Emmanuel Jal and Abdel Gadir Salim 

Ceasefire

Despite only recent attention from the world media, Sudan has been involved in a religious-based civil war pitting the Islamic north against the non-Islamic south since the late 1970s. Imported rap, gospel and reggae began influencing politicized African pop in the early 1980s. Now a former child soldier from southern Sudan teams up with an acclaimed northern Sudanese musician in eloquent, multi-lingual support of recent peace initiatives between the warring factions. Don’t expect Ceasefire to sound like any American rap record. First, Jal’s born-again Nairobi-based rap crew, the Reborn Warriors, alternately rap or sing, as each track requires. Jal’s Kenyan chart hit ‘Gua’ incorporates syncopated chants with melodic refrains, using English and tribal lyrics. Salim’s band, the Merdoum All Stars, adds accordion, oud, guitar, sax, vocals and percussion where needed over ten tracks. Ceasefire’ s African and Arab influences are unabashedly dominant, which turns exultantly up-tempo broadsides like ‘Aiwa’ and ‘Baai’ into a genre all their own.

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