Introducing Congolese / Belgian rapper Baloji

Congolese /Belgian rapper will make his debut at the on Monday 18 July with in support but in the meantime catch some of his music here.

Baloji’s is a fascinating story – born in Lubumbashi, war-torn Democratic Republic of ’s second city, he was taken away from his mother at the age of three and raised by his father’s relatives in Liège. He became a member of Liège collective Starflam in the 1990s and they rose to chart success on the late 90s. Leaving Starflam in 2004, he had no intention of starting a solo career, until he received a letter from his mother, breaking her 25-year silence, asking what he had been doing with his life. His answer to her was the album Hotel Impala and in 2007 he visited her, a trip that would have a profound effect on him.


His next album, Succusale, a reworking of Hotel Impala, was recorded in Kinshasa in just five days with a band formed on the spot (including ). The music is a mixture of styles from traditional rumba, the tradi-futuristic tradi-modern style, the swinging mutuashi, the and reggae, all mixed with Baloji’s unique style of vocals.


Baloji worked obsessively on the album – its sleeve, the photo insert and the two award-winning videos which accompanied it – both filmed in Congo and taking in dancehall, street scenes in Kinshasa and a troupe of masked wrestlers. Aesthetics are important to him in every way – he looks like a model and has in fact has modelled for Louis Vuitton, Belgian tailoring brand Café Costume and Eristoff vodka. also drafted him into his Express project last year and rumour has it that a new album is on the way.


Le Jour D’Apres Siku ya Baadaye

Congo Eza Ya Biso

  • Anonymous

    True, hip hop, amped out mbira Congolese voodoo-like genius.

  • Neil Clavin

    Amazing – sounds and looks unlike anything I have seen before!