Entre 2 Album Review: Apprenti_Sage

Track 1: Apprenti_Sage (“Wise Apprentice/Learning”)

Apprenti_Sage is the album’s opening track. Drawing on the Rwandan tradition of Kwivuga, which literally means bragging, 1key introduces and asserts himself as a poet and as an artist, who terrorizes his enemies! Within the tradition of Rwandan praise poetry there are numerous specialist sub-genres, including the poetry of dynasty, the poetry of farmers, and amahamba (“the praising of cows”). According to 1key: “Kwivuga was everybody’s poetry”. Created and performed by men and boys, kwivuga is about lineage and ego: “it’s about knowing who you are and ensuring that others know too” (1Key). In this case, 1Key identifies himself as the son of his personal hero, his late Grandfather Ngangare Rugambwa. Continue reading “Entre 2 Album Review: Apprenti_Sage”

Entre 2 album review: A l’Africaine (Iwacu)

Track 3: L’Africaine (Iwacu) [“In the African Style (Iwacu)”]

A l’Africaine (Iwacu) (“In the African Style [Iwacu]”) is a love song between 1Key and Africa, his Iwacu, which means “home” or “homeland” in Kinyarwanda. In his song, 1Key invites us to a generalised Africa. His detailed descriptions evoke the human senses when he speaks of rain flowing over skin, kept warm by the sun. He tells us: “Close your eyes so I can remove your mascara with my kisses”, and: “Come, put your head on my chest/Listen to the echo of the source of my forces.” (Translated from French to English) The hook, too, has a particularly seductive quality: Continue reading “Entre 2 album review: A l’Africaine (Iwacu)”

Entre 2 album review by Ceri Whatley

Ceri WhatleyCeri Whatley is a PhD candidate in African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, UK. Since 2007, she has lived, worked and travelled in 15 African countries and has conducted prior research on isicathamiya music in South Africa (which won her the Fage undergraduate of the year award). Ceri was first introduced to beautiful Rwanda in 2010, when she worked for non-profit organisation One Laptop per Child (OLPC). Marrying together her interest in education and the arts, Ceri spent a second year in Kigali teaching art and music to primary school children. Continue reading “Entre 2 album review by Ceri Whatley”