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Positive Black Soul

One of the first rap and hip-hop groups in Senegal, Positive Black Soul represents a collaboration between Didier Sourou Awadi, formerly with Didier Awadi's Syndicate, and Doug E. Tee (born: Amadou Barry), formerly with the King MCs. Accompanied by the rhythmic onslaught of traditional Senegealese instruments -- including percussion, kora, and balafon -- the two inspire each other with heavily political rhyming and DJ-like toasting, mostly in the Wolof language. Forsaking traditional outfits and folklore, the group takes an ultra-modern approach to their performances.

The year 1992 proved to be a pivotal one for Positive Black Soul. After stirring excitement with their performance at the Dakar French Cultural Center's music festival, Dakar 92: Mbalax, Jazz, and Rap, the group was invited to be the opening act for the Dakar debut of French rap star MC Solaar in October. Solaar was so impressed by the group's performance that he asked them to continue opening shows for him in France. Positive Black Soul released a self-produced cassette album in 1993, with the project underwritten by the French Cultural Center in Dakar. The following year, the group toured England, Switzerland, and France.

Returning to Senegal, the members of Positive Black Soul were invited to improvise with a traditional chorus on one tune, "Swing Yela," on Baaba Maal's album, Firin' in Fouta. They recorded their debut album, Salaam, shortly afterwards with several tracks produced by Boom Bass of La Funk Mob and the remaining tracks produced by Raw Stylus. During 1997, they performed 130 shows in Europe and North America. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
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