A few months ago, I have been contacted to see whether I could help a young guy making rap and hip hop and who just released his debut album in Guinea. Not that hip hop is my favourite music, but anyway, I accepted. I listened to the promo CD and after a few spinnings I gradually became convinced of his talents. I was told the guy was called Djo Dioubaté (I later discovered alternative ways of spelling his name, from Djoe to Joe) and started a Google session in order to find some more info on the guy. Google didn't come up with anything at all. I thought that this wasn't possible anymore, in 2007 one would expect a rapper or hip hop artist to be present on Youtube and MySpace at least, even if the artist isn't under contract.
I have learnt to be patient, and tried to find more info a few weeks later. Still not much, but found his name as featuring on songs by Guinean rappers Elie Kamano (who suffered a severe car accident earlier this year, from which he is still recovering), and Anny Kassy, who made a song against female genital mutilation.
So why this long introduction? Well, the guy is talented, he has a great voice and the songs on the album are great. Songs like Conakry (''Conakry, c'est ma capitale, où je vis et je suis sans un capital'') speak of the hopeless situation young Guineans are facing. Other songs address hope for change, give advise to young people to be serious and work for their future. Another song pays hommage to Siradiou Diallo, a well-known journalist (formerly editor with Jeune Afrique) who became politician in the 1990s and died in March 2004 in Paris.
He doesn't miss out the opportunity to express himself on the bloody reaction of the Guinean Government to the public protests in January and February of this year.
- Joe Dioubaté: « Révolution » (cassette), 2007 -
The Musiques d'Afrique web site now features a page about him here.
Here is a YouTube video clip by Elie Kamano (song « Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom »), Joe Dioubaté is the one with locks, sunglasses and guitar, he sings a few lines from 1:28 on.
In this clip from Anny Kassy (song « Femme ne pleure pas »), Joe sings several parts.