Senegalese rapper Didier Awadi spent the '90s as one-half of hip-hop duo Positive Black Soul, riding out rap's golden age in one of his countries' most beloved acts before striking out solo.
Themes of positive societal change and revolutionary politics are at the core of Awadi's music, and he has collaborated with a large cross section of established international artists on albums like 2018's reggae-tinged Made in Africa.
Awadi was born in 1969 in Dakar, Senegal. He became enamored with hip-hop as the art form was in its nascent stages of development in the early '80s, and he quickly got involved with breakdancing and rapping. Throughout the '80s, he led his own rap group, Didier Awadi's Syndicate, and in that time he encountered fellow rapper Duggy-Tee. The two would form the group Positive Black Soul in 1989 and spend the next decade and beyond collaborating with some of the world's more visible rap artists while spreading messages of social justice and calls to action.
In 2002, both rappers launched solo careers, with Awadi releasing his solo debut, Kaddu Gor, that year. He signed on with Sony Music for the release of 2005's Un Autre Monde Est Possible and the next year's Sunugaal. His music was taking on more radical political stances, and he often worked with a crew of other rappers called PBS-Radikal. Awadi released two successive and star-studded mixtapes, 2010's Presidents of Africa and 2013's Ma Revolution, which featured guest spots from a wide-ranging host of artists including Wyclef Jean, Issa Sanogo, M1 from Dead Prez, and many others. His 2018 album Made in Africa was similarly adorned with guest stars, with its reggae undertones enhanced by performances from Sizzla, Alpha Blondy, and Ombre Zion. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi