin aphorism, which translates as “Seize the Day” or “Seize the Moment”, as it is intended here. And, indeed, many of us share 1Key’s inner battle between existing in the here-and-now and worrying about the future. In an age of instant communications, global terror threats, and economic uncertainty, fear and anxiety are arguably on the rise. Some people think about their future, with its endless possibilities and increasingly high expectations, and become overwhelmed. Many others are forced to live from day to day; crippled by political, economic and/or social insecurities, they are unable to make plans for the futures they desire.

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Carpe Diem is tattoed on 1Key’s arm. [Courtesy of 1Key]
In Rwanda’s capital city, there is certainly an atmosphere of hope and renewal. While it’s impossible to forget the absolute horror of the past, the Kigalians with whom I have lived, worked and socialised share an optimism for the future. After all, they have borne witness to their country’s remarkable recovery, since the end of the 1994 Genocide. At the same time, the majority of Kigalians continue to struggle under financial hardships, facing un-(or under) employment, unaffordable housing and rising food costs. For the young men in my research, the rare occasion of getting paid would present an opportunity to party, and to “shake of that stress”, rather than to plan ahead and save. This attitude towards living in the moment is prevalent in popular Rwandan song lyrics, such as the hit song Vuza Ingoma (“Play the Drums”) by TBB, featuring Jay Polly, with lines like: Nta kwita kuri time (“Don’t worry about time”) and: “If you getting money spend it like you get paid.”

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Carpe Diem is tattoed on 1Key’s arm. [Courtesy of 1Key]
In Carpe Diem, 1Key tells us that he lives for moments which make his spirit vibrate. The chorus embodies a celebratory, care-free quality, with rhythmic Congolese rumba beats. 1Key switches from hip-hop poetry to tuneful singing, repeating his message of Carpe Diem again and again. Whenever I listen to the chorus, I can’t resist singing along, my head flung back and arms spread out wide! The rumba style is most pronounced in the outro, which 1Key performs in Lingala, one of the major languages of the DRC. The Congolese connection is no coincidence. 1Key was born in Goma, eastern DRC, where life is particularly harsh and insecure. He told me: “In Congo, everybody has to live day-to-day”, and yet Congolese music (which has influenced the entire continent and beyond) is undeniably uplifting and contagious. The high-pitched, tinny beats in the verses also connect us to 1Key’s personal memories from his childhood in Goma. The sounding of this particular rhythmic sequence was how kerosene dealers would announce their presence, especially when it was dark, with power outages being common.

While the chorus is light and relatable, the longer verse lines are delivered with urgency and passion. I particularly enjoy 1Key’s use of imagery. He tells us that he’s decided to: “Jump on every opportunity that life presents and devour it.” (Translated from French to English) He asks the evocative question: “Why do we cling so much to the imaginary and let the present slide through our fingers?” (Translated from French to English) Forever challenging us to participate in his art, and to seek out deeper meaning, 1Key makes reference to mathematics and to the riddle of the chicken and the egg. The wordsmith cleverly ties together his ideas through word play, relating “mathematical problems” and unsolvable riddles to “life problems”, which 1Key has decided not to focus on. He’d prefer to Carpe Diem!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. 2014. Carpe Diem! (Kelly) [Courtesy of the author]
Entre 2 is available on Soundcloud – Entre2 and for sale on digital stores iTunesSpotify, and Amazon.
Eric 1key is very active on social media where you can find him discussing and debating all kinds of things. For updates and live info, follow Eric1key on Twitter: @eric1key, Facebook: Facebook/eric1key, Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/eric1key or email for bookings at ericonekey@gmail.com

 

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Song lyrics and translations

Carpe Diem (“Seize the Moment” [Track 5 on Entre 2 album, 2015]) 

Prod. Junior Kafi (Kigali); French, Lingala.

[Verse 1] [Verse 1]
Prisonnier lié au fil du temps Prisoner bound by the thread of time
Produit d’hier vendu au present Yesterday’s product sold to the present
Livré à la merci de l’instant suivant Left at the mercy of the next moment
Entre le désir de rester vivant et la crainte ultime de disparaître dans le néant Between the desire to remain alive and the fear of disappearing into the void
Je ne suis qu’un étranger ici I’m just a stranger here
Un passager en transit perdu entre l’arrivée et l’exit A passenger in transit lost between arrival and exit
Inconnu dans ma quête, mon nom aurait dû être Ix Unknown in my quest, my name should have been X
Gausse/Gosse dans ma tête, tout me parait comme un matrix Gauss/Child in my mind, everything seems to be like a matrix
Une équation linéaire à plusieurs degrés A linear equation but with lots of levels
Les questions deviennent plus compliquées au fur du temps, malgré leur simplicité Questions become more complex with time despite their simplicity
Comme l’énigme de l’oeuf et de la poule on peut pas tout résoudre Just like the riddle of the chicken and the egg, we cannot solve everything
Ca va paraitre paresseux, con même It might sound lazy, or even stupid
Mais depuis que je traite plus la vie comme un problème But ever since I stopped looking at life like a problem
Elle est devenue plus vivable, plus facile It has become more livable
Je ne me demande plus pourquoi j’existe ni pourquoi j’écris depuis que j’ai compris I no longer ask why I exist or why I write since I understand
Que je ne vis que pour ces moments qui animent mon esprit That I live for these moments which make my spirit vibrate
Au fond, romancer l’instant, c’est ça faire de la poésie Because deep inside romancing time, that is poetry
[Hook] [Hook]
Entre le passé et l’avenir… Carpe Diem Between the past and the future… Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                        
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                           
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                    
[Verse 2] [Verse 2]
Parce que le passé n’est qu’un collage d’images stockées dans nos mémoires Because the past is just a collage of images stored in our memories
Un film qui varie avec l’âge car chaque nouveau détail change la version de l’histoire A film which varies with time because every new detail changes the story
Parce que l’avenir n’est qu’un mirage fait de nos peurs et nos espoirs Because the future is just a mirage made of our hopes and fears
Pourquoi s’accrocher à l’imaginaire et laisser le présent nous glisser entre les doigts? Why do we cling so much to the imaginary and let the present slide through our fingers?
Le temps passé ne revient jamais et demain ne nous appartient pas Yesterday is gone and tomorrow does not belong to us
Entre les regrets d’hier et la crainte de demain moi j’ai décidé de saisir le présent à deux mains Between the regrets of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow I decided to seize the present in both my hands
Sauter sur chaque occaz que la vie présente et la croquer à pleines dents Jump on every opportunity that life presents and devour it
Instinct animal, l’intuition guide mes pas Animal instinct, I am guided by my intuition
J’ai foi en elle c’est pourquoi je crois en moi I have faith in it, that’s why I believe in me
Mon destin est un freestyle, ma vie un spectacle My fate is a freestyle, my life a theatre
Biopic d’un artiste qui ne cesse de se battre et se débattre Biopic from an artist who doesn’t cease to fight
Une pièce dramatique dans laquelle je joue le rôle principal A dramatic play in which I am the protagonist

 

Chaque jour commence avec une nouvelle page Every day begins with a new page
Avant de la tourner, je check le tatoo sur mon bras Before I turn it, I look at the tattoo on my arm
Il lit carpe diem And it reads carpe diem
[Hook] [Hook]
Entre le passé et l’avenir… Carpe Diem Between the past and the future… Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                          
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                           
Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                               Carpe Diem Carpe Diem                                                                                                                           
[Outro] [Outro]
Eza systeme ya invasion It’s an invasion
Toye kosimba mokolo And we came to seize the day
Eza ya yo papa It’s yours papa[1]
Simba, ma, kamata! Kamata! Seize it, grab it, get it! Get it!
Lobi ezalaka te Tomorrow doesn’t exist
Lelo ya yo lobi soki eye, eza ya yo! Today is yours, if tomorrow comes make it yours too!
Ma, kamata, ma, kamata! Grab it, get it, grab it, get it!
Simba mokolo Seize the day
Simba mokolo Seize the day
Simba mokolo Seize the day
Simba mokolo Seize the day
Hahahahaha… Hahahahaha…

[1] In Kinshasa, DRC Papa is slang for “man”, “bro”, “dude”, etc.