MP3 Jmni - Rebel Poetry / Poesie Rebelle
english/french socio-political hiphop
17 MP3 Songs
WORLD: African, HIP HOP/RAP: Hip Hop
JMNI (pronounced gem-in-eye)
Franck Late Lawson aka Latson, aka TRINITRO was born in Lome to a Togolese father and a Liberian mother. He lived in several different countries, moved from town to town, continent to continent, seeking education in different school systems. He embraced the Ivorian culture in his teenage years, where he met rhyming partner Kwame Andah aka M.O.A, and his heart remains deeply in touch with Cote D''Ivoire where his parents are still living.
Late graduated from CEFAM (French management school, Temple University, and Art Institute of Philadelphia) with degrees in International management, marketing, Multimedia and web design. While studying in France, Trinitro got involved with rapping and producing. He produced several French hip hop albums, currently focusing on the production and engineering for REBEL POETRY -the JMNI album with MOA.
But dont let his calm demeanor fool you, this cat holds black belts in Viet Vo Dao (traditional Vietnamese martial art) and TaeKwonDo (Korean Olympic martial art), and is the current Assistant coach for Temple university men and women TaekwonDo team. as well as the hall of fame of the Northeast TaeKwonDo Collegiate League. He won several national and international tournaments in Judo and taekwondo in Ivory Coast, France, and the US.
These international experience gives them a strong ability to overstand and adapt to different environments, thereby making JMNI true citizenz of the world as they like to proclaim.
Kwame Andah aka M.O.A (Minista Of Agrikulcha) was born December 6th, on a military base in Accra, Ghana. His mother was a Major in the Ghanaian Armed Forces and his father the Minister of Agriculture. During the bloody coup of 1981, he relocated to bordering Togo, Nigeria and then to the Ivory Coast.
Not speaking a lick of french, he attended 3 francophone institutions (La Pipiniere,La Farandole, and Jean Mermoze) in Abidjan prior to joining The International Community School Of Abidjan (aka ICSA) where he was happy to be around english speaking people. At this time, he got into hiphop and was known to emcee parties at the International Friendship Center and even bust a rhyme or two. It was there he met Late, as part of rival crews and would often battle each other dansing.
He left Ivory Coast (early 90''s) for boarding school in Egypt, UK, France, Malta then returned to Ghana (PRESEC) where he did his O-Level examination before leaving for the US. In Philadelphia, he attended St. Joseph''s University and graduated with a degree in Management of Information Systems. It was in his residence where he recorded , mixed and mastered the Ambassadoz album TRAVELWISE on no budget and a second hand labtop. After wrapping up this project, he teamed up with his childhood confidant Latson, who happened to be in Philly to record JMNI''s debut album REBEL POETRY.
JMNI Innerview (2005) - https://www.tradebit.com
Written by Secretary General
Wednesday, 05 October 2005
We lynked up with philadelphia based JMNI composed of MOA Minister of Agrikulcha, and Latson. They are about to release a powerful album called Rebel Poetry, from which you can check the track "Africa" in our Artists section. They bring it to you raw and uncut. Check di info!
* UNHH: Would you mind introducing yourself to the United Nations of Hip Hop readers, so they can have a better idea of who you are before we go on further with this interview?
Latson: My Name is Latson, AKA Trinitro, born to a Togolese father and a Liberian mother, lived most of my life in Ivory Coast. Un résident fidèle de Babi la belle papi!
M.O.A: Ouais, ouais. What the deal? Moi, c''est Kwame aka The Minister Of Agrikulcha, born and raised on a military base in Accra, Ghana.
* UNHH: How long have you been involved in Hip Hop?
Latson: Je dansais déjà fin 80-début 90 mais j''ai commencé à sérieusement rapper et écrire des textes en 1995-1996. Je me suis mis à la production un peu plus tard, 1998-1999.
M.O.A: Ever since i used to breakdance...late 80''s. First hiphop tape i had was the Fat boys. Then my man Ludigo came from the US and had the newest latest videos, LL, Kool Moe Dee, Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane. Thats when i fell in love with the art of emceeing.
* UNHH: Where are you located?
Latson: En ce moment je vis à Philadelphie, en Pennsylvanie.
M.O.A: Currently my currency is the dollar sign... Philly to be exact.
* UNHH: At what stage in your career do you see yourself right now?
Latson: L''étape de construction, durant laquelle chaque pierre doit être soigneusement apportée à l''édifice. En tant que nouveaux artistes indépendants, il est encore moins évident de se faire connaitre, mais nous avons beaucoup à apporter au Rap et au Hip Hop international (Ecoutez l''album, il parle de lui même).
M.O.A: That stage where the sword is being sharpened, still being shaped preparing for the final battle.
* UNHH: What is your outlook on African Hip Hop?
Latson: Je suis content de voir que le Hip hop africain évolue de plus en plus vite. De nombreux groupes togolais, ivoiriens, tanzaniens, ghanéens s''investissent, même sans énormes moyen, qu''ils soient localisés en Afrique ou à l''étranger. Il est très impressionnant d''entendre la qualité de certains produits, ce qui ne me laisse nul doute que le rap Africain est en grande évolution.
M.O.A: It''s good to see african emcees and femcees gain recognition, whether it be locally or on the global market. I''m loving the vibe coming out of East Africa right now https://www.tradebit.comy are doing big big https://www.tradebit.comta give it to them for spreading their hiphop message to the masses.
* UNHH: What countries do you think are the strongest in African Hip Hop?
Latson: En terme de "African" hip hop, Il est difficile de répondre à cette question car il n''y a pas beaucoup d''interaction entre Hip Hop africain Anglophone et Hip Hop africain francophone, c''est pour cela que notre groupe JMNI est unique. Chez les francophones, les Sénégalais exportent un rap de très bonne qualité depuis des années et sont à mon avis bien placés pour être les ambassadeurs du hip hop africain sur le plan international. Chez les Anglophone, le Ghana et la Tanzanie offrent aussi de très bonnes productions, mais contrairement au Sénégal, il semblerait que les autres pays africains n''exportent pas autant leur Hip hop.
M.O.A: It really depends what you mean by ''strongest'' ? In terms of record sales, written skills, delivery etc. Right now there is still a big catalogue of african emcees rippin it that are yet to be discovered. I think each coutry has a gem to behold on the commercial or underground level. To me its not really who is the strongest or the https://www.tradebit.com how can we help each other and spread the message, dig me ? We are all one, i try to stay away from the divide and conquer-ismz. United we stand divided we fall. If each finger on your hand was competing to be the man, we''d all be a bunch of starving mofo''s! lol
* UNHH: What is the difference between African Hip Hop and hip hop in general, American or French in particular?
Latson: Techniquement parlant, il n''y a pas vraiment de différence, les flows, la manière de poser les textes, les instruments utilisés se retrouvent partout. Le HH vient des US donc forcément "the apple can''t fall that far from the tree." Cependant, les réalités sociales, économiques et politiques sont très différentes dans ces pays, ce qui va se ressentir au niveau des thèmes et de la façon de les aborder. Par exemple, beaucoup de groupes africains ne peuvent pas se permettre d''attaquer ouvertement leur président ou leur gouvernement, alors que les francais ou les americains n''ont pas ce problème. Il y a aussi un certain respect de la femme qui ne permet pas qu''on les traite de tous les noms chez les africains, alors que traiter la femme de "Bitch" est banalisé chez les américains.
M.O.A: En tout cas, le hiphop francais c''est fort deh! Truthfully its really all becoming one form. Some cats au pays are copying the emcees here in the States, because ''it cool''. Then you have some cats that keep it underground and true to self. Right now we have mtv africa. Trust me, its only going to propogate ''their'' agenda. The only difference to me is their locality / hood and the problems they face. I hear the same themes in commercial and underground hiphop on both sides. Mais le hiphop francais je crois is more descriptive, in terms of the words they choose to use.
* UNHH: How do you see Hip Hop being used in Africa?
Latson: Le hip hop peut être utilisé comme une façon de sensibiliser le people et même d''éduquer le peuple sur différents sujets. Le micro est une arme qui peut rapprocher des peuples ou les diviser. Dans le cas de l''Afrique nous avons besoin d''unification, un rôle qui peut être endorsé par les différents emcees, à condition qu''ils en prennent conscience bien sur.
M.O.A : I see it as a tool to mobilize the youth towards one aim and one destiny.
* UNHH: Are you an Afro Optimist or an Afro Pessimist, and why?
Latson: Ca dépend vraiment des sujets, je ne peus vraiment pas généraliser pour cette question.
M.O.A : Like Latson said, it really depends on the issues at hand.
* UNHH: If you were given the financial means, what is the first thing you would do?
Latson: J''essayerai de mettre en place des systèmes d''éducation plus efficace et je fairai construire des université aussi bien équipées que les universités occidentales.
M.O.A : I would build a highway that would run through all of Africa. Then also invest more into the education system to destroy and re-build the mindset the colonials left on our people. We all have been miseducated and we need to have our people know the truths from the ancients. That knowledge they try to hide from https://www.tradebit.com see the sun always shine on the children of alkebulan. Then after that id build me some palaces. hahaha
* UNHH: What would you do to help hip hop move forward in your country?
Latson: En Cote d''Ivoire, je monterai des maisons de productions qui se focaliseraient sur la qualité et l''exportation des productions. Trop d''artistes hip hop ivoiriens se contentent d''être les "stars du quartier"sans voir plus loin. Ceux qui ont plus d''ambition n''ont pas de maisons de productions suffisamment compétentes pour les aider.
M.O.A : i would invest in an institution that would teach the youth the history of the 4 pillars of hiphop and help them travel to different countries. It would be a celebration of all the journeys and breakthroughs, all the dreams that go into the music we love. That way we can all learn that there really is no ''box'' to think out off.
* UNHH: What is the reaction of the audience to your music? You rap in a language they don''t obviously understand, do you feel like they can connect with you and why?
Latson: La force de notre musique et notre style est justement le fait que différentes personnes de différentes cultures peuvent s''y identifier. Toutes les chansons sont en francais et anglais. Les francais s''y identifient par la performance de Latson, les américains s''y identifient et savent apprécier la performance de MOA, et les africains s''identifient parfaitement aux 2 emcees et aux thèmes qu''ils abordent.
M.O.A : The reaction is very good. Some people will say, ''i dont really understand what your man Trinitro was saying, but i felt his energy''. That is what matters to us, that we can reach you through our music even if you don''t understand the lingo. Most people like the continuation quoi, between the french/english verses. Overall, it has been very good, a breath of fresh air for most people. They can connect because we are true to ourselves and our music, we are not trying to impress anyone or conform to a https://www.tradebit.com that i guess comes out at the performance...its all about the balance..
* UNHH: What is the message that you are putting in your music, and in particular if you have an album that you are about to release, what''s the name and the concept behing the album?
Latson: En général, c''est un message de paix au peuple africain, ainsi qu''au monde. Un message de paix qui passe par l''observation et l''analyse de la situation critique dans laquelle le monde vit (guerres fratricides, pays occupés, peuples maltraités, jeunesse gachée...)
M.O.A : The name of the album is REBEL POETRY / POESIE REBELLE. The concept is really very simple, we emcompass all things and make music from our heart. We don''t go out of our way to innovate, we try to make music that reaches you deep in your heart.
* UNHH: What do you want people to know and remember about you?
Latson: Je veus surtout qu''ils se rappellent les thèmes abordés et les textes, bref il faut qu''ils écoutent profondément l''album. Tant que les gens retiennent quelque chose qui aura de l''influence sur leur vie, la mission est accomplie.
M.O.A : I want them to remember that we stuck it out ourselves, with no help from nobody. We produced our own beats, recorded and mixed our own tracks, and paid for the pressing ourselves. There were a lot of opportunity costs, but at the end of the https://www.tradebit.com comes down to if your talk mirrors your action. We want heads to know that we gave it our best and keep moving forward.
* UNHH: What do you think of the concept of United Nations of Hip https://www.tradebit.com?
Latson: Je pense que c''est un concept excellent et très bien pensé, qui colle d''ailleurs parfaitement avec la philosophie de JMNI. Lorsqu''on parle de Hip Hop africain, on a souvent tendance à séparer les anglophones des francophones, alors qu''une majorité des africains comprennent les 2 langues.
M.O.A : It''s about time we took matters into our own hands and stop letting people brand our own creation. The concept itself is nothing new, but the fact that we are able to get together and make it happen is a success story in itself. Ya foyi!
* UNHH: What are your plans for now and your dreams for the future?
Latson: Nos plans actuels sont de promouvoir l''album et le faire découvrir au plus grand nombre de personnes possible. J''aimerai également étendre ma structure Lvolution et produire des artistes.
M.O.A : I stay https://www.tradebit.com wanna know my plans and dreams? Right now im trying to be still and listen to my inner voice, to be more in-tune with myself and teach me son how to be a man. My son is the https://www.tradebit.comch out for Senior Nilito Rapido Bandito! Il va commencer à détruire le micro!
* UNHH: Do you feel African Hip Hop artists are given the credit and exposure that they deserve? And as an emerging artist, do you feel like the structures that are present right now allow you to be heard and known?
Latson: Je pense qu''il n''y a pas assez de structures pour aider l'' African Hip Hop. Les artistes sont souvent obligés de se débrouiller pour se faire entendre et ne sont pas suffisamment exposés au niveau international, ce qui est très dommage quand on considère l''énorme talent qui réside au sein de l''African Hip hop.
M.O.A : Personally i dont expect anyone to give me anything. I think that is part of our problem. We are looking for someone else to define us. We did not come here to bow, we came to conquer. So we give ourselves the credit, go out and create means to expose ourselves. As an emerging artist, its very easy to fall for industry rule # https://www.tradebit.comecting that all you need is a good product and someone will pick you up. You need to study the system, need to be self https://www.tradebit.comate your own opportunities. That what they don''t teach you at all in school. Take for example ''integration''..what happened once blacks got integrated back in the days ? They lost Harlem. B4 integration, we owned our own theatres, businesses https://www.tradebit.come it occured we not only lost that edge, but were forced back into corporate https://www.tradebit.com point https://www.tradebit.com as africanhiphop artists (which is nothing more that africans doing hiphop music) need to learn to depend on ourselves and help each other. The internet is good way we can capitalize on that and that''s why i applaud UNHH. Each one teach one.
* UNHH: Last but not least, what is your message to Africa?
Latson : Keep your head up! Stand up! As we said on our album: "no more war." It''s time to write our own destiny.
M.O.A : Wake up ! Too much of us are still living in slumber. Let''s embrace our past and not be ashamed of what the ancients taught us before these people came in and raped and pillaged our villages! And https://www.tradebit.com https://www.tradebit.com love you Africa!