E.G. Bailey’s ‘American Afrikan’ Album Nominated For An IMA

E.G. Bailey’s ‘American Afrikan’ Album Nominated For An IMA

“He makes language live!” – Amiri Baraka

“There is so much history, culture, and experience packed into American Afrikan that to summarize would be to attempt to summarize all of African American experience.” – Jon Behm (Reviler)

“A powerful testament of bailey’s skill of mobilizing poetry for contemplation, remembrance, and a subtle, but no less insistent, call to action.” –Justin Schell

“No matter how long it takes for bailey to drop ‘da proverbial bomb’, it will have been well worth the wait.” – Dwight Hobbes

With co-signs from Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets and the legendary Amiri Baraka, Twin Cities spoken word artist, poet, musician, organizer and educator, e.g. bailey, presents his first full-length album, AMERICAN AFRIKAN, a spoken word concept album that begins in Africa, crosses the Middle Passage, explores America and ends up somewhere that defies easy definition.

Part musical theater piece, part audio chapbook and part performance art experiment, AMERICAN AFRIKAN mixes the beat-influenced poetry of bailey with music that blends hip hop, funk, jazz, electronica and more, creating a sound that is at once progressive and challenging yet smooth and listenable.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that an hour-long spoken word album wouldn’t be much fun to listen to; many aren’t. But as Umar Bin Hassan says in the album’s liner notes, “The sounds on this album are just as important as the words.” Through bailey’s voice, through the Igbo nuns on ‘Oracles of Equiano’, through Aimee Bryant’s rendition of ‘Motherless Child’ and through the album’s diverse sonic palette, AMERICAN AFRIKAN succeeds not just as a piece of literature or poetry, but as a cohesive musical journey.

The project features contributions from Katrah-Quey, hipgnosis, Ben Durrant, Mankwe Ndosi, Ibe Kaba, Sankaradjeki, Assaad Lakkis + Abstrakt Collision, Aimee Bryant, DJ Limbs, Idris Goodwin, M.anifest, Starskie, DJ Stage One, Sha Cage, Walter ‘Q-Bear’ Banks, Jerry Stearns, Simon Husbands, Andy Shaffer, Karin Odell, Elliot Looney, Uche, Matt Wood, Julian Murray and others.

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