What’s the price for a black man life?
I checked the toe tag, not one zero in sight – J. Cole
This question hasn’t been as relevan as it is now. The life of a black man in Europe and America has been deemed worthless for centuries. The rise of neo-fascists and videos of police brutality give credence to this. For many commentators and observers, this brazen display of hate and contemptuous disregard for a dark skinned person has made nonsense of the ‘equality for all humanity’ slogan which has been perpetuated all this decades.
Togolese rap artist, Elom 20ce encounters these instances of discrimination and hate in his daily during his stay in France. This occurrence –despite their quickness at waving the ‘liberty’, ‘equality’ and ‘fraternity’ flag- French society still thrives on subjugating blacks. This theme is what he explores on both his song and video “Eda Kplé Fessu”.
A requim incantations about self-ownership and the royal status of blacks, Elom 20ce constructs the true history of Africa –from ancient times; resistance to slavery; enslavement to the current climate of indiscriminate black killings in America-in the visuals for “Eda Kple Fessu”. He also portrays a future for Africa.
The video is highly political. It begins with a Zora Neele Hurston quote: ‘There are years that ask questions and years that answers’.
Two figures – a Caucasian and an African are shown playing chess. Interestingly the African player is in cuffs; highlighting how disadvantaged Africans have always been when it comes to dealing with white folks.
What Elom 20ce did with this animated video is to brilliantly recount the history of black Africa and the negative effects of colonialism in just 1 minute, 36 seconds.
The royalty of an African queen is stolen (by way of taking the crown on her head), leading to the enslavement of her people. They resist the oppressors by fighting (a reference to the Dahomey Amazons or Minos of the 19th Century). Their victory is however short-lived when the white colonialists fought back, this time with guns, killing many and capturing others; subsequently shipping them to the US. ‘I Can’t Breathe’ references are made to denote the unjust killing of black people by the police which birthed the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement, as well us Africans demonstrating against dictators and neo-colonial agenda.
The video returns to the beginning: two men indulged in a chess game. The white player donning a KKK hat is shown to be Donald Trump who’s supported by the US political establishment. The chess board and its pieces is shattered by a mask wearing African priestess. The remnants are stained with blood.
A black African queen and her retinue are shown sitting behind a new chess board. A significant portrayal of Africans in control of their own destiny, after all, We Hold The Power Now!
What Elom 20ce did with this animated video is to brilliantly recount the history of black Africa, focusing on the negative effects of colonialism in just 1 minute, 36 seconds.
“Eda Kplé Fessu” came out of a collaborative effort between Elom 20ce and Cameroonian writer Lèonora Miano whose 2017 published book, Marianne et le Garcon Noir” (Marianne and the Black Boy) was inspired by the brutal killing of Adama Traoré, Amadou Koumé and Lamine Dieng at the hands of the police.
Elom 20ce was approached by Ms. Miano to contribute a chapter with focus on his life as a black man within French society. Elom 20ce released this sax heavy music version of “Eda Kple Fessu” on his vinyl album, “Indigo” on Asrafo Records.
Settling on a title as “Eda Kple Fessu”, which means ‘Hair and Nails’ is significant, considering the fact that, it survives after the burial of a person; becoming very important items used in DNA investigations.
Watch video below
Below: Press Release For ‘Eda Kplé Fessu’
Eda Kplé Fessu – Marianne et le garçon noir (Marianne and the black boy) – Indigo
If you listen, you are conscious | If you are touched, you are engaged | If you transmit, you are reinvented.
Indigo does not end. The multi-nuanced blue album that has propelled rapper Elom 20ce as one of the most engaged West African artists of recent years. Animated album that travels and renews in a vinyl version at the beginning of this year. Indigo, the color of the kings, the color of the humble, it is the dark clear voice of Elom 20ce, Black warrior of the light, the intelligible breath in a world where the apparent leaves little room for the deep senses of things.
On this new listening format, accessible on Asrafo Records, you will be able to discover Eda Kplé Fessu; “Hair and Nails”, unpublished title that will make you a being always aware.
Eda Kplé Fessu, requiem and musical incantation, call to the repossession of oneself, was born from the participation of Elom 20ce to the collective work ” Marianne et le garçon noir ” under the direction of Léonora Miano with the participation of Akua Naru, Amzat Boukari- Yabara, D ‘de Kabal, Insa Sané, Nathalie Etoke, Wilfried N’sondé and Yann Gael. Engaged both in the heavy task of placing the Black Man back in his world, in his identity, and in the territories on which he is anchored, Léonora Miano invited Elom 20ce, the time of a chapter, to give his opinion on his relationship with France as an African man.
“Eda Kplé Fessu is the sound version of my chapter. The book was written following the incident leading to the death of Adama Traoré and that of Theo as a result of police violence. Two incidents of barbarism that powerfully say how we as Black men are perceived and treated. In my chapter, I gave my view on my relationship with France. In the song, I go further, it is also the look of the Black Man on the Black Man, on the brutalities that we subject one another to “.
On a tanned and throbbing instrumentation carried by a melancholic piano and sax. On a dark and captivating air supported by the voice of Elom 20ce and the mystical vibes at the end, Eda Kplé Fessu: screams, shots, silence, makes you hear the incantation of the Black Men, skinned, dead but immutably alive. “Hair and nails” is the trace, the DNA that stays when blood does not flow in their veins.
“I kill my death” | Requiem for the banished Incantation for the collected.